The distressed style is a very budget-friendly option when it comes to redecorating. By going with this old, chic style you can shop at yard sales, discount wood shops and make use of favorite old pieces of slightly worn furniture that you might already have in your home. In most cases the furniture is usually painted white, and scuffs and dents and other imperfections in the paint - as well as in the wood of the furniture - are quite acceptable.
A good starting piece for your project would be a wooden desk. Most of us have a desk in our homes and the shape is very friendly to new DIY painters. Your first step is to clean the desk, removing all dust and dirt with a dry cloth; then, wash it with a mild soap. Make sure that any grease buildup from fingerprints has been removed.
Next comes the dirty part of the job, sanding. Any grain of paper will do. Sand your desk harder in some spots, lighter in others. You're going for an uneven effect and you don't have to worry about taking too much or not enough off. When you are satisfied with the look of the desk, remove the dust with a soft dry cloth.
Now you must prime the wood. Either a brush or a roller will do. A brush will give you more rustic look, a roller will give a smoother look. Priming helps the paint go on better and assures that your painting technique works well. Let you primer dry and then you can decide if you wish to distress the furniture.
Distressing means that you will use a nail or a screwdriver to dig into the wood, leaving marks that look like worm holes. You might hit the wood with a hammer to leave dents. You may also want to emphasis the marks by using a stain wash: this is any wood stain mixed with water. Wipe over the marks lightly and let dry.
Your base coat is next; a light tan color is usually the choice, although a yellow will give a nice soft effect as well. This acts as a secondary color, one that shows through the painting technique which comes next. Let your base coat dry completely before the next step.
Choose your white paint. Antique or Ivory are always good selections. Your desk is nearly done. Let your paint dry and rough it up with the sand paper. Wipe clean and use you stain mixture to accent those marks again. Wipe that off and you are finished.
You can use this simple technique on white beds or white bookcases, white drawers and any other pieces that you wish to redo in the distressed, cottage chic fashion.