There is a right way and a wrong way to distress latex paint using sandpaper. If you use coarse grit sandpaper and go at the paint like a mad man then the paint will be scratched up instead of distressed. I speak from experience.
I distressed the latex paint on this vintage dresser the proper way. I used 220 grit sandpaper and achieved a nice smooth distressed finish without scratches. The finer grit sandpaper and a gentle hand with the sandpaper makes for a perfect distressed paint finish. I made a short video showing you how I distressed the edges and details on the vintage dresser.
Today is Furniture Fixer Upper Day and as usual the girls have outdone themselves with the paint makeovers. Be sure and check them out after I walk you through the dresser makeover!
I have a question for you guys so think about it while reading the project details and looking at the photos. Do you like the contrast of the off-white mirror and gray paint or would you prefer the dresser and mirror be the same color?
The small photo above is a picture from the online auction where I bought the dresser and mirror. I think I paid $65 for the dresser.
Once I got it home I checked it over and it was in pretty good shape. I did put a couple of nails in one of the drawers where the front and side were joined.
As you can see the drawers are solid wood and the joints are dovetailed. The piece was probably pricy in it's day.
There was a lot of dust on the inside and I vacuumed it out before grabbing the Simple Green for an all over cleaning job.
There was dust and lint on the backsides of the drawer pulls too. Always remove drawer pulls and handles before painting furniture.
I also like to put a small piece of painters tape over the drawer pull screw holes on the inside of the drawer front to keep paint from leaking into the drawers.
And since I'm a messy painter I line the outside of the mirror around the frame with painters tape to keep from getting paint on the mirror.
The gray oops paint is Behr Paint & Primer In One Latex paint. I bought it a while ago at Home Depot. It's a pretty color but I decided to lighten it up a bit.
I poured a bit of off-white paint from a small sample jar into the gray paint until I was happy with the color.
Does the mirror seem a little frufru for the dresser or is that just me? I painted it with Behr color Swiss Coffee.
The paint was really, really, white and I felt it would definitely be too much of a contrast to the gray paint. So I added a bit of the gray paint to the white just to give it a gray tone and darken the paint just a bit. Then I brushed on a second coat of paint.
I also mixed paint colors for the drawer pulls. I wanted the pulls to be just a tad darker than the dresser.
I really can't tell much difference in the drawer pull color and the dresser color when looking at the finished dresser.
Everyone knows distressing paint adds depth and it is an easy job to distress drawer pulls. I used 3M flexible 22o grit sandpaper to distress the drawer pulls. The higher the grit number on sandpaper the finer the abrasive.
The sandpaper grits I use most frequently are 80, 100, 150, and 220. The 80 grit is the coarsest and I use it for really hard to distress paint like for furniture that has been painted a long time.
I also used the 220 grit sandpaper on the mirror and the body of the dresser. The edges of the mirror along with the curvy details of the mirror frame are the perfect areas for distressing.
Then I distressed the front edges of the drawers and the nice groove details on the sides of the dresser and any other edges or corners I could find.
Remember I used oops paint on the dresser. You can see a chest of drawers I painted with the gray oops paint here.
It's true that distressed paint adds depth and character to furniture. More often than not I distress my painted pieces. Just me, but I love the look.
Now you can take a look at the short video I made while distressing areas of the dresser. See it below. If you can't see the arrow to start the video you probably have an adblocker on your browser. Just turn it off for a bit and you're good to go.
Video- How to Distress Latex Painted Furniture with Sandpaper
So what do you think about the white mirror and the gray dresser.....too much of a contrast.....or just right. Leave a note if you have time before heading out on the Furniture Fixer Upper Tour.
To take the tour just click on the pink text links below the "before" makeovers photo collage....
Furniture Fixer Uppers Tour:
Thrift Store Desk Makeover from Confessions of a Serial DIY’er
Paint Furniture With Black Chalk Paint from Girl In The Garage
Transfers On Painted Fabric from Salvaged Inspirations
As always, thanks for being here and have a great day, 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.