Distress furniture using baby wipes with this wet distress no mess technique. This type of distressing shows the beauty of the original finish instead of raw wood. I found this technique easy as pie and even more impressive......there is no mess like you get with sanding.
I found the table at my favorite junk shop in Kentucky. The finish was so dark I thought it was time to lighten it up. What better color than turquoise? Happy Color. And with all those details on the tabletop apron distressing the paint was a must.
You know how the dust flies when using sandpaper. Well, no worries with this baby wipe distress technique
There are many ways to distress painted furniture, and depending on the piece and the type of paint one distressing process may be better than another.
The finish on the table was not in great shape, so I decided to paint it. The top had several rough parts and splotches of white paint in some areas. I only sanded the top lightly and then applied my favorite Glidden Gripper Primer tinted gray to the top.
This gave me a solid color base for the top coat. I like to have the primer tinted gray because gray is so much easier to cover than white primer.
I’m still trying to use all my leftover paint before buying more. I mixed three colors of Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint together to make a beachy blue color.
The blue was beautiful but just ho-hum. I knew there were some pretty details along the top edge so on to the distressing.
I grabbed the pack of baby wipes and rubbed the paint off the raised details. One thing I noticed is when I wiped the paint off and kept using the same baby wipe the blue color that rubbed onto the baby wipe left a light layer of blue paint on the already distressed area.
I used an inexpensive brand of baby wipes from Walmart. I don't think it matters what kind of wipes you use although I haven't tested other wipes. I'm not sure what it is about the wipes that remove the paint, but I know they work better than using a thin towel dampened with water.
This is when I grabbed a new wipe to wipe off the light layer of paint. And I had to keep doing that. Once I had an area distressed I went over it with a fresh wipe to remove the leftover blue film. I didn’t have to grab a new wipe every time just use an area of the baby wipe that didn’t have blue paint on it.
My other concern with the baby wipes was distressing the paint before it set very long. You want the finish to be dry but JUST dry. I had Miss Sofi and her friend from across the street that afternoon; they needed a bit of attention. The paint dried a little longer than I would have liked and was adhered pretty well. That means I had to rub harder!
The table's original finish had crackled in spots, and those areas look soooooo good distressed. The paint sets in those pitted areas and when distressed the paint settles there. Would you like to see how to layer paint using Vaseline? I've got the tutorial for you here....Vaseline Paint Layering Technique For Furniture.
The photo above shows how the table looks after being painted and distressed with baby wipes. You can see the original dark stained finish where I used the baby wipes to remove the paint over the finish. It seems weird to paint something and then remove the color, but the look is trendy and the distressing gives depth to any painted furniture.
That’s all it was to the process. If you want to distress painted furniture using baby wipes you could work on a practice board before starting your project. Just paint a board of any type, wait for the paint to dry, and go to work. Since the color gave off a beachy vibe I decorated the table using seashells and nautical décor.
I should mention why using baby wipes for distressing is a good thing. The original finish doesn’t get sanded off. You get to see the lovely dark finish and it’s a nice contrast to the turquoise blue. When you distress furniture with sandpaper you often sand down to bare wood because the sandpaper is rough, and the bare wood looks raw and unfinished. It's always nice to showcase the original stained finish using baby wipes or the wet distress technique.
Painting furniture isn't hard and it isn't time-consuming. You can paint a piece of furniture and have it back in place in one day. Really. Maybe you could start on an easy project. Look around your house and pick out a piece to paint.
As always thanks for being here, Kathy
Author: Kathy Owen (Petticoat Junktion)
Kathy is the founder of PetticoatJunktion.com, a home décor blog focused on repurposing and upcycling furniture, old hardware, rusty stuff, and thrifty finds into unique home décor. Kathy’s projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Read more about Kathy here.