advanced techniques | vaseline resist

I shared this technique on my blog several years ago and decided to share it here on the milk paint blog.  This is technique yields such an interesting look and, as a bonus, it uses a common medicine cabinet staple.  

I’ve heard about using Vaseline (petroleum jelly) as a paint resist for a while, but I never tried it.  On this empire dresser, I pictured layers of blue and wanted to have clear definition between the two colors.  This seemed like a good piece to test it out on.  I painted the first coat of paint in Flow Blue with the bonding agent added to all of the paint except for what I used on the drawers (I wanted some selective chippiness.)  I then rubbed some Vaseline over the edges of the piece and around some of the key holes and other random spots.

I don’t think there’s a specific time frame to let the Vaseline sit before painting on the second coat, but I decided to wait about an hour to give it some time to dry.


I painted on a second coat, this time in French Enamel without the bonding agent added.  I brushed the paint on gently where the Vaseline had been applied.  On the drawers where the bonding agent wasn’t used, Milk Paint did its wonderful chippy thing…

…and where the Vaseline was…

…total coolness.

When I sanded the piece with a medium grit sanding sponge, the French Enamel paint that was over the Vaseline came off, showing the Flow Blue underneath.  That, combined with the chippiness where the bonding agent wasn’t used and the places I sanded the paint down to the wood made a very interesting finish that looked as if it had developed over time.

I wiped the surface with a cloth (it was a little gummy where the Vaseline was) and then applied one coat of Furniture Wax.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT | wax puck tutorial

This is a “oldie but goodie” post by Abbe.  Check out this great wax puck tutorial!

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I’m just getting in from enjoying the beautiful Collegiate Peaks in Colorado, so I’ve asked our MMS Milk Paint Primary Educator, Abbe Doll, to share a tutorial with you.  I haven’t had a chance to shoot or write a tutorial on using Wax Pucks, one of our new products, so Abbe, who is a machine, made one for me!  Enjoy!

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Abbe-12 copy

Let me just start by saying I love this little thing! It fits so perfectly in the palm of your hand and creates such fun effects.

Here are some benefits of using the wax puck:

  1. You can create smooth, precise distressed lines on edges.
  2. If you want to expose color under color without sanding down to the wood, this allows you to control the amount of distressing you get
  3. It will allow you to expose or bring out the details of that great wear and tear of an old piece, without covering it totally up


I found this primitive little dresser at an estate sale awhile back. You could tell that years ago someone had put some glossy white paint on it and over the years it started to peel and wear off.
I loved the age and wear on the piece, but wasn’t crazy about the dingy yellowed white glossy paint left on it.

After sanding some of the loose paint off and giving it a good scrubbing, I grabbed my wax puck and rubbed it along all the edges,

I wanted to see the layers of white paint and the exposed wood through my final coat of paint without having to risk sanding down too deep with a sander or sanding block. I loved the darkness of the wood and wanted to preserve that as well.


I also took the rounded edge of the wax puck and rubbed it gently across some of the worn off areas, hoping to expose it, retaining the age of the piece.


After applying the wax puck on all the areas I wanted white to show through I mixed up some of the new color Eulalie’s Sky and gave the entire piece one good coat. I adore this color. It is the perfect shade of aqua!

(This photo below is NOT accurate- it was a “late night/poor lighting phone pic” But I had to show you some of that peeling action.You can thank my talented friend Jen Logan for the pretty photos, or this is what you would get! Painter I am, Photographer I am not!)


When the Milk Paint dries, you can start to see that it might resist some on it’s own, but most of the time you will just need to gently buff the areas your wax puck was applied and the paint will just roll right off.

I like to buff my pieces with a fine grit sanding block before waxing, so when I do this, the waxed areas will just come right off too. Who doesn’t like two steps in one?!

Abbe-13 copy

The paint came off in a nice controlled line along the edges, exposing both the white paint and the original stained wood with stain.  If I had sanded this by hand or with an orbital sander, I risked applying too much pressure and exposing raw wood. The puck prevented that from happening!

Abbe-17 copy

This technique revealed all that great texture from the age of the dresser, yet basically was 4 easy steps: 1. Apply Wax Puck 2. Paint 3. Buff/smooth 4. Wax

Still primitive, but with a new shade of happy!


And the Eulalie’s Sky? Well, that is just aqua perfection my friends. Nothing in my shop is safe from being painted that shade of greatness now!


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT | distressing painted furniture

I’ve shared a lot of tips about distressing furniture through the years, but I decided I would tackle the subject again.  I took pictures of the process as I worked on the Marzipan dresser I revealed yesterday for that very reason.


So, here’s how the dresser looked once it was painted.  It has two coats of MMSMP Marzipan with some Ironstone (white) painted on the trim, handles and carved details.  Because I’m going to distress, I wasn’t too concerned with the white paint being perfect or completely opaque.  It actually looks a little sloppy at this stage.  Distressing serves a few purposes, then.  It hides the imperfections in the painting, but it also brings out the details of the piece and adds a sense of age to the fresh coat of paint.


I’m going to start with the basics…what is distressing?  It’s more than just roughing up a piece.  It’s about removing paint from the “high points” of a piece of furniture in a way that looks authentic.  Nothing gives away a “freshly distressed” piece more than an orbital sander mark right in the middle of a drawer front…where wear doesn’t happen naturally and it doesn’t happen in swirly circles.

