How to Use a Torch to Distress Furniture

Distressing furniture involves techniques to make it look older than it actually is by damaging the wood. Some of these techniques are rounding off edges with adhesive, gouging the wood with a knife and applying finish in uneven layers. Lightly scorching the wood with the flame from a butane torch brings out the grain of the wood, highlighting it contrary to the light coloration of the remaining wood. This procedure of distressing furniture creates pieces which are the centerpiece of any room.

Remove the doors in the furniture with a screwdriver and place them apart.

Sand the furniture with an oscillating tool equipped with a hook and loop pad attachment and 220-grit sandpaper. Sand with the grain of this wood. Remove the finish and smooth the piece. Leave the deeper imperfections to include personality.

Light your torch and hold the flame 3 inches away from the wood. Wave the nozzle Throughout the wood following the grain. Scorch the wood without charring it into ash.

Wipe the charred hardwood with a soft, damp rag. Rub the furniture aggressively after the grain of the wood to remove the char leaving just the stained grain. Allow the wood dry overnight.

Pour wood finish onto a dry rag. Rub the rag round every wood surface remembering to follow the grain. Cover the entire piece of furniture with finish. Allow the piece dry completely before continuing.

Apply foam into the furniture with a 3-inch paint brush. Gently stroke the tip of the bristles of this brush throughout the polyurethane to smooth the surface.

See related