Chippy Chairs

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at creating a chipped, distressed paint treatment and decided that these two sweet and sturdy wood chairs would be the perfect candidates.

Structurally, the chairs are in great condition but any finish had long since worn away and the wood was stained and blotchy on the spindle chair.  The second chair was just a bit boring and needed to be amped up.

To get this chippy finish, I layered paint over wax then distressed it with a heat gun.  I did a small section at a time.


How to:

  1. With a cloth, wipe on an all natural furniture wax.  It should not be uniform or even, but there shouldn’t be thick chunks of wax either.
  2. Immediately apply the paint.  I used Behr Premium Plus paint + primer.
  3. Using the heat gun, set to low and keeping it well back from the surface, dry the paint. You can also let it air dry but using the heat gun saved time.
  4. Once dry, switch the heat gun to high and hold it near the surface to bubble the paint.  Do this more in areas that would receive the most wear, and less in others.
  5. Let the paint cool, then gently scrape the section with a putty knife to make the raised paint chip off.  The wax will resist the paint and let it come cleanly off the wood.
  6. Clean all the paint chips off and seal with polycrylic.

**When using a heat gun on paint, be sure to work in a well ventilated area and wear heavy gloves and a mask.

I love that these chairs look like they’ve has been sitting in a barn with a well worn patina, but instead of a lead paint risk, it was done with beeswax, non-VOC paint, and sealed with a water based sealer.

The green chair is SOLD.


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