DIY Home Decor

DIY Friday- How to Create a Distressed Look on Wood Using Vaseline

Lately I have been all about the “distressed” look over here. It brings so much character to the furniture, especially when it’s paired with a solid modern piece or accent. I have been playing around with all the different techniques to create this “distressed” look and I have found my favorite way! Vaseline is the magic trick! It’s so easy and it creates the look every time.

Here’s the deal with vaseline, anywhere there is vaseline and you paint over it, the paint won’t stick. It acts as a temporary protective layer, but can easily be rubbed off.


Quick story about this side table I refinished. I have two side tables that were actually built by my great grandpa Harry. The woodwork is beautiful, but they just needed to be repainted and stained after years of wear and tear. I love that they are displayed within my home.



  • stain (I used a dark walnut color)
  • chalky paint (I used the color lace)
  • old rag
  • vaseline
  • spray bottle with water
  • paint brush
  • polyurethane (you can use a spray paint or in a can)


1. First I washed the side tables with soap and water and made sure to let it fully dry. img_5603

2. I used 2 coats of stain and waited for it to dry before moving onto distressing the top.


3. Then I took the vaseline and used my finger to mark the areas that I want the distressed look to appear (the paint to wear off). There isn’t a right or wrong way in the placement of vaseline, just wherever you would like the distressed look to be. I made sure to place it along the edges and used a streaking stroke on top. Then I used the chalky paint on top.

4. When the paint was still a bit tacky I used an old rag to rub off the vaseline.  Anywhere vaseline is placed is where the paint will rub off. I then used the spray bottle and lightly sprayed on top to get rid of any leftover paint residue.

5. Once the top was fully dried I used the gloss polyurethane spray paint to put a protective layer on top. I used two coats. It takes at least 24 hours to set in and not be tacky.

That’s it! I’ve used this distressing technique on quite a few pieces and it’s never disappointed me. Make sure to visit my “Treasures” page located on my main menu to view another furniture piece I did this same technique to.


Happy DIYing!

Wishing you well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life


1 thought on “DIY Friday- How to Create a Distressed Look on Wood Using Vaseline”

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