If you find slight dents or nicks in the nice piece of wood furniture you just bought, it most likely is not damaged. Distressing is completely normal and man made, and gives an extra touch of style to your furniture while making it more practical for everyday use.
What is Distressing?
Distressing is the process that gives wood a slightly aged or worn out look. It's part of the finishing process, and is found in most nice furniture. It's actually quite rare to find absolutely no sign of distressing in a nice piece of wood furniture. Some/all of the following appear in distressed furniture:
This will all vary, depending on the type and style of furniture you get.
It's Better For Furniture To Be Distressed
When your distressed furniture has those slight scratches and dents, it will make normal wear and tear look less obvious. Any new marks will blend right in. This is especially great if you live in an environment with children or pets, where those accidental scratches may be more likely.
Distressing is Expensive When Done By Professionals
Craftsmen take their time when distressing furniture. They are careful not to go overboard - the key is making everything look as subtle as possible. No marks should be incredibly striking. It's all normally done by hand. The idea when doing this type of distressing is still making the furniture look nice and polished as the end result. DIY distressing projects are meant to give a shabby chic and rustic look, and involve more extreme levels of distressing.
No Two Distressed Items are The Same
Even if you buy two of the same exact product, they will each have different levels of distressing. You will not find an exact match. The marks made while distressing are in random spots, and it is impossible for any cracks or scratches to look identical.