Introduction: How to Create a Distressed Black Finish (easy)

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How to create a black, distressed finish using only 4 items: sanding sponge, tack cloth, primer and lacquer.

Step 1: Products Used

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Medium - fine sanding sponge
Tack cloth
Rustoleum Painters Touch 2x Black Primer
Old Masters Brushing Lacquer

Step 2: Sand Surface & Remove Dust

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Using a medium fine sanding sponge, sand all surfaces. The idea isn't to remove the existing finish, but to rough it up a tad. The surface should look chalky, even when you try to wipe away the dust. Next, remove all dust with a tack cloth.

Step 3: Apply Primer

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Apply one coat of primer to entire surface. Leave flat while painting and until dry. This product covers so well, there is no need for black paint!

Tip: Walk around all sides of the piece you are painting to ensure you are not missing any spots.

Step 4: Once Dry, Distress!

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This is when the piece comes to life! Using your sponge, begin sanding away (as much or as little) primer from all corners, edges and "high spots."

To prevent a scratched appearance, once you have sanded all edges, gently sand over the entire piece (even the areas you did not distress).

Step 5: Remove All Dust

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Use your tack cloth to remove all dust.

Step 6: Apply Clearcoat

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For this project, I used Old Masters Brushing Lacquer. Despite the name, it is a spray - not a brush - on product.

When it comes to clear coat application, applying several light coats is a must. I applied 4-5 light coats of lacquer, allowing it to dry between coats.

Note: Lacquer is very sensitive to temperature and humidity. If the conditions are outside of the range recommended on the package, do not use it.

An alternative (slower drying) option to a spray lacquer is a spray polyurethane. It dries more slowly and tends to be more forgiving.

Step 7: Ta Da!

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That's it! Start to finish (in ideal temperature & humidity conditions), the project took less than one hour to dry completely.

For instructions on making the twin headboard shown in the photos (made from cabinet doors!):
https://www.instructables.com/id/ELFPO72HZS8SYJ4/?lang=en

Comments

ThomasW240 (author)2017-02-13

How funny! I just bought the paints today on a whim to try the same thing. However, since I'm working with a piece made from naked maple and finished oak, I bought a can of beige primer to act as the "wear" areas, and a pint of black Behr paint for the top coat. Give me about a week and I'll post follow up images of the hybrid process.

dhooks111490 (author)2016-11-04

Fantastic write up. I've done 3 peices with your technique and doing to more this eekend.

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-09-07

It looks really nice! Thanks for sharing!

Thanks! :)

tomatoskins (author)2014-09-07

Looks great!

Thanks so much! :)

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Bio: With tens of thousands of cabinet doors to choose from at our shop ($5 ea!) the real question is...what to make next?! Want more ... More »
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