Add Character to Your Home With the Look of Age
Distressed finishes give furniture and other surfaces a sense of history — and lots of charm
Distressed finishes are applied to wood surfaces to make them look older than they actually are. A faux aged surface is achieved in various ways from light sanding to hitting it with a hammer. The beauty of these artificially worn finishes is they are very forgiving and they can add loads of charm and character to your home, much like antiques do. Here's a list of some things to consider when selecting distressed finishes.
How much distressing? These painted walls appear to have been scraped to resemble peeling paint. It is very dramatic in this minimally furnished room and looks like walls I imagine you might find in an old home in Europe.
Worn corners and edges. Creamy painted cabinets with a cocoa glaze look like they have been around for decades, thanks to the worn edges on the corners and edges. This look would be suitable for any traditional kitchen where a warm and casual style is desired.
Top and undercoat colors. There are generally two colors of paint in distressing: the top and undercoats. In this country kitchen, the blue topcoat of these cabinets was lightly sanded to reveal a lighter golden toned undercoat beneath it. Notice how well it matches the countertop. The chicken wire in the doors is a nice touch.
Top glaze. These gray-green kitchen cabinets have a dark glaze on top to mimic years of accumulated dirt, giving this space Old-World appeal.
Barn worn. Don't these red planks look like they were reclaimed from an old barn? The flatness of the wood works well in his modern kitchen.
How will it be used? If your surface is a table you use daily, make sure it is smooth enough to clean and that it has a protective coating on top. This distressed kitchen table is eye-catching in turquoise, the color of the Hawaiian waters outside the home.
Add just one distressed piece, like this wall cabinet, to bring charm to an otherwise all new bath. Distressed black furniture is very popular now.
Dings and dents. This lovely chest has many dings and dents, but the shiny polished finish keeps it from looking rustic. A great way to camouflage imperfections? Add more dings!
Ideabook updated on Dec. 9, 2011.
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