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Bizarre furniture trend has people scratching their heads: 'I will never understand'

Spending hours sanding new furniture down and painting it seems counterproductive.

Spending hours sanding new furniture down and painting it seems counterproductive.

Photo Credit: iStock

Sometimes style trends defy all logic. Redditors are scratching their heads at instructions on how to "distress" your furniture when you've bought it brand new.

The guide, which was originally published by Country Living and later posted in the r/Anticonsumption subreddit, shares tips to make your furniture look "perfectly imperfect" by artificially aging and tarnishing it. 

Vintage furniture has been a leading design trend for some time, with searches for "vintage" and "shabby chic" topping Google searches in 2020. 

You would think that would encourage more people to buy their furniture second hand — and it has, with GlobalData estimating that the furniture resale market grew by 33% between 2019 and 2022 — but there are still some people who would prefer to buy new and distress later. 

"Why look for used furniture when you can buy it new and kick its a**?" joked the Redditor who posted the guide. 

distressed furniture
Photo Credit: u/suckrates / Reddit

The average cost of a new sofa is between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on whether you buy a mass-produced or custom-made one. 

Spending hours sanding your furniture down and painting it seems counterproductive, given the savings you could make by thrifting something that is already battered and worn.

The cost of a secondhand sofa will vary depending on its age and condition, but the money blog Money Pantry puts it in the region of $35 to $200.

Thrifting's benefits to the environment are crucial, too. The furniture industry is the third-biggest consumer of forest wood, and we send inordinate amounts of wood to landfills each year. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 9 million tons of furniture went to landfills in 2018 — about 80% of all the furnishings we trashed that year. 

That's a lot of wood and landfill capacity that we could save if we purchased more timeless, secondhand pieces, rather than trying to replicate the distressed look with new items. 

"No thanks, I'd rather buy it used and whip its a** into shape! (It's amazing what a good coat of paint can do!)" one Redditor commented

"I will never understand why [people] don't completely furnish their homes with [secondhand] furniture. Most of the furniture being manufactured today is absolute garbage," another added.

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