Goal is the make new (or old) wood look distressed. I used this method in a couple different ways. I'll explain along the way.
Step 1: Step 1: Paint Your Wood Project - Full Coverage
I used black paint for both these wood projects. The frame I used black spray paint. As you can see in this picture the paint has a little sheen to it.
On the wood slats (see Step 2 picture), I used a mix of black and other craft paint to fill the deep holes and fully cover the wood. I distressed the wood by hammering nails, screw and other misc metal parts against the wood.
Step 2: Step 2: Sand Off Your Paint
Sand off most of the paint you put on. I used 150 or 220 grit. You'll have to change sandpaper a couple times, as the paint will fill the sandpaper voids. Get it to a point where you'll like the right mixture of paint and exposed wood.
Step 3: Step 2a: Optional: Paint to Your Liking
I painted the slats to my liking.
Step 4: Step 3: Stain Your Project
Stain your entire project and wipe off the stain. Suggest you follow the directions on the can for time the stain to to stay on the wood. Best if you let the stain dry overnight.
Step 5: Step 4: Wood Is Now Distressed - Continue or Finish Your Project
The frame was made into a wall jewelry holder.
The slats will be made into a sign with chain or rope linking the 3 slats.