Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Have you ever noticed that some distressed furniture looks better than others? I have. So I asked Teresa Eliason of Relics in Abilene for tips on how she gives her furniture such a rich look, and she was nice enough to tell me.

Tip #1: Teresa says she only uses oil based paints! OK, I admit I’m lazy and use water-cleanup paint. But after seeing the pieces that Teresa does, that time of my life is over. It’s oil based paint for me from now on!

Tip #2: Teresa uses sandpaper to hand sand edges and other areas that she wants to mimic wear and tear. This, as we all know, reveals the wood underneath. You might not think this is such a big deal, but after my cousin M and I looked at pieces in other stores, we could see tell-tell skip marks of electric sanders. What a difference hand sanding makes.

Tip #3: Teresa then rubs those bare edges and areas with a stain/wax. She uses the one shown here, a medium dark stain, but I’m sure there are other good brands out there. Teresa did warn not to get the stain/wax onto the paint as it can cloud the paint.

Now none of these tips seem earth-shattering, but put together they sure provide a rich look.

This room screen in Teresa's shop looks like it is made from old doors, but it’s not. The doors were bought new and distressed for that wonderful, old patina that we all love. Teresa also pointed out that all hinges on screens and doors don’t have to match.
Another shop in Abilene that did a good job on distressing was Stokes Chic Antiques, owned by Dalia Stokes. Instead of rubbing distressed areas with stain/wax, Stokes Chic used gold paint to really make the turquoise pop on this end table.

Don’t you just love great shops that shares their secrets?


  1. I do appreciate when people share, just like you did. Thanks

  2. Can my ordinary old beat up hand-me-downs aspire to the more classy 'distreessd status' by having their nicks, scratches,and
    bruises rubbed with stain/wax?
    Is stain/wax one product or two?
    You can see that I am even more
    ignorant than a total Know-nothing.

    To my horror, I rubbed off the
    patina, or whatever it was, from
    the arm of a very old rocking chair. Now what do I do to minimize (preferably 'restore') it? It's been 5 years and I'm still in agony over what I did. And, if it can get any worse, a
    pooch also chewed gouges and
    pits in one of the rockers.
    This chair is really distressed,
    but as wounded as it is, I have
    tender feelings for it.

  3. Well, RoSIE, you and L-Man invite me over for cake, and I'll look at your rocker! Maybe we can do a before and after feature on it!

    The Texas Woman (Water Instructor to you)


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