To achieve this look, follow these easy steps, explained here by Michael Penny. He's a featured blogger from Canadian House & Home, and has great style when it comes to Re-Doing over old furniture.
"I found this little guy at a junk shop while I was a student in Kingston, Ontario. I think it was around $40.
The wood is in pretty rough shape and not worth writing home about, so I decided to paint it, too.
When a wooden piece has a scratched, flaky surface like this, I think it’s ready for a new incarnation as a timeworn, distressed heirloom. If it’s banged up, the simplest thing is to just go with it!
Make sure you sand off any loose bits from the surface. I love this" mouse sander" for small jobs like this. There’s no need to prime here, since I want to sand back the final paint layer a bit to reveal the wood below.
After painting the table with two coats of paint, I distressed the table with the sander. You could use a regular piece of sandpaper too, of course! Just sand lightly in the areas that would naturally receive wear — the edges, on the legs, and especially around the feet. This mimics the wear from being dragged around for a hundred years. But go easy, don’t bang it up too much!
For me, this look is best when it’s subtle. In this overall shot, you can barely see the distressing."