Introduction: Wet Distressing Technique

About: Country Chic Paint is a beautiful clay-based furniture paint specifically designed for DIYers with a love for refinishing furniture and home decor. This fabulous paint is ultra low VOC and contains little to n…

There are a lot of different ways to distress your piece and everyone has their preference.

Keep this in mind before starting your project:

1) The best temperature to apply paint is room temperature. That’s also the best condition to let your paint dry. If it’s too cold or humid, the paint will take longer to dry, so just keep that in mind.

2) Try this technique on a “sample board” so you can get familiar with it before using it on a piece of furniture.

All Country Chic Paint products used in this tutorial are available at

Step 1: The First Coat

Apply one coat of paint to your piece; let it dry completely. If you’re painting a piece made of raw or primed wood or MDF, then it’ll likely be ready for its second coat within an hour.

If you're painting a previously painted surface, then it's better to give the paint a good chance to cure. For laminated wood or a previous oil-paint layer, we recommend a light sanding before the first coat and curing for at least 24 hours when you are using the wet-distressing technique. Make sure that your first coat of paint is properly cured so that it won’t come off when you distress it.

Step 2: The Second Coat

Apply a second coat in a different/contrasting color. Wait about 1-2 hours until the paint is dry to the touch.

Remember that even though the paint feels dry, it’s still fresh and it hasn’t reached its full “hardness” yet. That’s what you’re taking advantage of when you’re using the wet-distress technique.

Step 3: Distressing

Once your final paint coat is dry, grab yourself a bucket of water and a lint-free rag or scouring pad (kitchen scrubby). Make sure that your cloth is nice and wet, but not so much that it drips. Use the wet rag to gently rub across the surface in a back & forth motion.

Make sure to apply only a little pressure at first, because you don't want to take off more of the paint layer than you intend. You can always apply more pressure if you’d like.

You can choose to distress only the edges of your piece or to distress it on the flat surfaces as well. Play around and have fun! What if it comes out too heavily distressed? No worries! You can always choose to cover with another coat of paint (same color as your second coat) and start the distressing process again.

Other tools & tips

Instead of the wet rag, or scouring pad, you can experiment using and wet/dry sandpaper!

The longer you wait, the harder the paint will dry. So, it’s best to not wait too long before you distress your piece! If you’ve waited too long and the paint has dried on too hard, then you can always use the dry-distressing technique!

Step 4:

Watch this video to see Rosanne wet distressing a chair to reveal Lazy Linen beneath Vintage Cupcake!