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What is a Distressed Finish?

Distressed FinishA distressed finish is used to make new furniture appear old and aged. Distressed finishes are often created by making the paint seem worn or scratched.

A distressed finish is a technique that is used to give new furniture an aged appearance. Distressed finishes are common on antiques, collectibles, trunks, chests of drawers and cabinets. Tarnish and color variations on several types of furniture can add character to a room. A distressed finish can be created in several ways. One technique involves covering the initial layer of paint with a second color. The second layer of paint is then quickly wiped away, which smears it to make it appear worn. Another technique is to sand or scrape a fresh coat of paint after it has dried. The sandpaper will remove small areas of paint to reveal the color that lies below it. A distressed finish can be accentuated with the addition of unique hardware, such as antique drawer pulls or iron hinges.

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