Furniture Distressing Tutorial

I am so glad to have you all here today. I have had many of you ask me to do a tutorial on how I distressed my shutters.

I have broken it down into every step that I used, and have taken a lot of pictures so that you can visualize it. I use this process on almost all of my distressing projects.

Tutorial Shutter whole

My key goal is to have it look like it has been outside in the elements for some time, and yet be able to have it in the color tones that go best with my decor.

Tutorial board

To show this process to you I used an ordinary old plank that I use for sign making.  When I finish this off it will be ready for lettering and I will use it for my Fall decor.

Tutorial paint

These are the products that I use. I love chalk paint and my very favorite kind is        Vintage Market and Design. It just seems to go on so nice and is not overly thick like many of them are. They ship it out the day that you order it with no extra charge, I like that. As you can see I use many different colors, as well as black chalk board paint, and acrylic       paint.  This is because you always see an old weathered piece of furniture with different colors of paint on it, I try to make it look as original as possible.

Tutorial Zebra

This picture must look really funny to you, one of my grands said to me “Why are you painting that like a zebra?” lol

First step is to make sure that the wood is clean and lightly sanded. Then I take different colors of paint and randomly paint in different areas that I want the color to come out on. Let this process dry for about a half an hour.


Next I use this awesome crackle glaze that you can find at any Home Depot.

Tutorial glaze

I completely cover the whole area with the crackle. Using sponge brushes really make for a fast clean up.  Let it dry for at least an hour.  If not it will cake and be a mess, trust I know. lol

Tutorial chalk paintNext brush on the main color that you want. The colors of paint under your main coat will show through the cracks. This is what gives the character you want. Dry for another hour.

Tutorial stain

After I have let my main color dry good I brush on a brown decorative glaze by Rust-Oleum,  it comes in different colors, you can use a dark wax if you want. I use the glaze because it seems to be less expensive and you can find it at Home Depot. Make sure that all the wood is covered.

Tutorial wiping off glaze

Then use a damp rag with water and smooth it over the glazed area. I wipe some of the top paint off so I can see some of the color come through. Let dry.

Tutorial sanding

Then using a piece of medium sand paper rough up your wood until you like the look. Sometimes I use my little mouse sander for a bigger effect. If you have disposable rubber gloves use them. I always have paint en-fessed nails. lol

Tutorial waxing

With a dry rag I apply Vintage Market white silk wax all over the painted area. This step really gives it a marvelous effect. Let dry really good.

Tutorial drying

Tutorial bird

This is the effects of the distressing when it is all finished. Now my distressed plank is ready for some fun painted words.

Tutorial shutter bottom

I know that it seems like a lot of steps but I really like the effect that it gives.

Tutorial Shutter whole

I hope that this answered a lot of your questions, and when you try this let me know how your project turns out. If you have any more questions just let me know would love to help you.

Tutorial Collage

If you liked today’s post please Pin above.

Have a wonderful weekend!


I will be at these amazing parties this week, come and join me!


Amaze Me Monday @ Dwellings-the heart of our home

Inspiration Monday Party @ What Meegan Makes

Make It Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House

Show and Share @ Coastal Charm

Something to talk about @Karen’s Upon the Hill

Inspire me Monday @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Mod Mix Monday @ Mod Vintage Life


The Scoop @ Cedar Hill Farm

Trash to Treasures Tuesday @ Kammy’s Korner

Roses of Inspiration @ The Enchanting Rose

Let’s talk Vintage @ Bella Rosa Antiques

Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Through Life


Vintage Inspiration Party @ My Salvaged Treasure

WOW @ Savvy Southern Style

Moon Light and Mason Jars @ Cherished Bliss


Treasure Hunt Thursday @ From My Front Porch to Yours

Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Cup with Mrs. Olson

Share your Style @ The Essence of Home

Blog Hop @ Katherine’s Corner

Idea Box @ Mila’s Little Things


Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home

Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage

Shabbilicious Friday Link Party @ Shabby Art Boutique

Home Sweet Home Party @ The Charm of home

Anythings Blue Friday @ The Dedicated House

Home Matters Linky Party @ Life with Lorelai

Simply Sweet Fridays @ Rooted in Thyme

Friday’s Furniture Fix @ Patina Paradise


Pretty Pintastic Party @ Seeking Lavender Lane

Upcycled Linky Party @ Funky Junk


Sunday’s at Home @ Thoughts from Alice

Silver Pennies Sunday @ Silver Pennies

48 thoughts on “Furniture Distressing Tutorial

  1. It may be a few steps, but worth it! I’ve never heard of that chalk paint, but if it’s not as thick as most, I will keep my eyes peeled for some.


