I’ll show you how to paint a bed with multiple layers of paint using the Vaseline paint technique in 3 quick steps.
Did you know you can paint furniture using Vaseline or another brand of petroleum jelly? It’s easy. You can add depth to your furniture finish with layers of colors.
This is “THE” bed. The vintage pineapple bed some of you wanted me to paint gray and some of you wanted painted pink and some of you didn’t care what color.
I listened to all of you. The bed is a combination of two gray paint colors and one perfect pink.
This is what the bed looked like when I spotted it at my favorite junk shop. You can take a virtual tour of my favorite junk shop in the video at the bottom of the post. You will be so jealous!
I had to make a few repairs and clean it up. Now it’s time for the best part…….the paint.
There are three layers of paint on the bed. There is just the barest hint of pink and that’s what makes this technique shine.
When you paint furniture using Vaseline the Vaseline “resist” the paint.
You can use a lot of Vaseline as a paint resist and show a lot of the bottom layer of paint or you can show just a hint of the under layer.
A list of my must have DIY supplies can be found here on Petticoat Junktion.
Paint furniture using the Vaseline Paint Technique. How to paint bedroom furniture gray and add layers of color.
Step 1. Apply First Layer of Paint.
Brush on your first paint color. Doesn’t matter what color it is but you need to have the plan before you start. I didn’t have the perfect pink in my stash so I combined white and imperial red FolkArt Home Décor Chalk. I mixed the colors until I got a pink color that made me happy.
This is how the bed looked after one coat of pink paint. There is no need to cover every square inch of the piece or to make the finish look perfect. There are going to be two more paint colors over this one.
Step 2. Apply A Thin Layer Of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly over the Paint.
This is where the project gets a little tricky.
Sometimes I have a hard time getting just the right amount of Vaseline between the paint layers. I either use too much Vaseline or not enough.
I worked out a solution to the problem this time. Instead of applying the Vaseline with a rag I just used my fingers. It’s easier to tell how much petroleum jelly I’m applying to the furniture.
Wipe on a very thin layer in the areas you want to be distressed. Too much Vaseline and the paint gets gunky and you have to wipe it all off and start over. Voice of experience.
Step 3. Apply the Second Paint Color For Layering.
I wanted a soft dreamy look for the bed so I was going for a flat finish. To get the finish and the color I wanted I had to mix the gray too. I mixed together charcoal and wedding cake colors in the Martha Stewart Craft Vintage Décor Paint.
Do you have to mix paints for your project? No. I have a large selection of paints on my shelves so I hate to go buy more paints.
You can just go to the store and buy the paint color you want or do like me and use what you have on hand.
I applied one coat of the gray paint over the pink. You may be able to see the little yellow “pyramids” under the headboard. I love these things (have to look up the name). I painted both sides of the bed in one shot. I laid the bed on the pyramids until the paint dried.
Step 4. Continuing The Vaseline Paint Technique: Apply a Second Layer of Vaseline.
Now we need to repeat step 2 and apply the petroleum jelly where we want the paint to come off when distressed.
Step 5. Apply the Third Paint Color To Add More Depth of Colors.
For paint color number three I just added more of the Martha Stewart Wedding Cake color (white) to the gray paint mixture (second paint color) to make a light gray.
I brushed on the third paint color. In this photo you can see the difference in the two grays. The headboard hasn’t been painted with the light gray yet.
After this step the bed has three layers of paint color with two layers of Vaseline…one coat between the pink and dark gray….one coat between the dark gray and the light gray.
Step 6. Distress the Layered Paint.
Now we’re ready to distress the paint. Where the Vaseline has been applied the paint will not bond properly and will come off when distressed with sandpaper.
I used 100 grit 3M flexible sandpaper and sanded really gently. In some areas the paint was removed down to the dark gray and in some to the pink. I tried not to sand the paint down to the original finish but did in a few places.
Step 7. Apply Wax To The Finished Paint.
This step is not required. It all depends on the look you’re going for. I used flat paint but wanted it to have just a bit of shine. The photo above shows where I applied the wax to the leg but not the part of the bed on the left side of the photo.
Of course if you use latex paint with a satin finish, etc. you don’t need to apply wax.
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Paint Layering
That’s all there is to it. Several steps but an easy technique.
Here is the video I was telling you about. It show the process live and in action. So much easier to understand….
Layering Paint Using Vaseline / Petroleum Jelly
Don’t be afraid to give it a try. Believe me, I make a lot of mistakes in my projects but they are easy to correct because it’s just paint!
The paint layering and distressing is very subtle. The deep gray and the pale gray with just a hint of pink underneath is designer worthy.
The bed has a gently worn look. You guys know how I love heavily distressed paint. I tried my best not to go crazy with this project and I think I succeeded.
The layered paint highlights the pretty carved details.
When you read this I will be in Arkansas for another visit. The paint technique isn’t hard at all, just a little time consuming since it involves three layers of paint.
If you paint a piece of furniture using Vaseline to layer or distress paint I would love to hear about your experience and maybe see a photo!
Hope you guys have a great day and I’ll be here tomorrow with my latest junk finds from the junk shop. Kathy