The distressed wood look is still a popular trend. If you can’t get your hands on the real thing, like salvaged wood from a 100-year-old barn, you can recreate the look with paint. With just 2 colors and an inexpensive chip brush, it is really easy to create a distressed wood look. I used this super easy technique on a new ready-made sign.
My friend purchased this “Gather” sign online. It is beautiful. The sign is long and gracefully lettered. It is framed with a rustic wood frame. But she really did not like all the white. Because of that, she asked if I could make it look like distressed wood. Well, of course, I can!. Or at least I would try.
For several years I have been teaching art at WTC-College on the Square. Lately, I have taught several classes using this technique on how to create a distressed wood look on canvas. I have taught that along with hand-lettering. These classes have been some of my most popular classes and they fill up quickly.
At the end of this post, I have a distressed wood look print that you can download for FREE. This particular sign – “Be Still and Know” was not a sign painted during a College on the Square class. I have instructed several fundraising classes with this sign. The first one was for the Godly Girlfriends Retreats in Snyder. Then, I taught one at and for Addiction Recovery Ministries in Mineral Wells. In September, I taught this class at the GG Retreat in Hartville, Ohio.
First step to creating a faux distressed wood look is to protect the frame with painter’s tape or masking tape. No frame? Skip this step!
Supplies you will need. Under $5.00
- Pewter Gray Apple Barrel paint – 50 cents a bottle
- Burnt Umber Apple Barrel paint – 50 cents a bottle
- 2-inch chip brush – about $1.00
- Masking tape or painters tape $1.00 – $3.00
- A few sheets of paper towel
I apologize for using a dirty plate in this photo. I just grabbed one from my stash.
Second step: squeeze a little bit of gray and a little bit of brown onto your styrofoam plate palette.
I know it doesn’t look like a palette but it works. You can also use a paper plate or you could even use a real plate. The acrylic paint cleans up with soap and water. If you get it on your clothes – immediately wet the area with soap and water and remove as much as you can. Once it dries, it is permanent.
Next: Dip your chip brush into both colors.
Start with just a little bit of paint. It is easy to add more but can be very frustrating to remove excess from your sign.
I sweep the bristles across a paper towel to remove globs of paint and separate the bristles a little bit.
Here is a short video on How to Create a Distressed Wood Look
Next: Using a light touch, gently pull the brush in the direction that you want the distressed wood grain to go.
For this sign, I went horizontally across the length of the sign. I worked pulling the brush left to right. Note: In the above
I just love working with paint to create the distressed wood look. Check out my KITCHEN ISLAND MAKEOVER
There was a white gap on the edge of the sign, close to the painter’s tape. I used a small brush – not a chip brush. I dipped the brush into both of the colors and wipe the excess paint off on a paper towel. Dry brush into that area.
Repeat the process on the opposite end of the sign. For me, it was easier to turn the sign around so I could pull the brush from left to right.
The last step to creating this distressed
is to add some extra brush strokes across the length of the sign. I used a nearly DRY chip brush, gently sweep some random streaks across the sign. wood effect
It is important that there is only a scant amount of paint on the bristles for this step.
When the paint is dry, remove the painter’s tape. Step back. Breathe. And enjoy your creative results!!! Good job!!!
I mentioned earlier about the classes where we painted “Be still and Know”. We quote that often. And sometimes, actually often, we grab one verse and maybe don’t pay attention to the verse above and below that favorite verse. The before and after text to Psalm 46: 10 needs to be studied and is so timely for right now. Let’s just back up to verse 6 and then read to the last of verse 10. ” Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:6-10 NIV
Let me know if you enjoyed this tutorial or if you used it. I would love for you to share this with your friends.
”til next time,