Because of the overwhelming amount of bows my baby girl has accumulated, I decided it was time to make a bow organizer. I knew I wanted a very shabby chic look and so I decided to go with a distressed sign with some hanging ribbons to organize the bows. Over the past year and past few projects, I have been experimenting with a few different techniques on making distressed and vintage looking signs, but one thing I hadn’t yet done, but wanted to do was use vaseline as a method for getting a very certain vintage chippy paint look.
I have followed Sweet Pickins for a long time… since before she was even Sweet Pickins! I love all of the furniture she revives and giving a new life. Her work is amazing and she has really inspired a lot of what I have done in my home. This pin shows how to achieve the chippy paint look with vaseline. The first time I read about the vaseline technique was on her blog and I finally decided it would be perfect to try on this project! The look is so particular and I wanted to get it right. It is really a very highly distressed look and I was wondering if I would be able to pull it off!
To start I bought an unfinished plaque from Hobby Lobby for a few dollars. I wanted to have a cream top coat of paint with pink paint showing through the chips. I used a baby pink spray paint I had used on a lot of other decor in baby girl’s room as the first coat. Nothing fancy, just took it outside and sprayed a couple of coats until it was adequately coated allowing it to dry in between.
After the pink base coat was very dry I got a tub of vaseline and just used my finger to dab some around the corners and edges any place I would want the paint to chip off. You don’t need a ton but enough to solidly coat the area that will chip off.
Next I used a brush to paint the cream top coat (mistint clearance from Lowes) over the entire sign including the areas with the vaseline. Since I wanted a distressed look I did one fairly thick coat and didn’t worry if there were small areas that could have used a second coat for better coverage.
After this coat is dry you will want to look for the raised areas under the paint. This is where you painted over the vaseline. You can see in my pic that it almost looks bubbled up a bit in those spots. Use a sanding block to lightly sand over these spots and it will peel the paint right off of them, leaving you with a perfectly old, vintage, chippy look!
After I was done sanding I wiped my board down and decided that because the baby pink under the white was really not very high contrast I would finish it off by using distressing ink around the edges. I was a little scared to do this at first, but I am so glad I did. With the super light colors this really brought out the depth and dimension in the wood and made it just look more authentic!
I love the detail in this sign. How the edges are worn looking but in such a natural, has been sitting out on the porch for 50 years kind of way. It is more drastic than sanding edges to distress, but that is really what I love about it! I am so excited about the limitless options with this technique. You could have the wood show through or any color. You could even do multiple coats with multiple colors if you get really into it! I think the next time I might stain the wood dark and let the natural wood show through. The possibilities are just endless! It is also great that this technique works equally well on a piece of furniture that you are restoring as it does on a simple sign like this. I will definitely be using this technique again and again! Stay tuned for the finished project and more cool sign making tips!
Check out the finished bow board here!