How to turn thrift store candlesticks into charming rustic decor - Powerful Handmade site

How to turn thrift store candlesticks into charming rustic decor

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DIY Distressed Candlesticks

Country chic has been a popular trend in home decor for the past few decades, but it seems to be having quite the moment right now. I’m thinking it has something to do with the popularity of the HGTV show Fixer Upper, and our collective obsession with Joanna Gaines’ signature farmhouse style. And if you’ve watched the show at all, you’ll know that no country chic look is complete without a few (or several) pieces of “distressed” furniture and decor.

But before you go out and drop big cash on those adorable distressed pieces that are popping up in home decor stores, there’s something you should know – it’s actually really easy to make them yourself! Of course, larger furniture items take longer to transform, just due to their size, but you can make some smaller decor items in a single afternoon. In fact, these candlesticks took me only a couple of hours to make, and most of that was waiting for paint to dry.

Here’s how to make your own distressed candlesticks at home, or whatever fun distressed pieces your heart desires. 🙂

DIY Distressed Candlesticks

Distressed Candlesticks

You’ll need:

  • Small vase or vases (I found mine at the dollar store)
  • A dark paint
  • A white paint
  • A paint brush (if not using spray paint)
  • Fine grit sandpaper

DIY Distressed Candlesticks

Step 1 – Apply dark paint

First you’ll apply a thin coat of a dark colored paint to your vase or vases. The dark paint is necessary to create the “distressed” look, but since you won’t see most of it, don’t worry about making it look perfect. I used a paint brush to slap on a coat of dark brown craft paint. Feel free to use any dark color you want, or happen to have lying around. If you have a bit of dark paint leftover from another project, use it!

Let the dark paint dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2 – Apply white paint

The next step is to cover your painted vases in white paint. You can apply this with a paint brush too, but I find it much easier to achieve a smoother, more finished look by using spray paint. Let the layer of white paint dry completely.

DIY Distressed Candlesticks

Step 3 – Distress!

The final step is to physically remove parts of the white paint to reveal the dark paint underneath, creating the “distressed” look. Using a piece of fine grit sandpaper (or even a nail file), carefully scuff a few areas that might get scuffed up naturally after a few years of use, like the corners and edges. Be gentle, so you don’t accidentally remove the dark paint too.

DIY Distressed Candlesticks

When your candlesticks are distressed to your liking, just insert a few tall candles, and voila! You have your own distressed candlesticks that are sure to add character and warmth to any area you choose to display them in.

DIY Distressed Candlesticks

A Quick Note about Candles: If your candles are too wide to fit into the opening of the vases you chose, just use a knife to carve some of the base of the candle away so that it slips in snugly. You can also cut away part of the bottom of the candle, if it seems too tall.

DIY Distressed Candlesticks


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