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Black Furniture Heavily Distressed

Distressing paint adds another dimension to the furniture. It gives it depth and character. This piece I painted and distressed is painted black! I love black furniture. Every room should have a piece of black furniture. It fits in causal settings as well as upscale rooms. I say black furniture is like the little black dress. It can be dressed up, dressed down, and goes anywhere.

distressing furniture

I went a little crazy with the distressing. They don’t call me the “Queen of Distressing” for nothing.

before furniture makeover Petticoat Junktion

This is the before. Now maybe you see the reason for the heavy distressing. The chest/cabinet/whatever had a few chunks of wood missing and the right door is warped among other things. I find with pieces like this that it’s easier to play up the flaws.

installing magnetic cabinet door closure Petticoat Junktion

The JTS added the little magnet closures to the inside of the cabinet and the doors. The original ones were missing and the doors wouldn’t stay closed. We bought the replacement pieces at The Home Depot. It was an easy fix.

black furniture project Petticoat Junktion

I used Beyond Paint in Licorice for the finish. The paint is an all-in-one primer, paint, and sealer. The sheen of the paint is really nice. I say it’s between flat and satin.

distressing furniture paint

Distressing Furniture By Hand

I distressed the piece by hand using 150 grit sandpaper. Distressing paint by hand is a lot more work but I have more control over the look that way.

dark wax for furniture Petticoat Junktion

You can see how the distressing leaves the wood all raw looking and the black paint has a gray smudged look. The Howards Wax in Golden Oak takes care of all those problems. It gives the raw wood color and covers the white hazy look on the paint.

heavily distressed furniture Petticoat Junktion

See how nice and aged the distressed wood looks now.

heavily distressed black furniture Petticoat Junktion 2

There was one drawer pull missing and I couldn’t find a matching one in my hardware stash. I found one that worked and gave the piece a little quirky look. See the drawer pull on the bottom left side of the drawer?

I enjoy throwing in an unexpected touch or two. I did have to drill a hole for the pull because the replacement pull had only one center screw. Luckily the pull covered the two holes from the original drawer pull….mostly. I did add wood filler to the holes before painting.

That’s it folks. What do you think of the piece? I know you don’t like this much distressing Regina. I know my readers pretty well. I love all you guys. Thanks for being here.


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


  1. Just to clarify for myself as I’m about to embark on a black distressed piece…you used the stained wax over the black paint as well?

  2. I love the distressed look on black pieces! It’s nice how forgiving it is and tends to hide or blend in those imperfections in the piece. Thanks for sharing with us at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link. I’ll be pinning the pieces you shared!

  3. It looks great! Thanks for sharing with us at the Merry Monday link party. I hope you’ll join us again next week. Sharing your post on Twitter!

  4. I love it! I’ve been all about white lately but seeing the black stuff, like this, makes me wonder if i need a bit more black in my life again! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing. Saw your link on Funky Junk.

  5. I love the way the table looks. I am really into the black look and finally found a piece garage saleing, did I just make up a word? I can’t wait to get started. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Your cabinet looks amazing! I’ve been looking for something just like that for a bar cabinet in our basement. You’ve inspired me to look beyond the color of the wood.

  7. Way to bring new life back to that little piece! Huge fan of black furniture, and you did a great job!

  8. I think using black to hide the orange is a great idea. And the orange can peak out just a little. Your piece looks fantastic.

  9. I absolutely love this piece! I love the matte look of it; distressing is spot on. Great makeover, Kathy!
    Reclaim paint is new to me….if you’ve posted about it I must have missed it. How is it to work with?

  10. The distressing on this piece is just perfect. I am amazed at how black paint makes every piece of furniture look so much better.

  11. Pretty makeover! The distressing looks great with the black paint. I need to try the Howard’s Wax that you’ve recommended.

  12. Kathy, I cant’ believe the differnece! Its like night and day!
    Great job

  13. I love how you work “with” the imperfections Kathy and yes, adding the mismatched drawer pull adds to the character. I would have never been brave enough to do that, but you’ve inspired me to loosen up a little! Nice job on this piece girl 🙂

  14. I adore this piece. There is something about distress black furniture that makes my heart go pitter pat!

  15. What a transformation Kathy! I LOVE it! Didn’t notice the non-matching pull at first. Well done!

  16. Distressing always looks so fantastic on black furniture. That hint of golden wood looks sunkissed in the best possible way. Great piece with a whole new look! 🙂

  17. Haha! Glad I check in today and saw my name in print. Thanks for the mention. I like this piece, and black was the perfect choice. I like the black painted hardware, too.

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