Aged Paint Look – Vaseline Method

May 4, 2019 | DIY, DIY & Woodcraft, DIY Tips & Tricks, Gardening, Paints & Stains

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Who doesn’t love the look of something old and worn? In many of my projects I’ve wondered how to get that “aged” look on my projects without making them look trashy, especially because I love that aged metal/wood look. This led to my experimenting with different methods to get that worn paint look. This method is very simple and uses just Vaseline and paint to achieve that old age cracked paint look.

What Does It Take To Get This Look?

This look is so easy to achieve, you will wonder why you haven’t done this with all of your projects. All you need is a little Vaseline (I like to buy mine in the travel size so it’s handy in the workshop) and some paint and you are pretty much ready to go.


  • Vaseline
  • Toothbrush or Paintbrush
  • Paint of Choice
  • Wood Stain (optional)
  • Rags

Let’s Do It!:

For this project you don’t have to use stain at all, I like to because I usually work with new wood and the stain helps reduce that “new wood” look. In the pictures above, the picture to the left had stain applied on after the paint dried while the picture on the right had the stain applied before the paint.

Either way, you need to make sure wood you are working with is clean. Just wipe it down with a rag to remove any loose saw dust. If you are applying stain, apply with a rag or paint brush and wipe down any excess. Let dry according to manufacturer’s directions.

Once the piece is dry, the fun part begins. This part of the project would be great of kids to help with because the more random the Vaseline placement, the better. For applying the Vaseline I’ve tried all sorts of methods, with my hands, toothbrush, paintbrush, rags. Each one will give you a slightly different result since the Vaseline will be applied in different textures and widths. The pictures above show it applied with a toothbrush and paintbrush. No matter what you choose, you want to apply the Vaseline sparingly on whatever tool you use. You just want to cover small portions of the wood with Vaseline because it’s ultimately going to hinder the paint from drying and adhering to the wood.

When applying the Vaseline, place it either randomly all over the wood, or I like to put it in places that the wood would naturally age like the corners or edges of a piece and around areas that would get used frequently like handles or knobs.

Once the Vaseline is applied, just paint the wood with whatever paint you want. I like to use uneven brush strokes and older paint brushes so there are paint lines. Let dry until paint is dry to the touch but not completely set. Rub piece with a rag. The paint will chip off where the Vaseline was. You can rub these areas more until you get the aged look you want to achieve.

If you want to add stain at this point (this is the exact method I used for the picture frame above), wait for the paint to completely dry and then place small amount of stain to a rag and rub over areas you want a more aged look. Like always, don’t be afraid to experiment and mix up styles! You can further distress your piece by lightly sanding areas for different texture and feel.

Looking for other ideas on how to achieve an aged paint look? Read this post on how to aging it with simple wood glue.

Disclaimer: Please make sure with all your projects that you have read your equipment’s safety manual and are following the recommended safety precautions. We are not responsible for the results of your DIY projects as results can vary based on your skill level, quality of materials, and age of your equipment.

About Me


Hello everyone! My name is Angie Mallery, and I’m the proud founder of Wicked Handy. This blog is my playground for sharing everything that makes life more joyful and practical—from crafting and cooking to gardening and DIY projects. I’m thrilled you’re here and hope you find inspiration and enjoyment in what I love to do. Thank you for visiting!

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