Wide Variety Of Distressing Options
At DutchCrafters we offer a wide variety of distressing options on our solid hardwood furniture pieces. These types of finishes are used to create a time worn, antique or vintage look. They can be used with a combination of stains, paints, glazes and other age marking techniques to create that one of a kind look that our customers love. No two pieces of furniture will be identical so expect some variation between each piece ordered. Often when customers receive their Amish furniture they call them works of art! Each piece of furniture is created just for you. DutchCrafters offers finishing packages that allow you to purchase furniture with the genuine aged look of an antique but at much less than a true antique would cost.
Benefit To Ordering Distressed Furniture
The main benefit to ordering your furniture with a distressed finish is that you don’t notice the inevitable wear and tear that occurs over the years. Scratches, dings, dents and nicks add to the natural beauty of the finish. This is a popular choice for families with children or pets so that the normal wear and tear will blend right in.
Ordering Distressed Hardwood Furniture
If you have questions on any of the features listed below or the multi-step process that takes places with distressed finishing, please call one of our furniture specialists at 1-941-867-2233 or email questions@dutchcrafters.com.
Distressed Finishing Methods And Techniques

Eased Edges or Wear Points

Wear points or eased edges is a technique that simulates where furniture would naturally start to show wear over the years of use. For instances on wooden knobs that are pulled open hundreds of times or the rungs on a chair where your feet would rest. The wood is sanded and scuffed to create a timeworn look of years of wear. Some wear points will be lightly eased and other will be heavily eased and worn.

Pin Holes or Worm Holes in Wood Furniture

Pin holes are actually holes that are placed in the wood using a tool such as an ice pick. The pin holes should actually resemble the look of authentic wormholes. The holes vary in size and are often placed in the knotty area where the worm would have actually burrowed in the tree. If you do not want pin holes or worm holes in your distressing option be sure to request this with your Amish furniture specialists. Some clients don’t like to think of worms burrowing in wood but this is a naturally occurring process. Some of our hardwood furniture and especially our rustic wood furniture have actual, real worm holes.

Light Distressing

Our light distressing is a mixture of different techniques to create the look of antique furniture that has aged naturally into a beautifully patina. The distress marks add character to the finished furniture. Some of the techniques used in our light distressing package may be light to medium pinholes, some indentations and nicks, lightly eased edges and wear through, light rasp markings and hand rubbed glazing. Flat sheen is recommended and usually standard however a semi-gloss varnish can also be requested.

Heavy Distressing

Our heavy distressing package is an extensive amount of hand distressing to the furniture. There may be heavy pin holes, indentations and nicks, rasp markings and worm holes. The edges of the furniture are heavily worn. Simulated cracks are created on our heavily distressed package. You can notify your Amish furniture specialists if you prefer not to have the simulated cracks in the furniture. Our heavily distressed furniture creates a finish that suggests several centuries of wear and loving care. Medium hand burnishing and hand rubbed glazing may be a part of the heavy distressing. Flat sheen is recommended and usually standard however a semi-gloss varnish can also be requested.

Hand-Planed Tops

The tops of our furniture can be hand-planed the way they were done hundreds of years ago by craftsmen using the same old-fashion planers and techniques. This unique, authentic old furniture look and feel is a popular addition to another distressing package and often includes glazing. See a video of one of our woodworker’s hand-planning a table top below.

Cow Tailing

Cow tailing or cow tails is a technique that is made by using hair, string or a small brush to creating arched lines and curved patterns in the finish that would resemble a cow’s tail.


Crackle is a painted finishing process that creates the appearance of cracking paint.

Fly Specs

Fly Specs is a finishing technique that is made to resemble fly specs in the finish. They appear as black specs or dots on the stained or painted furniture.

Hand Burnishing

The burnishing process is done by hand to create the look of antique furniture. A glaze like substance is hand brushed onto the wood furniture that creates a darker look around the edges.


Some of our furniture has hand pegged joinery which was a popular Old World construction technique before the use of nails and screws. Square pegs or dowels are inserted in round holes to hold the planks or tops together. This technique is attractive as well as offering added strength to the furniture.

Hand Rubbed Glazing

Glaze is often applied to furniture with the distressing packages to add patina. First the furniture is stained and then the glaze is hand rubbed over the initial stain creating a darker, deeper and richer look which brings out the distressing features. Glaze is a pigmented stain that creates an antique naturally aged finished look. Glazes are applied over light stains and will not be visibly noticed over dark stains or paints.

Rasp Marks

This distressing is done using an actual tool called a rasp. A rasp is similar to a file but has very rough edges similar to sharp teeth. The rasp is used on the furniture edges to create an even more pronounced wear and tear then the eased edge feature.

Re Sawn Wood

On this furniture finishing technique, the wood is re sawn to create a unique rough look on the front of the drawers, cabinets and top. The textured grain markings on the wood lend to it’s distressed, rustic look.

Rubbed Painted Finish or Rub Through

With our rubbed painted finish we achieve a time worn look by hand rubbing the edges where the paint would have naturally worn off over the years. After the paint is rubbed off in the corners and wear spots the finish underneath shows through. The wood then has a distressed, aged look at the surface but no physical “beating up” of the wood is done such as pin or worm holes. This type of finishing with a lighter paint color would be considered shabby chic furniture.

Rustic Woods – Rustic Cherry Wood, Rustic Hickory Wood, Rustic Oak Wood

Rustic wood is a natural way to add a distressed look to your furniture. Rustic wood contains many natural characteristics including open and closed knots, pitch pockets, wormholes, small season checks, mineral streaks, dramatic color contrast and other natural variations all reflecting the inherent beauty of the wood. These characteristics occur naturally in the material; no one characteristic is a defining trait of rustic woods. The open notes in the rustic wood are often filled with black epoxy but can be left open upon request. Rustic cherry wood furniture is the most popular choice.

Simulated Cracks

Cracks are created in the furniture to look as if the wood is actually cracking. These cracks are simulated and are just along the tops of the wood. They do not jeopardize the integrity and strength of the wood. Simulated cracks are a part of our heavy distressed packages but can be excluded upon request.

Shade In

This finishing technique is created by spraying the stain on darker in some areas and lighter in others to highlight the transition from lighter to darker. This is very striking in a table top or on cabinet door fronts.

Two Tone Finish

Our heirloom furniture can be finished in a multi-color scheme such as a stain and stain combination, paint and stain combination or two wood combination.

Wood Distressing Tools

Many different tools are used by our Amish craftsmen to create the distressed, aged finished look. The most common distressing tools would be hand planers, ice picks, heavy chains and drill bits. This distressing is done by professional woodworkers that know how to make the distressed furniture look like aged, antique furniture.

Distressed Finish Samples

We have samples of many of our distressing options. Please call one of our Amish furniture specialists to request samples or with questions. Wood becomes more beautiful as it ages over the years so consider adding distressing to your Amish furniture for an extra touch of style.