Distressing metal and wood are easy ways of aging an otherwise new piece with that antique look. With a few tools, some strength and a little elbow grease you are in business. Let's start with metals:
1. For a weathered look, use uneven tool, such as a tree branch, to pound the metallic surface in a completely random pattern. For a more tailored look, use either a framing hammer (has cross hatch on head) or a 2x4, being careful to pound in a distinct pattern. For metals like aluminum and steel, this is often all you need.
2. Copper and brass are shiny and may need to be tarnished to reach the look you desire. Using a hand-held blow torch on copper brings forth an iridescence. Chemical antiquing solution may be obtained at your DIY center. This will produce an aged appearance. Coat lightly at first and then add additional liquid until you reach the finish you like.
Wood can be distressed in a number of ways. Step 1 for metals can also be used on wood surfaces. Sanding with rough (60 grit) sandpaper is another way of distressing wood. Here's how to finish it:
1. Paint entire piece one color. Sand over the piece with fine (200 grit) paper, paying more attention to the portions that would first show wear (corners, near handles, edges). Rub over sanded areas with a wax square. Repaint with contrasting color. Paint will not adhere to the wax, revealing the undercoat, as though the top coat had been worn away.
2. Paint entire piece in light color. Once dry, wax with dark beeswax, paying particular attention to the areas that would show the most wear.
3. Paint entire piece in light color. Choose a dark stain color matching the remainder of your design. Sand over the piece with fine paper, paying more attention to the portions that would first show wear. Lightly stain over entire piece, wiping away as soon as you stain.
Crackle finish is another way to distress both metal and wood. Follow the directions for the crackle finish using latex for wood and acrylic for metal.