Getting the "Distressed " look

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Forum topic by bigunz posted 02-09-2015 04:22 PM 1010 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1201 days

02-09-2015 04:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing

HI folks, my name is Anthony Kimber. I am a total newb to woodworking. I have become an addict in a very short while, as the window of opportunity for flyfishing in the great white north in February is the stuff of dreams. That being said, I have been burying myself in all manner of projects to grace my new (old) home. Linen chests, jewelry trees, wood platters/trays. IN other words very basic stuff, when working with hand tools. I have recently purchased a table saw, and have opened up a whole new avenue of possibilities, as I am discovering. I am putting the finishing touches on a very rudimentary, primitive coffee table that I have constructed using scrap 2×6’s, 2×4’s and and old support post that was removed from beneath the main floor to give way to a proper jack post. The beam was a piece of cedar, odd-shaped (4.5×5.5 inches). I liked the ancient look of it, kinda like the way you’d look at a Viking ship, or an old pub table. I sawed it in 4 pieces, and made the legs for the table. I am at the stage where I am just doing the staining/lacquering and would like to know how to obtain the “distressed ” look to the finish. I feel as the materials are from another era, I would like to lend an “aged” look to the table. Your advice/instruction is welcome for this amateur. Cheers, and may your tongues find their grooves.

4 replies so far

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 1211 days

#1 posted 02-09-2015 07:37 PM

Do you want to age the finish alone? or do you want to distress the wood? To distress the finish add heat, sandpaper, Ammonia fumes, and whatever the solvent is for your finish (mineral Spirits, Alcohol, what have you). Apply these to the areas that would have seen the hardest use over the ages. The edges, and the bottom of the legs. The field of the table would be distressed by things being put on it anf dropped on it. If you are distressing the wood, drop chains and other metal objects on the table top.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View bigunz's profile


2 posts in 1201 days

#2 posted 02-09-2015 09:00 PM

Thank you talented, brilliant and humble! Yes, I just want to give the finish an “aged” look. Weatherworn, tired, but not beat up. Much appreciated, cheers mate.

View Joel_B's profile


342 posts in 1378 days

#3 posted 02-09-2015 09:40 PM

I have been working on that myself.
I am experimenting with milk paint.
Paint it on and remove it as desired with either sandpaper or a wet rag.
Then finish with wax or WB poly.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2639 days

#4 posted 02-14-2015 02:19 PM

I believe you are looking to produce a crackle finish. There are several ways to achieve it. If you look HERE, this is one way.

This is what you will get:

-- Respectfully, Paul

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