DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

This is another one of those tutorials that I’ve been dying to share with you! Like sitting on my hands and anxiously waiting to type it out. But after taking 2 weeks off from blogging, I’m back and ready to give you this fabulous tutorial for achieving the aged chippy paint look on your next project.

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

Before I give you the chippy gritty, I want to give you the background story on those gorgeous corbels.

If you’ve been following along, I finally completed my 13 month kitchen renovation. The last task was installing two open shelves on the full tile wall. Finding the perfect corbels to use as shelf brackets was not an easy task. I scoured eBay, Craig’s List and salvage shops. I was really getting discouraged. That was when I met Garlan from Southern Accents Architectural Antiques at Haven. We talked for a few minutes and he showed me some of the corbels he had in his store. There were some wonderful old ones, but I felt a bit like Goldilocks. One was too tall. The other not big enough, but the biggest problem was that I needed four of them. Garlan showed me some new corbels that he had. He told me he has a guy that can duplicate any corbel design and can customize them to meet any size requirements. It was as if the heavens parted and angels sang! I was elated and couldn’t wait to find an image of a design I liked. But, again, the Goldilocks in me couldn’t find the “perfect” corbels. So, I opened up Adobe Illustrator and started to design my own unique corbels.

PHG Corbel Design for


I designed a scroll pattern based off of one corbel I saw, but also added some relief portions inside the corbel. I sent the image to Garlan and a week later he sent me a picture of one of the corbels. It was love at first sight! I quickly approved the initial one and waited anxiously for the corbels to arrive. When I opened the box, they were beautiful and exactly as I had pictured them in my head.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques corbels

I set forth to give them an appropriate aged chippy paint look to fool people into thinking they were actually antique salvage. Here’s how I did it.


  • Stain (Early American by Minwax)
  • Milk paint
  • Chalk paint
  • Petroleum jelly (vaseline)
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint scraper
  • Sand paper
  • Putty knife
  • Sponge
  • Rag
  • Cup of water
  • My Secret Rustic Glaze Formula
  • Frayed brush


First stain the wood using Early American by Minwax. Once the stain has thoroughly dried (overnight), mix your milk paint. (I mixed several of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint colors together (French Enamel, Linen and Ironstone) to achieve the color blue I wanted.)

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint three coats of the milk paint mixture, using a smaller brush to paint inside the scroll cut out.

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

Once the paint has dried, it’s time to start distressing. Wet a sponge and lightly wring it out. Lay the wet sponge onto the wood where you want to distress. After the water has time to soak into the paint a little, take a dry rag and rub at the wet area to remove some of the paint.

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

Next wipe some petroleum jelly on a few areas of the wood that you want to resist paint.

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint white chalk paint over the entire piece (I didn’t paint inside the scroll design.) You can add a second coat if you desire a whiter finish.

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

After the chalk paint has dried, rub the putty knife over the paint. Areas where the vaseline is should lift up easily and create some chipping.

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

Lightly sand to remove more paint and distress further.

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

To truly achieve the antique look, you need to “dirty” the wood now. Use the frayed brush to lightly dry brush My Secret Rustic Glaze Formula onto several areas on the wood. Less is definitely more when it comes to glazing. For more tips on glazing you might want to read my tutorial on  how to use asphaltum glaze.

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

When you’re done, you should have a beautifully aged and chippy show stopper!

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

Tell the truth, did you know these were new corbels when you first saw them?

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

Stay tuned for the tutorial to hang shelves on a tile wall using corbel brackets.


Disclosure: Southern Accents Architectural Antiques provided the corbels for my kitchen in exchange for a mention in my post. As always, I choose the companies and brands I wish to work with. If I don’t like a product, service, etc. I don’t mention them on the blog. For more information about SAAA, or to order your own custom corbels check out their website, follow them on Facebook , Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and check out their fabulous boards on Pinterest!

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  1. I love the chunky corbels and your painting effect is just perfect!

