Easy Distressed Painting Technique

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With all the complicated paint techniques out there, how about an easy distressed painting technique?  One you can do in a few minutes.

Furniture makeover | Painting techniques | furniture update | Country Design Style



I used 2 ounces of chalk-based paint to do the whole dresser. 

I jumped at the opportunity to do an easy distressed painting technique inspired by Pottery Barn along with a creative group of furniture painting bloggers.

themed furniture makeover day

The dresser came from a yard sale for $20.  The bones are good, but the veneer is bad.

But bad in a good way!

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The wooden knobs were loose and coming off.  I added vintage-inspired glass knobs.


Then I saw the Pottery Barn Dawsen Media Cabinet.  I L~O~V~E~D the distressed painting technique.  It reminds me of my grandparent’s old bedroom set.  It was originally stained but long before I was born, someone painted it black.  Over the years and grandkids, the paint wore down to the brown underneath.


Here are the tools I used:  Americana Chalky Paint in Carbone, small paint brush, painting latex gloves, and lots of paper towels.  I had a trash can nearby too.

I planned to get messy!


The Americana paint does leave brush strokes unlike some chalky type paints, but I like most brush strokes!  Done well it gives a wholesome hand painted look instead of factory distressing.

This time I wanted a hand rubbed look.

Or paper towel rubbed look!

easy distressing technique | painting furniture | furniture update

Furniture makeover | Painting techniques | furniture update | Country Design Style

Here are close-ups.  In places I rubbed with paper towels and others I rubbed with the brush.

At first, I planned to buy wooden knobs and replace the vintage styled glass knobs.  But I got a better idea!

I painted the glass knobs!

Absolutely my favorite part!  Other glass knobs around the house…beware!


Here’s my finished project.

easy distressing technique | painting furniture | furniture update

Here’s the project with the Pottery Barn Inspiration piece.

That 8 oz. can of paint still has about 6 ounces in the can!!!

Plus I didn’t get messy!

This easy distressed technique inspired these mason jar lids.

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  1. I love this! Did you let the paint sit for a bit before rubbing, or did you rub it off right away?

    1. Allison, thank you for asking and stopping by. Since I used a chalky type paint I could let the paint sit for a few minutes and then rub. A very damp paper towel can help rub back the paint if you wait too long. Jeanette

    1. Thanks Angie, I’ve always love any black furniture. My grandparents were special in my heart. Thanks for visiting. ~Jeanette

  2. Your distressing completely changed the look of your dresser! I love how you added the black to age the wood. That dresser has such good bones and now they really stand out. Love your inspired piece!

  3. Andi Cacciatore says:

    I think it came out great and I DO like the glass knobs painted!

  4. This piece is lovely. Wow, I love the color and the distressed look you created. Awesome work Jeanette. You rock! By the way, thank you so much for stopping by my blog the other day. I appreciate it very much. Have a lovely weekend.

  5. chris aka monkey says:

    first off that dresser is awesome i love the look and the color combo…. second i am sorry i have not been able to connect with you in any of the big marker thingy’s i had to watch grandson because my kid had a job interview and at 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 it is watching and right after i had to go to the doctors again on monday two more doctors appts a ortho and a neuro i am tired of doctor appts xx

    1. Chris, no worries. We will be connecting very soon on the next few create and chats. I love spending time with our grandsons. They live out of state so time is valuable. Take care, Jeanette

  6. Melody @ My Passion For Decor says:

    I really do love this! Perfect solution for a piece with ‘challenges’. I like yours better than the PB version!

  7. Mary Barber says:

    Love it! I have a dresser just like that. I may have to do some thing similar. Just wouldn’t paint the glass knobs..Just me.

  8. Mary Barber says:

    Love it! I have a dresser just like that. I may have to do something similar. I wouldn’t paint the glass knobs though…just me.

    1. Thank you Mary. Let me know how your dresser comes out. Or better, send a photo. I was torn about painting the glass knobs, but I was tired of them. The sparkle of the glass is gorgeous next to the rustic black! Thanks for stopping by. Jeanette

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