Hello, dear friends and welcome back! Today, I’m sharing a super simple way to get the perfect distressed finish without a ton of sanding!
I was planning to share a few baskets I’m working on from my current haul, but I have been in pantry mode ever since our shelves we ordered from IKEA arrived on Thursday (picture me crazy, happy dancing!!), and I just didn’t want to stop to photograph the baskets, so they are coming soon, I promise!
I thought I’d pull out this lowboy makeover I shared last year since the distressed finish is so easy to do that it really deserves another share!
This is a piece that one of my besties gave me:
She brought this over when she dropped off this cabinet she wanted me to paint for her. It’s Ethan Allen and in great shape aside from a couple of small blemishes on the top.
After painting this frame that I shared in one of my Painting the Smalls posts:
I had a request to show more about how I got that distressed look, and this lowboy was the perfect candidate for this easy distressed finish! I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.
First, I started by filling the holes where the old hardware was using Dixie Belle’s Mud in brown:
Don’t rush this part. I let this sit overnight so that it could dry all the way down in the holes. I overfill just a bit so when I sand, it will be flush.
Occasionally, you may need a second quick application. Leaving it in the sun to dry will speed up the process…
When I sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper, it was completely filled and smooth:
How to Get a Distressed Finish without a ton of Sanding
I gave everything one coat of Dixie Belle’s Cotton, leaving some of the wood showing through in several places:
I still painted in nice, even strokes, moving from one edge to the other without stopping, but I was purposely leaving areas unpainted.
I also made sure not to completely cover all the white or the wood areas that were peeking through.
Then I used 220 grit sandpaper (wrapped around an old sanding sponge) to sand all the surfaces lightly. This was more to smooth everything out and show some of the edges rather than to distress. The paint did that for us!
You can see how I apply sealer with a sponge in this video:
If you have trouble viewing, find it on YouTube HERE.
And here is what it looks like now!
Instead of sanding back the paint, I just didn’t cover the previous layer completely!
Can I hear it for LESS work??
And look at my sweet girl, Lyla! She wasn’t even a year old yet in that picture. She follows me around everywhere and jumped up on this basket the second I put it there…like I did it just for her!
I love this relaxed look…it gives this piece a casual coastal vibe.
The knobs came from Hobby Lobby, but I painted them with two coats of Cotton, leaving areas unpainted on these as well:
The top drawer got some pretty fabric:
You can see how I line drawers with fabric HERE.
Here’s a closer look at the distressed finish…
You could get an even more distressed look by leaving more of the original wood finish showing, or by using a lower grit sandpaper like a 100-150 grit and sanding more after.
This was so quick and easy to do!
The customer who bought it planned to use it as a bathroom vanity by adding a vessel sink. I hope that worked out!
Thursday, I’m teaming up with my Furniture Fixer Upper girls, and I’ll be sharing this mini hutch:
I’ll be back with the baskets next week.
How about I leave ya’ll with some of our pantry progress?
Here is the earliest before photo I could find on my phone, back in February of 2020:
We discovered that there was quite a bit of space under our stairs when we had to replace the stair treads after removing the carpet.
My husband immediately busted through the wall once the stairs were finished, and it has taken almost a year and a half to get it to this point:
The post is where the original wall was. And here is what I was working on instead of photographing baskets:
Honestly, who could peel themselves away from this much fun?? He he.
UPDATE: See how beautiful that hutch turned out HERE! Or you can skip to the pantry reveal HERE if you like!
See ya’ll Thursday!
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