Hello, amazing friends, and welcome back! Y’all know one of my favorite finishes for furniture is a distressed look. Today, I’m sharing a painted lowboy that I redid using a super simple method to achieve a fantastic distressed finish by layering paint instead rather than sanding!
This is a piece from the spring of 2020 that many of y’all may have missed as our lives were upended by the virus, so it was a great candidate to share today!
This lowboy was given to me by one of my best friends:
Can I hear it for FREE?? My favorite!
She brought it by 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.
I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.
The first order of business for any furniture makeover is a good cleaning! My go-to cleaner is White Lightning, which comes in a powder form.
I mix one TBSP with a half gallon of warm water and go to town with an applicator pad. (They come two in a pack and the terrycloth material make them perfect for cleaning.)
Gloves are recommended. Then, I swap out my water for clean water and give everything another wipe down to remove any residue.
The next step is to fill any holes or scratches. I wanted to swap out the hardware, so I filled in where the old hardware was using Dixie Mud in brown:
You don’t want rush this part.
I let this sit overnight so that it could dry all the way down in the holes. When I sanded the next day, the filler wasn’t quite flush with the rest of the drawer in a couple of places, so I added a small amount more and let it dry in the sun for about an hour.
When I sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper, it was completely filled and smooth:
I like to clean prior to filling since the Mud is water-soluble when it is still fresh.
How to Layer Paint for a Distressed Finish
Once I vacuumed up all the dust with my shop vac and gave everything a final wipe-down with a clean soft cloth, I was ready for paint.
Luckily, this piece was a bit newer than the antique bleeders I usually work with, so I was able to get right to the fun part…paint!
I painted one coat of Dixie Belle’s Cotton, leaving some of the wood to show 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. You could leave a lot more wood showing for a really distressed look.
I also made sure not to completely cover the white or the wood areas that were peeking through.
And here is what this lowboy 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??
Lyla jumped up on this basket the second I put it there…like I did it just for her!
I love this relaxed look (both the cat and the finish ha ha) …it gives this piece a coastal vibe.
The knobs came from Hobby Lobby. I painted them with two coats of Cotton, leaving areas unpainted on these as well:
The drawers were lined in this pretty fabric:
You can see how I line drawers with fabric in this video:
If you have trouble viewing, find it on YouTube HERE.
Here’s a closer look at the layers…
This was SO quick and easy to do!
I hope you enjoyed seeing this layered paint process. It is a great way to get a distressed finish without a ton of sanding!
I’ll be back to my haul for Tuesday sharing what I did with this super cute chair!
UPDATE: Lucky you…see what I did with it HERE now!
Have a wonderful weekend!
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