  2. Those are really gorg. We go to Southern Accents Architectural Antiques every now and then… I love that place!

  3. I love how they turned out, thanks for the great tutorial!

  4. Sharon B. says:

    The corbel design is so beautiful and I absolutely love how you painted and distressed them. And the wood shelves look so good on the corbels. I am sure you are absolutely thrilled with how they turned out. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

  5. I love the contrast of the painted wood and the natural wood tones of the shelf! Just gorgeous. I am often looking for the perfect corbel for client’s designs so this is a great resource to have to know that I could have a custom designed corbel. Nicely done!

  6. I am a friend of Leldon Maxcy who cut these for Southern Accents. I have known him through scroll sawing and woodworking for nearly 20 years now. His work is amazing! I just wanted to say that I think you did a FABULOUS job finishing these beautiful corbels! I just finished a re-purposing project myself and the response was tremendous from people looking to add worn finishes like this. I think it is a strong trend right now. Thank you for sharing the tutorial on how you achieved this awesome look! It is really beautiful! :) Sheila

  7. The corbels are beautifully designed and enhanced by the paint treatment. I just purchased my first home and am finally getting to put your tutorials to use. I already have the corbels but can’t find thick wood for the shelf. The chain home repair stores don’t carry thick pieces. Could you sugggest where I might find some wood for shelving? Thank you in advance

  8. Those corbels are GORGEOUS! I’m off to look around since I need some for my “new vintage” French Farmhouse. I usually use oil or wax when I want “chippy goodness” vaseline is a BRILLIANT choice! xo

  9. Love the chippy corbels. I frequent SAAA at least once a month, Garlan really has some gorgeous things. I love the bulky decor.

  10. This turned out great. I love the look. Thanks for the tips.

  11. OMGosh! I love them so much! I’m actually completely head over heels for your kitchen!

    New fan/follower,

  12. Thanks Brittany for the shout out! We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you did with the corbels. They look amazing! Great tutorial…hope you don’t mind if we share!

  13. stunning corbels love your design!

  14. Tom gifford says:

    why did you use milk paint for the base and then switch to chalk paint for the paint to be chipped?

  15. Tom gifford says:

    why did you use milk paint for the bee and then switch to chalk paint for the paint to be chipped?

  16. christy hollier says:

    I’ve tried the vaseline trick before but it always ends…well….um…not a great as yours lets say.
    But I’m gonna give another try. Candle wax just doesn’t look as good as yours.
    When I saw Southern Accents I freaked……surely not my favorite place to wonder and drool BUT i clicked it and sure enough it was. OK now off to paint something……THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INSPIRATION!!!!! i sure needed it!!

  17. These are really beautiful! I live near Huntsville and love going to Cullman to peruse Southern Architecture, my favorite store!

  18. Awesome tutorial, you designed some stunning corbels and distressed them beautifully as well! Thank you for sharing!

  19. Is there an alternative to Milk paint that I might be able to obtain in South Africa as I really would like to try your technique? It is really beautiful

  20. Chuck Reed says:

    My wife and I are in the process of buying a home and there’s quite a bit of unfinished wood paneling on the walls. I’d like to use some of your distressing techniques on the panels, including those in your chipping tutorial. Do you think milk and chalk paint is durable enough to be used on wood paneling and does it require any sealant? Thanks!

  21. Merari Rodriguez says:

    Just WOW!!! This is the first I’ve heard about “mill paint! ” what’s the benefits of milk paint of i may ask? I’ve made a few comments today and have mentioned that I’m I’m self learner, but every YouTube video I’ve watched, it’s always suggesting chalk paint.

  22. Susan Raley says:

    thank you for this idea. I’ve done something similar using wax but this time I’m going to use petroleum jelly as you suggested. can’t wait to try it.


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  2. […] up to this post, I shared my top secret recipe for making new wood look old! And how to get the true chippy paint look: You may also want to check out my gallery of rustic and distressed […]

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