Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Chest of drawers - Candlewax and Vaseline Paint Distressed

This is another piece of furniture for our beach cottage - one of many thrift store and Craig's List finds.  The finish on this blue chest of drawers was achieved by using both candlewax and Vaseline.  This was my first experience using Vaseline for a weathered paint look.  I think the Vaseline is good for achieving a more chipped paint look, so it works well with multiple layers of paint.  In this case, I did a lighter blue base over a dark wood stain with a darker blue top coat. 

Here's a before photo taken at the antique/thrift store where I found the chest of drawers:


The quilt for the bedroom (found at Kohl's) inspired the paint colors.  Here are the colors I chose - the bottom layer is the lighter blue Aluetian by Sherwin Williams #6241.  The top layer is Bracing Blue by Sherwin Williams #6242.   I really like this paint strip of blue colors.  It's what I call "true blue" - not in any way a greenish-blue or reddish-blue - just blue.

Quilt from Kohls
Quilt found at Kohl's by Chaps.

 I had used the candlewax paint technique previously, but I tried the Vaseline as well with this piece.  After some light sanding, I applied candlewax to the edges and then some Vaseline with a small artist brush in select areas which would serve to expose the dark brown stain.

Next, I painted the whole piece with Sherwin Williams Aleutian.  I found the Vaseline works great, but takes a little getting used to.  As you brush over the Vaseline, it makes the paint look goopy and your first instinct might be to paint over it again to smooth it out, but don't do it.  Leave it alone knowing that it's going to be scraped off later.   That gooped up paint is your friend because it shows you where the Vaseline is so you know where to scrape the paint off.

After the paint was dry, I removed some paint.   I used a plastic scraper as a first pass to remove the paint where the Vaseline and candlewax was.  It was a bit of a mess. You will end up with stuff that looks like this...

Scraped Paint

Next I used sandpaper to get the rest of the paint off where the Vaseline and candlewax had been applied.  I used old pieces of sandpaper because it get's gooped up and will look like this...


After this distressing step - the chest of drawers felt kind of greasy because of the Vaseline residue that still remained.  I decided to clean off the piece before starting the next layer of darker paint to make sure the paint would adhere where I wanted it to.  I used a old t-shirt rag and some multipurpose spray cleaner and wiped down the whole chest of drawers.

Now I was ready for the next layer.  Once again, I applied some candlewax to all the edges and Vaseline, going over the areas I had already distressed (so I would expose the dark stain, and in some cases - just the lighter blue base).  Next came the top coat of Bracing Blue.

Again, once this coat of paint was dry - I used a plastic scraper first, followed by sandpaper to expose the layers beneath.  To remove the greasy Vaseline residue - I used multipurpose cleaner and wiped it down just as before.  The whole piece was finished off with a couple coats of satin polyurethane.

Chest of drawers - Candlewax and Vaseline Paint Distressed


I chose the brushed nickel hardware in a style that related to the nightstand in the same room.  I felt the handles resembled the turned legs of the nightstand and in a subtle way tied the two pieces together. 

Chest of drawers - Candlewax and Vaseline Paint DistressedYellow Nightstand - Sandpaper Distressed

Here are some photos of the bedroom where this chest of drawers is found.  The weathered accessories were picked up at antique stores, and the barn wood frame is from Hobby Lobby.

Chest of drawers - Candlewax and Vaseline Paint Distressed
If you are interested in a general overview of some DISTRESSING TECHNIQUES, see my post here which covers the use of SANDPAPER, CANDLEWAX and VASELINE.
For more beach cottage posts see my Beach Cottage page.

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