Petticoat Junktion

DIY, Painted Furniture, Crafts, Tutorials, Painting Tips, Before and After

« Cherry Red and Turquoise Painted Cedar Chest A Sunny Day At My Favorite Junk Shop »

Paint Technique for Cherry Red and Turquoise Distressed Cedar Chest

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
Hugs For Sharing!...
Share on Facebook185Pin on Pinterest68.9kShare on StumbleUpon0Share on LinkedIn1Share on Google+2Tweet about this on Twitter4

Paint technique using Vaseline as a distressing medium.

Entering this project at Young House Love for the Pinterest Challenge spring edition.

How to distress furniture using Vaseline

If you guys stopped by yesterday and read my Cherry Red and Turquoise Painted Cedar Chest post then you’ve already seen the before and after pictures.

Now here’s the in-between happenings.




$15.00 cedar chest with broken top




I wanted the bottom coat of paint to be turquoise, but I didn’t like the paint I had on hand so I did some mixing. The butter dish on the bottom right is some paint I mixed for an earlier project. The Behr sample on the left I picked up for $.50. The Behr was a little green and my pre-mixed was a little blue so I mixed them to make the top color.




one coat of turquoise paint




Vaseline……the secret ingredient

History via Wikipedia

The first known reference to the name Vaseline was by the inventor of petroleum jelly, Robert Chesebrough in his U.S. patent for the process of making petroleum jelly (U.S. Patent 127,568) in 1872. “I, Robert Chesebrough, have invented a new and useful product from petroleum which I have named Vaseline…”

The technique of using petroleum jelly as a paint resist has been around for a while but I haven’t tried it until now. I’ve read several posts about it and have seen some beautiful results.

this is what I did….

I rubbed a little Vaseline on the cedar chest in strategic areas after the coat of turquoise paint was dry.  I wore gloves so my hands wouldn’t be icky, and I didn’t put the Vaseline on thick, just little swipes here and there.



Some oops paint from Wal-Mart for the top coat. This paint has been sitting on my shelf for over a year. It’s a beautiful Cherry Red and I fell in love with it at first sight. Just haven’t had the perfect project until now.


After I rubbed her down with Vaseline (sounds a little strange when I put it that way), I put a coat of the Cherry Red on the bottom of the chest. The top I intended to leave turquoise, no red topcoat.



When the red paint was dry I took a damp rag and wiped it down. The areas where the Vaseline was applied rubbed off pretty easily. At this point I decided to go ahead and put Vaseline on the top and then paint it red too. I wasn’t loving the contrast.




I went through the same process with the top…..damp rag…..rub all over…..paint comes off.


martha stewart-stencil

Next for the “over the top” touch, a Martha Stewart stencil from Michaels.



I used the same turquoise paint for the stencil. I didn’t want a perfect look so I did a few off center curlicues at the bottom of the design and then I took a sanding block and lightly sanded the whole chest, stencil included, just very lightly.

To protect the finish and for a little extra pow, I applied two coats of Minwax Poly Acrylic Latex Gloss Sealer.


Distress Furniture using Vaseline

The turquoise and red really pop against each other. The turquoise doesn’t show as well in the photos. It’s a little more vibrant than its showing here.

The color combo inspiration came from a chest painted by Amanda of Mommy Is CooCoo. She painted and stenciled a beautiful chest using these colors. I’ve had it pinned to my Furniture Inspiration board for over a year.

What do you think?  Have you used Vaseline to distress a paint project?

I love to hear from my readers.

You can leave a comment below.

If you don’t have a blog….that’s ok…you only have to leave your name (first name is ok) and your email address, then your comment.  Your email address will not be shown on my blog. It is to prevent spammers from leaving comments.

vaseline- distressing-painted-furniture-tutorial

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week,



On Facebook Petticoat Junktion

On Twitter Petticoat Junktion

Follow on Bloglovin


Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

linking to these parties….

Thrifty Décor Chick…..Funky Junk Interiors…….Miss Mustard Seed

Savvy Southern StyleDiy ShowoffShabby Creek Cottage

Project Inspired…..Serenity NowHome{work} Wednesday….Tatertots&Jello

Hugs For Sharing!...
Share on Facebook185Pin on Pinterest68.9kShare on StumbleUpon0Share on LinkedIn1Share on Google+2Tweet about this on Twitter4
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

59 Responses

  1. Beautiful! I love this color and the transformation is amazing! Have a great night my friend.

  2. […] Salvage Saturday, Vintage Metal Dustpan Greets Visitors Paint Technique for Cherry Red and Turquoise Distressed Cedar Chest […]

  3. jp says:

    I’ve been pretty absent, lately, due to our moving process…but, just had to pin this one and comment that I love it! I have a cedar chest that I painted many years ago, white with a floral design and it has been waiting for me to repair and re-do it. I can’t wait to get re-settled and transform it again! Thank you for sharing your wonderful project!

