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If you like the look of distressed furniture and you don’t have any kids around to destroy it for you naturally, you can pick up this distressing tool kit from Varathane. The kit includes a worm holing tool for mimicking insect holes and a distressing tool for making dents and divots in the furniture.

Right now it looks like the kit is only available from Woodcraft and they’ll charge you $25 before shipping, but frankly you could probably save some money by using a scratch awl to simulate insect holes and string some old nuts, washers, and wing nut onto a length of wire to make the dents and divots.

Distressing Tool Kit [Woodcraft]

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13 Responses to Distressing Tools

  1. ToolGuyd says:

    For a moment there, I considered these tool to be absolutely absurd as I was visualizing them being used on sofas and recliners. Then it hit me that these tools are intended for bare wood pieces.

    I wonder how authentic an effect these tools could actually help create.

  2. Kris says:

    In the hands of an expert a piece of furniture made yesterday can be made to look like an antique. Caveat Emptor!

  3. ttabob says:

    I bet if you went back in time and told a master carpenter/furniture maker that people in the future were intentionally damaging wood to make it look old and used…………..he would just stare at you in disbelief.

    Yes these tools are absolutely absurd and those who think they can buy experience or age are even more ridiculous.

    I assume the same people who endorse artificially distressed furniture are the same people yelling at their kids for intentionally ripping holes in their jeans too.

  4. BC says:

    I use a couple different sizes of chain and a wire brush.

  5. zoomzoomjeff says:

    Same here. I’ve used log chains, front & back sides of a roofing hammer, and other misc tools laying around. Any rusty tool also works well.

    Plus, it’s stress relief!

  6. buckshot says:

    Anyone who couldn’t make these tools in less than ten minutes in their shop doesn’t deserve to have any tools. $25 for these? Give me a break.

  7. Dustin B says:

    Jesus on a V8 powered pogo-stick… the concept of use for these tools gives me a splitting headache.. Why the hell would beat up a perfectly good piece of furniture?!? What is wrong with people these days?

  8. SharkBreath says:

    I made plenty of red oak furniture for my new home. Of course I sanded all the oak down to 220, then stained, then hand rubbed satin poly.

    But to intentionally distress beautiful red oak?

    My man card would be revoked permanently.

  9. Gough says:

    My favorite distressing technique from an old PM, IIRC, was to use a shotgun and fine birdshot to add “wormholes”.

  10. Grant says:

    I work in the prop department of a professional theatre. We see furniture in “antique” stores all the time that someone thought they’d get crafty with and “distress”. 9 out of 10 times, they blatently look like someone hit it with chain or stabbed it with an awl. If you think buying these things will solve all your problems, think again.

  11. This reminds me of something I’ve seen here in TX – people sometimes beat the crap out of their cars to make it look like hail damage so they can collect insurance after a big storm. However the inspector won’t buy it if you used a metal-tipped hammer to do so.

  12. Frank says:

    I was once trained as a chairmaker (think Chippendale and Captains Chairs…) in a small company that has been around for 3 generations. We were very pround of our original designs and manufacturing quality. But we *DID* use similar tool to “age” some of our products upon request. In my eyes a sacrilege and an insult to our trade.

    Our customers were certainly very rich – but had apparently no taste whatsoever. Needless to say, the company went bust a few years back exactly for the reason that our customers suddenly wanted some other fad – I think stuffed tigers with Svarovski-encrusted claws… wait, not sure if it was tigers but it HAD to be Svarovski-encrusted AND expensive…

  13. Kelly says:

    I actually am refinishing a table right now and plan to put a gray glaze on it. The table is a little too smooth for the gray glaze to really add depth to the piece, which was why I was looking for ways to add distress. It would make the piece look much better if there were some “distressed” areas to take in the glaze. Not sure why anyone would even be on this page unless they were looking for something like this. If anyone actually has any helpful ideas on how to had character to a piece, I would love to hear them! Thanks!

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