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…
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.