  4. Kim C says:

    Kathy, This is an awesome looking re-do and I really appreciate the tutorial, I was wondering if you sealed it with anything when you were done painting?. Thanks!

    Kim C.

  5. Mary Melton says:

    I would not have thought the colors would work together; the chest is lovely. It colors are so pretty and the stencil was just what it needed! Good job, Kathy!

  6. Sharon says:

    I have never tried vaseline to distress, but you’ve inspired me to give it a try!

  7. Sue says:

    It’s so charming and pretty, and I love the two colors together.

    I love your creative process.

    • Kathy Owen says:

      Thanks Sue, I love the two colors together. I have to admit I wouldn’t have paired them together if I didn’t have inspiration from other places.

  8. Hi, fellow MMS retailer, great tutorial!! It would be awesome if you would join my first link party this weekend with this project!

    Old Red Barn, from Belgium

  9. Heather May says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS TRUCK! I have one that I white washed but it isn’t near as cool as the red color….maybe it needs updating?!?!? I pinned this so I can use it as a guide! I will be hosting a blog hop on Monday at and the link is up so if you get a chance…stop by and join in!

  10. Little Bit says:

    Wow! I haven’t heard of using vaseline for this before, but I’m for sure going to try it sometime. it looks great. I’m pinning this too. Little Bit from

  11. Tía Pepa says:

    The trunk turned out great. I always use wax to make the paint come of more easy but next time I will try te vaseline. Thanks for sharing. Pascale

  12. […] I used some oops paint in red for a pop of color. I’ve used this red paint before on the Cedar Chest makeover using the vaseline distressing technique and on the small Two-Tone Cedar Chest I distressed using the wet shop towel […]

  13. Hi Kathy, Love the look of this chest! It turned out fabulous. I have used the vaseline tech too…’s a great look. Love your site and following.
    kelly arent {copper roof interiors llc} recently posted…Union Jack-Repurposed tableMy Profile

  14. Kathi says:

    Thanks for the tip; really enjoyed learning this stuff!! Awesome!!!

  15. Rebecca says:

    I’ve been researching distressed painting. I have purchased several pieces for my bedroom and am eager to get started but feeling a bit intimidated by all the different processes/paints available. (Oil vs. latex, chalk vs. milk, sanding vs. not sanding, etc.) I love the idea of using vaseline as opposed to candle wax. Thank-you for sharing!

  16. […] like Martha Stewart Crafts supplies. I love the stencil I used on the Cherry Red Chest and the silk screen template for my Up-cycled Urn Project was really cool. It’s the first time I […]

  17. Chippy says:

    I live on Vancouver Island. Recently took a class on chalk paint and have done a few small projects. Will give the vaseline a try. Do you prefer latex to chalk paint?

  18. […] that you want showing through the top coat of paint. Kathy, proud blogger and renovation expert at Petticoat Junktion, chose […]

  19. […] I wrote about using Vaseline to distress furniture…who knew it would be so […]

  20. […] Have you ever wondered how to get that distressed look when you paint a piece of furniture?  Kathy explains how she uses  vaseline to distress furniture. […]

  21. […] My friend Kathy is going to show us How to distress painted furniture using Vaseline. […]

  22. […] Kathy from Pettitcoat Junktion wrote about using Vaseline to distress furniture…she never knew it would be so […]

  23. […] How about distressing painted furniture using Vaseline? Kathy shows how this is a very inexpensive way to distress painted furniture and you don’t have the mess that comes along with sanding. […]

  24. […] How to distress painted furniture using Vaseline […]

  25. Sue says:

    I wanted to use the milk paint, two colors, and have the bottom color show through. I was going to use one of the wax pucks for coving some of the dried lavender paint (1st coat) and then paint over that with the linen paint. I’ve gone through your videos and I don’t see a video of the process I want to use. I’m a newbie at this so need some technical help.

  26. Crazed lover says:

    Do you have to sand down the dresser before you apply the paint?

  27. Jeannie says:

    I have an old metal milk jug that I want to try this on. I want it to be a deep brick red with hints of turquoise throughout. Great post!

  28. Vanessa says:

    Definitely adding this to my list of things to try! This seems much easier than sanding to get the distressed look. Thank you for sharing!

