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DIY Distressed Frames, Shelves, and Furniture

Distress frames, furniture, and shelves easily in three steps

When we were newly married, we got ready to say goodbye to the bachelor apartment of my singledom. Soon after our wedding day, we found a gorgeous remodelled suite. It was nestled into a dense evergreen forest with a path that came straight from our building’s entrance to a river that followed us all the way to the beach. The parks, proximity to Whole Foods, and natural beauty as well as being a fifteen-minute bus ride to the heart of the city had me thinking we had found our home for years to come. We had a beautiful mural painted on our baby’s nursery wall and got ready to grow into our new place. Little did I know, life would have very different plans for us. Our landlord decided to terminate our lease and move into our home herself a mere eight months after we moved in. Since then, we have moved two more times. First, we moved into our home we would have for the next two years, then my husband got a job offer across the country leading us to move again. It only took that first experience to teach me, when leasing, the best idea is to have transportable decor. And so, picture walls, mirrors, and shelves with decorative items have been my staples. What’s funny is how drab these things can look in no time at all. After our most recent move, I decided to take all of my black IKEA frames and distress them. Fortunately, this is a very easy process.

Here is my super simple way to DIY distressed frames, shelves, and furniture.

DIY Distressed Frames, Shelves, and Furniture

What I use
  • Picture frames, shelves, or furniture
  • A cheap (cheap will give it a less perfect finish) paint brush – size should depend on the item your painting
  • Acrylic paint
  • Sand paper
  • Lacquer
  • Cheap wax candle (really any candle you have will likely do)
What I Do

Take the item you want to distress. Make sure it is clean of dust, dirt, price tags, etc. Option to give it a light sanding, but it isn’t necessary. Take candle and run it along all of the edges, divets, and anywhere you want the paint to come off. Cover in acrylic paint. Paint any which way to give it more of a textured, rough look. Let dry completely. Option to then cover different or the same areas in wax again and then paint with a different colour to have to colours come through at the end. For this particular project, I only used one. Once your final coat is dried, take sandpaper and run it along all of the areas you ran the candle before painting. Then spray with lacquer to finish it off. Once dry, display and enjoy!

Have any questions or have you done this before and have any suggestions? Please share below!

  1. This is a great tutorial. I’ve wanted to distress some furniture and this is super helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I bought a bag of tea lite candles the next day at the store after watching your scope! I can’t wait to try this!!! I will tag you on anything I do!

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