Home » Painted Furniture » How To Distress Already Painted Furniture

How To Distress Already Painted Furniture

Did you know you can distress already painted furniture? No reason you can’t. Buy painted furniture and then distress to your happy look.

Do you guys buy painted furniture or do you paint the furniture yourself. Or maybe you don’t even like painted furniture. That’s okay. Although if you’re a regular visitor here I’m pretty sure you have a thing for paint.

silver furniture hardware

Sometimes you run across a piece of furniture at the thrift store or junk shop and it’s already painted. You might like it but it’s not quite your style.

How To Distress Already Painted Furniture

A simple change like new knobs, distressing, or maybe stenciling, will give the furniture a whole new look.

thirft store painted furniture

Buy Painted Furniture

I bought this dresser at my favorite junk shop for $30. I knew immediately that I would work with the pretty silvery blue paint and not repaint the dresser. I even had a plan.

furniture fixer uppers with 6 diy furniture bloggers 600

This project is featured for Furniture Fixer Upper day and my wonderfully talented painting buddies have projects today too. The links are at the bottom of this post.

drawer repair

As with a lot of used furniture projects there were a few repairs that needed to be done to the dresser. The JTS (aka Junktion Technical Specialist, aka hubby) takes care of repairs for me. He’s a good guy.

scratch cover for dinged furniture

There were a few minor dings on the stained top and I used the Minwax touch up marker to take care of those. A 2 minute job tops.

distressing the paint

Since the paint was scratched and rubbed in a few places I sanded the piece all over with a power sander.

applying dark wax to make raw wood look aged

Then I used Howard’s Wax in Golden Oak to make the raw wood look aged. You can see on the left side of the photo how the wax darkens the distressed areas. It’s a subtle change but one that makes a big difference.

I made a short, short video when I was distressing a white chest of drawers. It explains everything. See it here…..

How To Distress Furniture

furniture knobs from Habitat Restore

The dresser had 4 gold tone knobs on the top drawers that needed changing out. The silver tone furniture knobs I found in my stash were perfect. I have a ton of these knobs. I bought them at Habitat Restore a long time ago. They were 25 cent each. I replaced the knobs on our bathroom vanity with these also. They look much better than the standard knobs.

Buy Painted Furniture And Make It Your Own

The original paint is a very soft silvery blue. The color is lovely and the stained top is the perfect contrast.

distress paint on furniture

The distressing isn’t overly done. Just right.

painted dresser with stained top

The original knobs on the bottom drawers were spray painted silver and are in great shape. No need to change those out. Sooooo, sometimes you don’t need to paint furniture, just work with what is there.

how to distress already painted furniture


This is the third or fourth project where I’ve made changes to the original paint and came up with a whole new look. A couple of the projects are below. Just click the pink text links to see the new looks.

sad white chest

You would not believe this chest is the same one when you see the after photos here…..Red White Blue Chest of Drawers.

blue dresser before

See how this blue dresser came to life with the addition of red knobs.

Time to see what my fellow furniture painters have for us today. Just click the pink text links below the “before” photo collage.before collage furniture fixer uppers October

Girl In The Garage
Just The Woods
Prodigal Pieces
Petticoat Junktion (you are here)

You guys have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week!

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I cannot believe I actually found this particular information!! I have been looking for examples of distressing already painted furniture. I buy old pieces and I don’t want to completely redo them, especially if they have an already aged and authentic look. So I have been trying to find someone somewhere who did this kind of redo! And here you are! thank you! Your work is gorgeous!!

  2. I love those knobs you had bought. I prefer silver over gold. You always have a wonderful vision of what something can be with just some work. Thar is why you are so talented!

  3. I’m glad you were able to save this piece. The top is beautiful and the front looks so much better with the distressed and waxed edges. (And your photos are soo pretty, Kathy! Now I want some pink flowers too.)

  4. I absolutely love this piece now! The distressing made such a huge difference and what a steal on those pretty knobs. I usually avoid already-painted furniture, but maybe I need to be a little more open-minded from now on! XOXO

  5. Those Minwax markers are the best! Huh, you have me rethinking previously painted furniture. My first impulse is to slap on fresh paint but after seeing this I think I’ll step back first and assess. The new knobs paired with the painted originals dress this piece up beautifully.

  6. nice save! I usually avoid painted pieces, but you may have swayed me a little 🙂 Love those new knobs- theyre perfect

  7. What a save, Kathy! I love the new knobs and your touches make it perfect.