This is the best way to distress paint without the dust and the mess. You will not have to wear a mask or goggles or dust yourself off using this distressing technique. The coolest thing about this technique is you can highlight the original stained finish instead of sanding or distressing down to bare new looking wood.
I used baby wipes to distress this painted antique table because I wanted to highlight the beautifully aged alligatored finish. The distressed finish is the perfect compliment to my antique table. I think I did it proud.
My original plan was to paint the table base black and paint the top with black and white stripes. I’m so glad I didn’t go with that plan. Too modern for this table.
I’m sharing all the details for this paint technique because I want you to try it. Your project doesn’t have to be furniture, you can do this on home décor accessories too. I have tips and tricks learned after using the baby wipes on several projects. Keep reading. Today is the Furniture Fixer Upper Tour and I have to say the projects for our first tour of 2019 are awesome. Links are at the bottom of the post.
I bought the table at my favorite junk shop for $15. The top was a mess. There was a chunk of wood missing from one side of the top and there were several places where the original finish was worn away.
And then there was the alligatoring. The vocabulary dictionary gives this description of alligatored….. having the appearance of alligator hide. I don't know anything about alligator hide but I think the rough finish is neat looking and it looks even better painted and distressed. I think the alligatoring has something to do with the varnish and heat…..maybe. I bet one of you can help me out.
The table looks great. It doesn’t really fit my décor or I would keep it. The color isn’t exactly right and the height is all wrong for any place in our home.
I applied one coat of FolkArt Home Décor Chalk, color French Linen, to the table and decided the color was too light. No oomph.
I went to my paint stash and found the FolkArt Texture Chalk, color Wet Sand. Perfect. This paint is thick and can be mushed on for texture or brushed on for a smooth look. I went with smooth after all the table finish was already a bit textured.
Both of the chalk finish paints cover great. One coat of Wet Sand over the French Linen was all the table needed. No waste of paint because the first paint layer served as a basecoat. This is by far my favorite brush for chalk. The paint loads well and brushes on smoothly.
Moving on to the fun part…..distressing the paint. Now to do this right you have to distress the paint just after it has dried. Wait too long and the paint will not come off unless you use sandpaper and that doesn’t give us the look we're going for here. We want the dark original finish to shine through after the distressing….not raw wood.
I worked with one section of the table at a time. Some of the areas didn’t want to let go of the paint. I wiped over these areas several times with the baby wipes to just barely dampen the paint. Then I was able to go back and rub……hard….to remove the paint. It’s up to you how heavy to distress. The baby wipes do get coated with paint and they might leave a very light film (almost unnoticeable) of paint over the distressed areas.
TIP: I find it’s best to get a fresh baby wipe and remove this film in order to showcase the original dark wood finish. Just wipe over the distressed area several times with the fresh wipe.
Last step is to apply a coat of neutral (clear) wax over the chalk finish to seal the paint. I sometimes skip this process because I like the flat look of the chalk. The wax gives it just a bit of sheen. My go-to wax is Howard's because it is inexpensive compared to most branded furniture waxes and the sheen it leaves after a nice buffing is perfection. (find the wax on Amazon here)
There was no alligatoring on the top of the table. I distressed the edges and the top where the boards were glued together.
The color is nice and neutral. My red vintage finds make fun photo props and the red really pops against the sand color. PIN THIS PROJECT FOR LATER (CLICK HERE)
What do you think of the baby wipe distressing no dust no mess technique? Do you think I did justice to the antique table? Another project I used this technique on can be found here….Turquoise Table.
I found you can also wet distress furniture by using a household cleaner like Simple Green. I made a video of the process and you can watch it below....
Wet Distress Paint
Time to visit my talented friends. Links to their makeovers are below the “before” photo collage…
Silver Metallic Furniture - Just The Woods
Nine Drawer Dresser Makeover - The Interior Frugalista
Felted Wood Footstools - Prodigal Pieces
Drop-Leaf Table Makeover - Confessions Of A Serial Diyer
Faux Stain Furniture - Girl In The Garage
Paint And Distress Antique Furniture - Petticoat Junktion (you are here)
Thanks for being here and have a great weekend, Kathy