Distressing Furniture on the Cheap

I, for one, am so glad that distressed furniture is in. With two kids that are “full of life,” Shabby Chic is the best thing to ever happen to our family. Over the years I’ve learned that layering on a couple of contrasting colors and sanding down the edges is the way to go, but I discovered another inexpensive way to “wear out” a perfectly good piece of furniture. Or at least a find from Goodwill with great bones. Shoe polish. Here’s my stash:


That’s right, sometimes a touch of patina adds just a little extra umph to a painted and sanded piece, and a bit of brown and/or black wax shoe polish is a cheap and easy way to achieve the look. Take a look at this armoire I inherited from my sister-in-law.

IMG_3741The photo above shows her after a quick coat or two of cream spray paint, and a little shoe polish on the right side. I like to use an old washcloth for the larger areas, but…


for the more detailed parts I like to use an old make-up brush to get down into the crevices.

IMG_3747If I get a little heavy-handed, all I have to do is either keep buffing or sand it down a bit. The great part is that you can’t mess it up! Just buff and sand until you get the desired effect.


Truly, this is a cheap, easy and foolproof way to shabby up your furniture. Just remember-your furniture should be distressed, not you! Happy distressing!


2 thoughts on “Distressing Furniture on the Cheap

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