Chippy Paint Tutorial

Chippy Paint Tutorial

Oh, hey there Goal To Post A Tutorial Once A Week-- it's not you it's me.  Imma have to make it a steady once a month but today's the day!  Full-time hand-making is not for the faint of heart y'all, I don't sleep or shower but THE LORD BE PRAISED I'm doing what I love.

Reclaimed wood can be hard to come by these days at a reasonable cost, especially chippy painted wood.  Even if you pay the price or scavenge on the side of the road, often you're then dealing with having to clean and seal lead paint and other issues which make it even more costly and time-consuming to work with.  I am ALL OVER any authentic wood I can get my hands on, but I've come up with a sure-fire way to mimic that chippy paint look when it's in short supply or when I want to be able to dictate exactly where the chipping takes place and in what colors.




  • Wood stain (I'm using Minwax in Classic Gray)
  • White paint in an eggshell, satin or semi-gloss finish (I use Behr ultra white base)
  • Fine sanding block or sand paper
  • Packing tape (I use Scotch)
  • A plastic scraping tool (you can use a credit card, I like to use a hearty non-scratch pan scraper)
  • Matte Clear Spray protective coat



1. Prep your wood (slat, furniture, picture frame, etc) by sanding smooth and down to raw wood.

2. Apply one coat of the stain of your choice, letting soak to desired color and then wiping away any excess.

3. After wiping away any excess but not letting the stain dry, apply a thin coat of your paint.  You'll want to use an eggshell, satin or semi-gloss finish, not flat paint.  I prefer this method with eggshell "house" paint (the kind you'd buy to paint your walls) as opposed to craft paint.  I choose my color (or buy ultra white un-tinted) and ask for a sample size!

4. Let the paint dry completely on the top (until the wet sheen is gone) and apply a second and then third coat, letting dry between.

5. Lightly sand with your fine sanding block to make the finish as smooth as possible.

6. Once the surface is completely dry (but not waiting much longer than an hour) spread packing tape where you'd like the chippy surface to be. Press down with your pan scraper-- the more you press the more paint will come up.  If you don't want a straight edge, leave the edge of the tape curled up as you press the rest of the tape down.  Then, slowly pull up the tape to peel the paint from the stained surface.

7. Repeat step 6 until the paint is removed from your wood as you'd like, either the full surface or just an accent. 

8. Once your piece is done, spray with a clear coat to preserve the finish.


Have fun with it!  There are lots of variations you can get with the length of time you wait between coats as well as how thick you paint before taping (the thinner the paint the less will come up during taping as it better adheres to the stain).


Click the above photo to easily pin this tutorial!


If you use this method feel free to send me photos at or tag me (@avaberrylane) in your Instagram photos!


  • Velvet Novak

    Thank you so much for sharing ! Can’t wait to try this.

  • The Salvage Theory

    Thank you so much for sharing your techniques. Really nice of you. Love your work, crazy detailed saw skills ???

  • Julie

    I have loved your shop for so long, and this tutorial is brilliant!!! I can’t wait to decorate with this technique :)

  • TRish

    This is FANTASTIC!! Thanks so much for sharing!! ❤

  • Melissa

    Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. I’ve never been able to figure it out in my own. I’m excited to try it this weekend.

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