How-To: Distressing My Mantel

How-To: Distressing My Mantel

When I first began working on my mantel, I hadn't planned on distressing it but I was feeling daring and creative... plus I knew I could paint over it if I didn't like it :)

You'll need:

  • Sanding blocks (medium and fine grit)
  • Primer (I prefer BIN primer)
  • Cheap paint brush
  • Small foam rollers (2) plus tray
  • Soft bristled brush
  • Furniture paint (I reccommend Benjamin Moore or SICO cabinet and cupboard paint)
  • Small can of stain
  • 2 rags


So here are the steps!

  • Sand the piece of furniture you want to distress to "scuff" up the surface.
  • With a small foam roller and paint brush (for crevices and edges), prime the surface. I use BIN primer. (TIP- don't buy an expensive brush to apply the primer. The primer will destroy the brush, so save your pennies here!)
  • Once dry, apply the furniture paint with a foam roller and soft bristled brush (here is where you can spend the $$ on a decent brush). Once dry, re-apply.
  • Before the final coat, lightly sand the piece again with a fine grit to smooth the the surface from any brush marks, air bubbles or dust, then apply the final coat. (TIP- I like to apply the paint with the foam roller, then go over the entire surface with a smooth bristled brush, always moving it in the same direction, to ensure a very smooth finish).
  • Once the final coat is dry it's time to distress! 
  • Sand the corners and edges of the piece of furniture down through the coats of paint and primer(where furniture usually can wear first). How much you sand the edges depends on how much you want the piece you are working with to distress.
  • Once the sanding is complete, using a rag apply a coloured stain of your choice (I like using MinWax stain and chose a Walnut finish).
  • Begin applying a small amount at first with the rag, then wiping the excess with a clean rag, then re-apply until you are happy with the result. (TIP- I stained my entire mantel, but applied it heavier toward the edges and raised surfaces)
  • Let the stain set, then your done to enjoy your distressed furniture!


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