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How to Create a Chippy Layered Finish Patina on Furniture

Suggest an item that has passed through many hands with this worn-wood look

Allowing other colors and some bare wood to show suggests an item that has passed through many hands. This three-color look suits worn wood pieces that have a less-than-perfect finish, or even cracks, like this pew.

Step 1

Dry-Brush Paint

Photo by Daniel Hennessy

Sand off any existing finish. Dry-brush on a coat of white milk paint. Let dry, then sand lightly. Wipe off dust with a rag.

Step 2

Add Second Paint Coat

Photo by Daniel Hennessy

With a chip brush, add a coat of yellow milk paint and let dry. Sand again.

Step 3

Layer on Green Paint

Photo by Daniel Hennessy

Use a rag to wipe away any dust residue, and apply green milk paint over the yellow coat.

Step 4

Scrape Off Chips

Photo by Daniel Hennessy

When the piece is dry, use a paint scraper to remove random "chips" of paint, allowing the previous colors to show through.

Step 5

Apply Finishing Wax

Photo by Daniel Hennessy

With a round wax brush, apply finishing wax in a circular motion, about 1 square foot at a time, wiping away any excess with a rag as you go.

Tip: While wax is used to finish indoor milk-paint projects, it won't stand up to the heat of the sun. If you plan to park your piece outside, finish it with hemp oil. Apply only what the surface will absorb; cure for 30 days before placing outdoors.