When I first distressed my snowman paper (so named for the set I first made it for at Granny Enchanted) I was experimenting in Photoshop Elements. It was a beginning of a beautiful relationship I have with the paintbrush tool. I always distress on a new top layer so I don't ruin the bottom layer if I want to erase. That also makes it easier to slide pretty paper underneath the distress level and voila... distressed paper when I flatten layers.
Free Soft Stars Digi Scrapbook Papers