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Antiquing or Distressing Furniture

To distress a piece of furniture care should be taken of the natural wear and tear received by such a piece, in the course of natural use.
Those areas normally, kicked, scraped or hit regularly by, chairs, vacuum cleaners, people passing, etc. should therefore be dented according to such wear.
Different tools should be used from differing angles so that the distressing should not become familiar to the tool.
Make the distressing look natural, think how such an area would have received such wear.
Around key holes the distressing should be circular with the keyhole as center with most of the distressing on the lower side.
Look at existing old pieces whom have received such wear in the normal course of existence, don't try to imitate "distressed pieces" as you want the distressing to look normal.
Borer holes can be imitated by punching with a small round tool or by flicking black ink of a comb, try different loadings, inks and flickings on paper first.
Table and Desktops should be distressed as in normal wear e.g. the areas which one sit on more than those away from use pieces which have normally a vase or center piece in the middle should be darkened in this area as this would not have been bleached by sunlight.
Bleached or washed out areas can be made to look so by applying a, water based shellac solution
To darken areas such as legs, dents and crevices, raw umber, burned umber or a mixture of both can be mixed with Titebond® Glue and water with a drop of detergent.
This then may be liberally applied with brush or sponge, after which the excess is removed with a drier sponge or cloth to the darkening which most suits this area.
A thin coat of french polish should be applied over this once dry to protect excessive wear.
Wax finished items should not be protected with french polish but with a thin layer of wax instead.
Darkening of those pieces may be done with the pigments bound in some wax such as Prelude Oil & Wax.
This then can be lightened with