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Painting the Rustic Look on Wood

The rustic look for furniture and other objects is the appearance that something that is new is old or antique. You can create this effect with any combination of colors, but for a true rustic look, use older-looking colors, such as mustards, browns, avocado greens and other colors from past eras.

Painting the rustic look requires just a few simple supplies.

The rustic look for furniture and other objects is the appearance that something that is new is old or antique. You can create this effect with any combination of colors, but for a true rustic look, use older-looking colors, such as mustards, browns, avocado greens and other colors from past eras. The rustic look is not difficult to paint, and many decorators will enjoy the process of creating a fake worn look to wood pieces that give the object a rustic flair.

  1. Sand the wood with sandpaper until the surface is clean and smooth. Wipe the wood with a soft cloth to remove any sawdust.

  2. Paint the entire wood piece with two coats of primer. Allow the primer to dry for two hours.

  3. Apply a base coat of a light color to the wood piece. Allow the paint to dry two hours.

  4. Rub some wax randomly over the wood in areas that you want to appear distressed. Add wax around any door handles, pull knobs, the edges of the object and near the base of the object. This will prevent the second color of paint from sticking to these areas.

  5. Paint the top color over the entire piece of wood. Allow the top coat to dry. Apply a second coat to the object, if desired.

  6. Sand the object lightly. Sand more heavily around the areas that were waxed. The paint should easily chip and sand away from the waxed areas. Wipe the wood with a damp cloth to remove wax and paint residue.

  7. Coat the entire piece of wood in a clear sealer. This will prevent any further chipping and protect the paint finish from real wear and tear. Allow the sealer to dry 24 hours before moving or using the object.

About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.