Distress is to make a piece of furniture or object look aged and older by giving it a weathered look. There are many methods to give an appearance of age and wear. The object's finish is intentionally destroyed or manipulated to look less than perfect with the use of a sandpaper or paint stripper.
In distressed wooden furniture, the artisan often removes some, not all of the paint, leaving proof of several layers of paint speckled over wood grain underneath. Distressing has become an immensely popular design style and decorative art form. The final appearance is often called the patina.
Distressing can be done on a variety of surfaces and materials such as wood, glass, metal, plastic, stone, concrete, plaster, and paint.