Using Petroleum Jelly to Age Wood | i should be mopping the floor
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Using Petroleum Jelly to Age Wood

Here is another simple method for distressing wood pieces.
It uses Petroleum Jelly as a paint-repellant. Very fun to try.

This finish was not my first choice for our barn door {see the tutorial on how we assembled and installed the barn door here}. However, I'm really happy with how it all worked out in the end! Below is the process>>>

I originally wanted a stained door for this piece. However, long dad convinced me that the paneled board was the way to go {which I totes agree with for the building purposes}. However, I knew deep down in my heart of hearts that the panelling would make a mess of stain. I tried to pretend I was above that and went with the paneling anyway. And, of course...I was not above that. It was a hot mess, as evidenced above. {I used Minwax's Dark Walnut colored stain here}.

The stain took beautifully to the frame of the door, but the actual panelling was a nightmare, y'all. Super inconsistent and just looked so bothched up. So, PLAN B.

As with most pieces I do, I went with a weathered look. But this time, I didn't want an over-sanded look that would pull off all that dark stain color. I wanted to dark stain to show through {especially on the non-paneled parts}. The solution? Petroleum Jelly. I didn't even have to go to the store! I'm pretty sure we've had the same tub of this stuff since our first kid was born...nine and a half years ago {it's the bottomless tub variety, apparently}!

I had seen a few tutorials out there on using this stuff...but in true me form, I just did my own thing and did what felt right to me. And I'm really happy with the results.

All you need to do for this finish is apply the jelly to the areas that you don't want paint to stick to. I went along the edges, where a piece naturally ages. And I did a few spots in random places. Just to be random. The more jelly you glop on, the less paint will stick. Keep in mind that what you put on must be able to naturally absorb itself into the base wood, or be wiped up after painting, so you don't have a really greasy door for the long haul. 

Then paint. Go over the areas with the jelly applied...although you may see the paint not sticking as well to those areas {it sort of bubbled up a bit}. Allow the paint to dry for at least an hour.

After an hour, come back with paper towels and remove the paint that is on the petroleum jellied areas {you can kind of see the areas that are less painted or slightly bubbled from the jelly...those are where to wipe}. It wipes off so easily. Honestly, it scared me a bit at first because it just kept coming off. The jelly tends to spread a bit where its applied...keep that in mind in the application process. Aged spots tend to be a bit larger than applied.

I LOVED this. I wasn't pulling off stain...just paint! So the dark stain showed through beautifully.

Using Petroleum Jelly to Age Wood | Very fun technique in this tutorial! Easy to do and allows stain to show through beautifully!
I did grab my sanding block, too...just because I can't leave well enough alone. I didn't do the electrical sander since it would've pulled off too much paint. Using a block gives me a bit more control. And I'm a control fah-reak, y'all. I altered the paper towel removal and sand paper. Try to avoid using the sand paper on the petroleum jellied ruins the paper and is just a mess. I just used it where I hadn't applied any jelly. 

Using Petroleum Jelly to Age Wood | Very fun technique in this tutorial! Easy to do and allows stain to show through beautifully!
I let the jellied/painted/weathered finish cure for a few days without touching it {although I can't guarantee that a certain six year old followed that same rule}. Once it was dry, I did a good once over with a paper towel...just to make sure I hadn't missed any spots {they can be hard to see}.

I added the wreath for a little more texture. It was one of the wreaths that hung on the chapel door we were married in over eleven years ago! :)

Using Petroleum Jelly to Age Wood | Very fun technique in this tutorial! Easy to do and allows stain to show through beautifully!
We've really enjoyed the new addition of the sliding barn door to our home. 
Again, that barn door assembly tutorial can be found here

Using Petroleum Jelly to Age Wood | Very fun technique in this tutorial! Easy to do and allows stain to show through beautifully!
So what do you think of this technique to weather a piece?

And please...for all that is good and holy, ignore the ficus tree in this photo. It has since  found a new home at Goodwill {since the big, bad Facebook Ficus Tree discussion} . Lawdy.

Neglect your chores like me and don't miss a thing:


  1. Lawdy! Your "new" barn door looks awesome! ;) I love the paint treatment and that you used vaseline to do it.

  2. LOVE how it turned out! The white does look so so so much better! I've seen that petroleum trick before too but haven't tried it. Your tutorial was great, thanks so much for sharing! Pin'd =) Marcy @ day2day SuperMom

  3. Wicked cute. Great job and love it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. We are looking to add wood flooring to our home due to our daughter having allergies and asthma. Thank you for the tips. It will make things a lot easier.
    Buying sustainable wood