How to Distress Furniture Using Vaseline

I love painting and redoing furniture. I love taking something that may be out of date, out of style, or broken down and making it useful again. Repurposing is what the kids call it these days.

It’s a fun hobby, but one that I can’t do all the time because, because we only have so much room in our house for furniture. We were at an estate auction earlier this summer, and I bought this cabinet for just $7.00. I couldn’t think of a place for it in our house at the time (and I still don’t know what to do with it), but I hope to have a different house one day and put it to use then. Side note: I don’t like buying things, no matter how cheap they may be, without having a use for them right away. I think buying things just to buy them, in hopes of using them one day, is a bad idea! However, I went against my own rule this time and bought the cabinet.

Over the weekend I decided to paint it, and I’m happy with how it turned out. This was the first time that I had used Vaseline to distress, and it is much easier than I thought it would be! If you want to do a project similar to this, you will need:

A piece of furniture to distress, obviously
Primer or sandpaper, I prefer primer
Paintbrushes or paint rollers, I used both
Two different colors of paint
Vaseline
Steel Wool
Painter’s tape, optional

How to Distress Furniture Using Vaseline and Steel Wool

How to Distress Furniture Using Vaseline and Steel Wool

First I removed the knobs and put two coats of primer on it. I really, really hate sanding, so primer is a good alternative for me!

How to Distress Furniture Using Vaseline and Steel Wool

Next I painted two coats of dark brown paint and taped off the areas I wanted to leave brown. Then I dabbed the Vaseline on in random places all over the cabinet. I learned that the thicker you put the Vaseline on, the easier the paint will come off the top coat. Try to be as random as you can when putting the Vaseline on, but your brush or roller (whatever you are using to paint) will also help spread it out as you paint the top coat on. I focused on the edges and corners of the cabinet.

How to Distress Furniture Using Vaseline and Steel Wool

How to Distress Furniture Using Vaseline and Steel Wool

Next I painted two coats of the white top coat. As you can see in the picture, the paint won’t stick well in the places where the Vaseline is. After the paint was completely dry, I took off the tape and used steel wool all over the cabinet. The only places I didn’t rub the steel wool over was the top and the brown panels because I didn’t want it too chippy there. The steel wool will take the paint off and distress it with out being too rough, like sandpaper can be. After I finished distressing it, I put the knobs back on and moved it inside!

How to Distress Furniture Using Vaseline and Steel Wool

I really like how it turned out! The only thing I have to figure it out now is where to put it…