Artful furniture painting

DSCF1011DSCF1012My latest paint project is finishing a stool. My son Nathan build it for me for my Christmas present. I asked him to design it after an antique shaker piece that I had seen.

What I love about this design is that you don’t have to bend over every time you need to move the stool. And being 5’2″, I need to use a stool pretty often. The tall handle with a hole also makes it possible to hang the stool from a shaker peg.

For this faux finish I am painting three colors of paint: an ochre base color, a light gray, and a white.

DSCF1015I am trying a new technique that I discovered from Miss Mustard Seed that uses vaseline as a paint resist. Dab on the vaseline where you don’t want the paint to stick, and then paint over it with your topcoat and let it completely dry.

DSCF1019At this point you can take a sponge or cloth and wipe over these areas. As you can see, the paint peels off, revealing the under paint color. The effect is much like a real chipped off finish. Whereas I like the look, I think that I over did the vaseline. I didn’t want this much paint to come off. So I went back and repainted some areas, and added another technique, crackle medium.

DSCF1025Here I am re-working this area. The crackle happens as the paint dries. It is fun to watch it go to work.


I add the dark brown antique wax on top of the crackle, so that it seeps into the crevices, accentuating the crackling. Much more what I was looking for.


DSCF1018The last step is wiping on and buffing a soft furniture wax, which gives the top coat of paint a uniform look and protects all the effects. I am using the Miss Mustard Seed brand of furniture waxes which do not have a chemical smell. They are so soft and easy to apply. I love the semi-matte sheen of the finished piece.

DSCF1035I really love playing with paint, and creating my own antiques. I love having actual antiques, but it is rare for me to find a piece that works just right in size and color and price tag. So being a thrifty crafter, I make my own. And besides, for a working stool, it really is important that it is sturdy and not rickety.


What is wonderful about painting furniture is that I can repaint anytime I want a change. For instance, this stool would also be exciting in an old red. What do you think?

Have a creative day ~ Karen


24 thoughts on “Artful furniture painting

    • stools are an important piece of furniture around here, and i have a lot of colorful examples. they seem to add just the right decorating touch everywhere as stools, footrests, or little tables.


  1. You will love that stool! I have one which is a real shaker stool, have had it for years, being also short, (5’3″) mine stands in my kitchen and is easily ‘toted’ to wherever I need it.
    Love the way you painted yours! I may have to paint mine!


  2. lov this technique! I’m painting an old stool an old red…what base coats should work for this finished colour.? suggestions, please


  3. How simple and functional that design is! I should make one of those stools…leaning over is one of my least-favorite things to do these days, and I’m always moving a little stepstool back and forth between the workshop and the goat barn.


  4. Well, I am 5’2″ also! I use step stools all the time! Love this stool, and your son did a great job! Sturdy stools that are also aesthetically pleasing are not always easy to find! I like the paint finish you chose–I will have to check out Miss Mustard Seeds paint!


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