  29. Leticia says:

    This looks just beautiful…I am going to use your instructions on a wall cabinet I purchased for my kitchen! Thank you for sharing! Leticia
    Leticia recently posted…Painting the LivingRoom….My Profile

  30. […] Kathy from Petticoat Junction wrote about using Vaseline to distress furniture she never knew it would be so popular! Vaseline is a very inexpensive way to distress […]

  31. Rula says:

    Amazing idea to use vaseline instead of chemicals products .i have another idea acts same way as vaseline which is to rub candle over the surface and then put the other coat of paint ,which will stick away from the candle coat and give rustik feel like

  32. […] Paint Technique for Cherry Red and Turquoise Distressed Cedar Chest Using Vaseline For Distressing […]

  33. Love this look. You’ve inspired me. I’m sitting here trying to figure out which piece of furniture I can try this on!

  34. Paula says:

    I’m a bit confused. Did you put the thin layer all over the piece or certain places where u wanted to rub & distress?
    Enjoy reading all your posts! Thx for the inspiration!

    • Kathy Owen says:

      Thank you Paula. I love my readers! I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you guys. I put the Vaseline on willy nilly where I thought I wanted the piece to be distressed. I’m getting ready to do a piece maybe in January and try something a little different.

  35. Janet says:

    Thanks for sharing this technique! I have done some chalk painting…..I can’t wait to try the Vaseline method. Also, luv the color combination. Another idea I heard was to use a dark pink 1st coat with a red 2nd coat, then distress it with the dark pink showing through. Awesome. I want to try both these! Thx. Keep those creative ideas coming!

  36. Bev says:

    I’m in the process of painting a wooden ottoman and found your technique of using Vaseline to distress the color a bit; I can’t wait for the first coat to dry!!!

  37. patty matthieu says:

    what kind of blue paint did you use was that chalk paint? i sent a message but don’t know if it went threw i’m new at this

  38. Nancy Hayward says:

    Ive been thinking about trying this technique and was happy to see it used with the same colors i will be using on an old sewing machine table I purchased for just $7 (minus the sewing machine). With any luck mine will turn out just as nicely.

  39. vikki says:

    This is beautiful, doesn’t hurt that RED and TURQUOISE

  40. vikki says:

    Sorry, hit the send button to quickly, I meant to say those are my favorite colors!! lol…I am just trying to learn how to distress furniture so I need to know EVERYTHING! I spoke to a lady in a furniture store the other day and she mentioned Vaseline, I thought she much be nuts, but now I see that I was wrong! I really need to know, step for step, EXACTLY what to do, althought you covered most of it, I need to know if you have left anything out, event he smallest bit of info. I have a whole house full of rustic furniture that I am tired of having NO color and have been given the OK to distress, but I have to know how FIRST!!! A “painters” paradise! lol Please give me all of the advise you can. Thank you so much!!! Love your work! Vikki

  41. Stacie Jenkins says:

    Great tutorial! I’m a beginner and this was very helpful. I bought my first small project yesterday and I’m wondering if you can use this process with chalk paint?

    • Kathy Owen says:

      I don’t think I would try the process with chalk paint. Chalk paint really grabs on to wax or anything applied to it. I would be afraid the vaseline would soak into the chalk paint and you wouldn’t get the same effect. But I could be wrong. Maybe try this on a sample board with the chalk paint and the Vaseline. Hope this helps!

  42. Carmen says:

    I am currently doing a refurbishing project with the Behr latex paint, and I want to try the Vaseline technique. I am curious, however, when it comes to wiping off the Vaseline, if one uses a damp cloth, would the latex paint (the paint that one wants to stay on their project) not wipe off due to it being water-soluble?

    Thanks for your advice.

    • Kathy Owen says:

      Carmen, You don’t wipe the Vaseline off. Brush on your first layer of paint…let it dry….wipe on the Vaseline….heavily….paint on your second color….let dry….rub the top layer off with a damp cloth or wet cloth depending on how easily the paint rubs off. Hope this helps.

  43. […] Source: […]

  44. David Guetta says:

    Thanks for sharing this technique! I have done some chalk painting…..I can’t wait to try the Vaseline method. Also, luv the color combination. Another idea I heard was to use a dark pink 1st coat with a red 2nd coat, then distress it with the dark pink showing through. Awesome. I want to try both these! Thx. Keep those creative ideas coming!
    David Guetta recently posted…Some Important Points About How To Set Up Paint GunMy Profile

  45. Pami says:

    I applaud your courage on this project! i almost cried when i saw the BEFORE pic…that cedar was SOO BEAUTIFUL! I was so sure I would only hate whatever you did to it. Turns out I do not know my own mind. The new look is great. I am so gonna try that look… I have an old trunk that needs some lovin’! Thanks for opening my eyes … My goal is to rescue stuff from the I must learn that my personal prejudices about wood need to take a back seat!

    • Kathy Owen says:

      I know what you mean about painting some wood furniture. There are some things I will not paint. I also wish you and every one else could see the piece in person. Those photos are horrible. I’ve worked on my photography skills and have improved since those photos were taken. I still have a long way to go. Good luck with your trunk.