  2. I think this is one of the best tutorials I have ever seen on distressing. I did tons of shabby chic furniture when I had a store, and my husband used to shake his head as I would empty the spray paint cabinet on the ‘before’ layers on all the furniture. The more colors peeking through the cracks in the final product, the BETTER!


  3. Such a great tutorial Jo! I know it takes so much time to put together, so I am especially grateful! I love your talent in decorating! Your home is beautiful!
    hugs from here…


  4. Thank you for this Jo – it’s something I really want to do on my table legs and never knew that Home Depot would have large containers of crackle. I was thinking how many little tiny bottles I would have to buy for the table and watching the dollar signs going off in my head. The HD stuff will be so much better. Now….I wonder….do they have it here in Canada….good question.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My dear Jo, you are simply fabulous! Thank you so much for the tips and tricks on how to distress furniture with paint. I have always wanted to do this, but I must confess that I feel intimidated by it. Some day I must try it 🙂 Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs!


  6. Hi Jo. I am so glad I visited today. I used to do a lot of painting of wood and ceramics and used a lot of techniques that I seem to have forgotten. Everytime I try something new I’m not as happy about it as I used to be. Reading your post and seeing how you do things has brought back a lot of the forgotten things I knew about. I pinned your technique and have signed up to get your posts by e-mail so I can keep up. I will let you know when I tackle something and would love to have you visit the Cottage..Happy Tuesday..Judy


    • Judy I am so thrilled that you stopped by. The techniques on the tutorial are one’s I learned in my twenties. So they really come back when you need them. I’m so glad that you will be following along. I can tell we will be great friends. Have a fabulous evening! Jo


  7. Hi Jo, I’m totally knocked out with your great tutorial, those shutters are amazing, and I just thought they were really old and fabulous! Now they’re just fabulous! what a creation! I’ll be featuring this post on Share Your Style this week. thanks so much for joining in!


  8. Jo, great tutorial! Your shutter truly does look like it has been around for a very long time! Thanks for sharing with SYC.


  9. Wow, I really thought that shutter came off a 100-year-old house! Amazing. You’ve concocted a really great way to give us the looks we want. I have one question. You do a nice job of telling us when to let things dry before the next step, but you didn’t say to let the gel dry before we take a damp rag to it. So, just to be sure, we use the damp rag while the gel is still wet ? Thank you !


    • Patty thank you for your awesome comment. In answer to your question – 1st step, add different colors to your piece. 2nd step, apply crackle. 3rd step, paint on the color that you want. 4th step, apply glaze and then wipe down with a damp rag. Make sure that you let each step dry well. I hope this cleared up some of the confusion. So sorry. Thank you for visiting! Enjoy your day. Jo


      • I appreciate you clarifying it, Jo. It sounded like we wiped the gel with the damp rag right after applying it. Now I know to let the gel dry first. Thanks for taking the time!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. thanks so much for the tutorial.
    I have learned a couple of things from using crackle years ago, when it was popular the first time around.
    It may not be true with these newer products, but then, you could not brush back and forth with your finish paint over the crackle. if you did, it pulled up big chunks of the crackle and redistributed it. (Of course if you wanted a chunky look, it was great)

    The other was that it did not hold up where there was moisture. one of my students had her bed in the garage while they waited for a bedroom to be done, and it got all tacky and goopy.

    have you noticed either of these problems?? hoping newer products are better.

    loved how you did it all, and makes me want to crackle all over again. thanks!
    Be blessed


    • Hi Barb, thank you for visiting. The only thing that I have noticed is that you have to be careful distributing the crackle, it will bunch up. But the tutorial that I watched on it at Vintage Market paints shows that it’s part of the look, so it doesn’t bother me. Waxing after the crackle is dry leaves a beautiful hard finish. I have used it on a lot of pieces even glass and have loved it. Hope you try it again. Jo


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