D. I. Why Not?-distressed furniture on a budget



I realise I’ve been completely rubbish at blogposts recently.

I’m moving into a new flat and furnishing it and I’ve been kept super busy by the whole thing.

Because I’m a student I have to keep the whole thing budget friendly, so I bought a comfy divan bed from a second hand shop. It had the world’s ugliest blue print but I already had plans for the divan base. I painted it in a layer of good quality cream paint, and put my girly bedlinen and homemade quilt on and now it completely looks the part.
With fairy lights!
(Everything looks better with fairy lights.)

For the kitchen obviously wanted something pretty (to take food pictures on obvs), and I really had my heart set on some distressed furniture. That’s completely outside my budget, so instead I picked up a table and 4 chairs for £30 at the same second hand shop and got cracking.

These chairs were literally horrendous, with an ugly green and blue tartan fabric seating material. The table was sturdy but worn, with lots of coffee rings on the surface.
My before pictures are a wee bit rubbish I’m sorry- I’d already started when it occurred to me that they might be a good idea.

 I started with a good quality matt white paint and painted the table top. In the end I think it took 3 coats before I got a nice thick even layer. The wood of the chairs got the same treatment, but a bit less meticulously (more on me than on the chair). The surfaces of the chairs would be taking less abuse than the tabletop anyway. They got 2(ish coats), with drying time in between.

The fabric of the chairs was more of an issue. I knew reupholstery can be quite expensive, and had heard of painting over fabric before. To be honest, there wasn’t much to lose with these chairs, given the fabric wasn’t particularly comfy and it was a bit sore of the eye- anything would have been an improvement.
I added a baby blue matt paint to the chair seat, this took about 2-3 coats, with the nice thick matt paint I had, but would maybe need more with a thinner paint. In between coats, once the paint had dried, I sanded the surface of the fabric to reduce any roughness/stiffness that had built up. In the end the fabric feels a bit like outdoor furniture, not amazingly comfy, but it never was to begin with.


(In between coats)

When it came to distressing the painted wood I basically just went wild with a sandpaper block. Making sure to distress areas where wear would have naturally occurred, such as edges and corners, and working along with the grain of the wood. For a more blistered effect you could apply vaseline to the places you wanted the wood to show through, prior to painting, as this prevents the paint sticking.


Then to top it all off I just gave them a polish with furniture wax, and sat down with a cuppa tea (and sore arms). Photos aren’t amazing because it was getting dark but it was so worth it in the end up, I’d seriously encourage everyone to give it a go (all though if you can afford to buy ready distressed then defs do that instead). 

Lots of love, 




2 thoughts on “D. I. Why Not?-distressed furniture on a budget

  1. It seems we share a love of baking and homeware! We’re moving soon too and have acquired my great grandmas drop leaf table and 4 chairs. My sister who has been its keeper for the last 10 years was horrified to learn I plan to strip it and get to work with white chalk paint ! Eek!

    I am in love with your blog btw, I completely envy your bake along 😊

    Kate x


    1. I genuinely think I’m actually 110 years old. I’ve reached granny peak stage a bit early I’m afraid. Ooh that sounds completely gorgeous! She’ll be eating her own words once she sees it all done up in the chalk.
      Awh thank you lovely! It’s so nice that anyone reads it at all, never mind that they actually like what I’m saying. Good luck in your lovely vintage project!xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

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