I highly recommend the Invild Bolme distressing tool! It is AMAZING. AND highly recommend using embellishments you have- I got a package of very 'ladylike' chipboard embellishments when I took a class- and with some gesso I had in my bag, some Distress Stains, and my Ingvild Bolme distresser, they near instantly looked more gender-neutral and very cool- so much more modern, too. If you consider a distressed/aged look to be 'modern,' lol. But you get my point. Even if you can't 'see' it- just try it- paint it, look at it again. Even just making it one solid color might change your entire thought about the thing.