Salvaging old pieces of furniture by giving them a new look just got easier. Sara from Sincerely, Sara D. shared a tutorial in April 2015 on how to easily distress pieces of furniture or frames by using Vaseline instead of the old-fashioned method of sandpaper and elbow grease. Denise with Salvaged Inspirations declared her experiment in distressing with Vaseline a success and left her "wondering … what took me so long" to try this?
This coffee table done by Liz Marie is done with a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a wood block. The results are a natural, distressed look, but the piece took a good bit of time to complete.
Another technique for distressing a piece is demonstrated by Primitive and Proper. For this piece, the restorer applied a glaze over the wood in the direction of the wood's grain. The writer makes certain to caution people to do small sections at a time so that the glaze can be removed quickly. Using a damp rag, simply wipe off the glaze. Then apply a finishing wax and buff out the finish.
Melody from My Passion for Decor distressed the dresser below using chalk paint and wax. She applied a stain to the top and then waxed it. The rest she painted with a chalk paint, applied a coat of clear paste wax, sanded the piece, applied a dark wax and lastly, a clear wax.
Although all the above pieces are beautiful, they took a lot of time and work to get the finish that is seen. Sara achieves the same results in far less time using Vaseline and a rag. She uses a paintbrush to apply the Vaseline to any area she wants to appear distressed. The thicker the Vaseline is, the less the paint will adhere to that spot. Once the Vaseline has been applied, she paints the piece. Any kind of paint can be used. She uses spray paint on the test piece she is doing. After the paint is dry, she grabs a rag and wipes where the Vaseline was applied. The paint easily comes off. Denise from Salvaged Inspirations points out that if you wipe the paint before it is dry, you get a softer look to the piece, like what chalk paint gives. Wiping off the paint after it is fully dry gives a "chippy" distressed look.
The next time you look at a piece and envision how it would look distressed but don't want to put in the time to sand it out, remember the Vaseline trick. Applying some petroleum jelly can save you a lot of time and effort and still give you the results you crave.
Watch the video for the live demo. Don't forget to SHARE this tip with your friends.