Distress with Less Mess

If you’re like me, you might have a garage that’s jammed packed with projects. That means there is little room for movement, let alone space to work with paint and a brush. So, much to my husband’s dismay, I’ve been working on projects in our finished basement. I am super careful and cover everything but inevitably it gets pretty dusty and dirty. I wipe everything down frequently, including the 55″ flat screen. Priorities.

When my friend Debbie and I were discussing chalk paint techniques the other day, she shared a new way to distress a piece. At the Lucketts Spring Market a few weeks ago, she bought a side table from a woman who used CeCe Cauldwell Paint. The woman shared that to distress the piece, she simply used a wet rag after the paint dried and wiped the edges down to the wood. What happens to the overall look is almost the same as if you took a piece of sand paper to it! The difference is a smoother look with much less mess and dust to clean up! I’m on board with that so I tried it on two end tables this weekend.

I bought these darling tables from a friend. They belonged to her grandmother and she didn’t have the space for them.


Here is a contrasting look at them. The one on the left has one coat of Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey. There is already such an updated and sweet change in them with a lighter color.


Now, in my excitement to try the new distressing technique, I forgot to take a picture of the process. However, it’s pretty self-explanatory. I simply took one of the clean T-shirts I use for waxing and got it slightly damp. After I applied another coat of Paris Grey and let it dry, I got to work on “roughing” up the tables. Gently rubbing the edges took off the paint really nicely. It was so much cleaner than sanding!!

The results were beautiful in my opinion. I sealed the paint in protective clear wax and buffed it to a slight sheen right after application.





These charming tables are now for sale in my shop and on Furnishly.

Please send me an email at thepaintedbranch@gmail.com if you are interested in giving these a new home.


2 thoughts on “Distress with Less Mess

    • Yes, Laura! With any technique used with chalk paint, nothing is permanent! Even if you completely waxed and finished a piece and you hated it, just paint right over it and start again! It’s gives you a little insurance doesn’t it? :o)

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