I’ll use an orbital sander for distressing sometimes, but I usually prefer to distress by hand, so it looks more authentic.  I start with a medium grit sand paper, in this case 100 grit to remove paint from the edges.


I run the paper in “flicking strokes” across the edges to pull the paint off.  I’ll work around the edges of the drawers, drawer openings, and all of the corners and edges on the body of the dresser.  Think about how a piece gets bumped and worn as it goes through everyday life…people opening and closing the drawers, brushing past.  I’ll also distressed around the handles and keyholes of this piece.  They’re wood, painted and raised, so they would definitely get worn with use as well.


I followed the 100 grit sanding paper with medium and fine sanding sponges.


These soften the “scratchiness” of the marks left by the 100 grit paper.  They’re great for getting the “rubbed off” look.


…and I’ll rub over the entire piece to smooth the finish and knock down the “newness” of the paint.  I often get the most surprising, subtle texture and distressing just by gently rubbing a fine sanding sponge over the entire piece.


While distressing, I always take a step back every few minutes to take in the overall effect.  It’s not entirely random, but shouldn’t look too thought out.  When I’m happy with the look, I vacuum up the dust, so it’s ready for a topcoat.


You can see how much the distressing brings the piece to life…

distressed Collage


I decided to apply Furniture Wax as a finish.  While I’m giving out tips, I’ll share this one.  When you’re applying wax with a brush, just start with a tiny bit.  It shouldn’t be globbed on.  Just grab a little bit with the tips of your brush.


Massage the wax into the paint in a circular motion, allowing it to absorb into the finish like a lotion.


Once applied, it shouldn’t feel sticky or tacky.  You shouldn’t see any wax sitting on top of the paint.  Use the brush to buff the wax in the process.  Another key to working with wax is to work in small sections, so the wax stays workable.


…and here’s the result…


…deliciously distressed.

Get Inspired…

Happy Friday!  We have some beautiful pieces to inspire you today!  See what others are doing with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint!  It’s also time for our May color of the month giveaway!

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In love with this adorable Apron Strings dresser!  Jeanne (Bees Knees Bungalow) mixed Apron Strings with Bonding Agent.  See more HERE!


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Loving this Mustard Seed Yellow dresser by MIT Student Furniture Exchange (the FX)!  See more HERE!


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This vanity by Darrielle (D.D.’s Cottage and Design) is beautiful!  I love the chippy goodness on this Ironstone vanity!!  See more HERE!



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It’s also time for our monthly giveaway!  We’re giving away one bag of Eulalie’s Sky and one bag of Linen, bonding agent, hemp oil, furniture wax, antiquing wax, white wax, 2 brushes and one extra milk paint color of your choosing.MAYpinterest images



Leave a comment on the blog letting us know if you did any/all of the above.  This will end at midnight (PST) on Sunday, May 31st and a random winner will be announced the following next week.

One entry: leave a comment on the blog telling us your favorite way to mix MMSMP!

Second entry: subscribe to the blog (on the right hand side of the blog, there is a subscribe field – input your email here.)
Third entry: like us on Facebook and let us know your favorite way to mix MMSMP!
Fourth entry: follow us on Pinterest
Fifth entry: follow us on Instagram and let us know your favorite way to mix MMSMP!
Sixth entry: follow us on Google+ and let us know your favorite way to mix MMSMP!
Seventh entry: follow us on Twitter and  let us know your favorite way to mix MMSMP!

get inspired…

So many beautiful masterpieces to share with you today! We hope these pieces will inspire you to create your own masterpieces to share with us!

green lineLoving this adorable Spring banner by Colette (Little Blue House by the Bay)!  Colette used Bergere, Layla’s Mint, Eulalie’s, Arabesque and Mustard Seed Yellow for this banner.  See more HERE!



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What a beautiful Marzipan desk by Gloria (Feathers From My Nest)!  I love the chippy goodness going on!  See more HERE!


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HELLO chippy goodness!!!  Love this custom color candlesticks by Kim (The Painted Poppy)!!  Kim mixed Eulalie’s Sky and Ironstone for this custom color.  See more details HERE!

Candlesticks CU


INSPIRATION | for the love creations

Check out these wonderful furniture transformation made into masterpieces with MMSMP by Sada (For The Love Creations)!  Thanks for the great inspiration Sada!

In love with this cupboard!  For The Love Creations created a custom mix with Ironstone and Mustard Seed Yellow!  What a soft, buttery yellow!  She sealed the cupboard with Hemp Oil.  Read more HERE!

MMSMP | INSPIRATION | for the love creations

Love this sweet Dried Lavender baby basinet!  After the one coat of Dried Lavender dried, she sealed the basinet with Hemp Oil.  The legs got two coats of Shutter Gray finished with a coat of White Wax.  Read more HERE!

MMSMP | INSPIRATION | for the love creations

This chippy Artissimo trunk is beautiful!!  Sada applied one coat of Artissimo and added one coat of Hemp Oil!  After adding the beautiful floral pattern, the trunk was finished with Hemp Oil, Furniture Wax and Antiquing Wax.  See more HERE!

MMSMP | INSPIRATION | for the love creations