Chippy Paint Finish on Shutters

One of the prettiest ways to get organized is to use wood shutters. Today I’m showing you how to do a simple chippy paint finish on shutters to get that wonderful time-worn look using petroleum jelly.

Make your own set of painted shutters

Get Organized with Wood Shutters!

This DIY begins with a set of unfinished wood shutters from Walnut Hollow. These shutters are made in America, as all of our Walnut Hollow’s products are. And the superb quality of these shutters shows the care that was taken in crafting these.

Rustic Shutter from Walnut Hollow

You can hang shutters in your kitchen area as a family message center. You can hang them in your office or craft room to keep track of important notes. There’s so many possibilities when decorating with shutters!

Here’s the supplies I used to create my own set of pretty shutters to stay organized.


  • Rustic Shutter (2) – Walnut Hollow
  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paints – DecoArt
    (colors used: Carbon, New Life, Vintage)
  • Paint brush
  • Small paint brush
  • Drop cloth
  • Sanding block
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Paper towels
  • Wet wipes
  • Rubber stamps (decorative numbers)
  • Black stamp pad

Chippy Paint Finish on Shutters Tutorial

Step One:  Paint each shutter with one coat of Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint in Carbon (black).

black chalky painted shutters

Use a small paintbrush to get the paint into any nooks and crannies where a larger brush won’t fit.

use small brush to get paint into tiny spots

Step Two:  Dry brush Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint in New Life (green) onto each shutter. Load a small amount of paint onto your paint brush, mostly on the edge. Wipe most of the paint onto a paper towel, leaving very little paint on the brush.

dry brushing with chalky paint

How to dry brush:

how to dry brush with chalk paint

(A) Hold your paint brush at an angle. (B) Lightly move your brush across the wood surface, pulling the paint along as you go. (C) Any heavier paint can be easily feathered out and spread by pulling the paint with your brush.

Note: Depending upon the look you want, you might need several coats to slowly build up the color. The shutter below left has three coats, whereas the shutter below right has only one coat.

dry brush painted shutters comparison

Step Three: Paint the rest of the shutters with the New Life (green) color, letting some of the Carbon (black) color show through here and there.

Here are the shutters so far. You could leave them just like this and have such a pretty set for your home decor.

green chalky painted shutters

Now it’s time to create our chippy paint-looking finish using petroleum jelly!

Step Four:  Spread petroleum jelly with your finger over the areas where you want the base color (New Life) to show through.

chippy paint technique using petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly acts as a resist, so any paint that is applied over the petroleum jelly will not adhere to the surface, thus showing off the base color(s) instead. This is what gives you the time-worn, chippy paint finish — especially if you use more than two colors layered over each other as I’m doing here.

use petroleum jelly for chippy paint finish

Step Five:  Apply a thick coat of Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint in Vintage (dusty blue) to each shutter. Paint over all areas, including the spots with petroleum jelly on them.

how to fake a chippy paint finish

I painted the front edges in Vintage, but left the inside edges with the New Life (green) shade. Here are the shutters after this step:

chippy paint finish DIY

Let the paint dry for at least an hour or so. After this top color of paint dries, here is how the shutters will look:

chippy paint finish tutorial

See the darker areas on the painted slats? That’s where the petroleum jelly is laying underneath the dried top layer of paint. Sometimes you’ll see the paint crackle a bit too in those spots.

Look for those darker areas, as those are the ones you’ll want to pay special attention to when you’re distressing in the next step.

Step Six: Distress the shutters! This can get a bit messy. I place a drop cloth underneath the shutters to catch the bits of paint that will be removed. I wear gloves and have a garbage bin nearby to easily discard things. Get yourself set up first, and you’ll actually have fun with this step. Trust me!

removing layers of paint

(D) First, use a sanding block to rub and sand over areas where you placed petroleum jelly. Wipe the dust and paint bits away with a rag or paper towel. (E) Using a wet wipe, remove petroleum jelly and any additional bits of paint from the shutters. The wet wipe will lift off the layers and also take care of any oil residue from the petroleum jelly. Wipe with paper towels. (F)

rustic shutters with chippy paint finish

You could easily leave your shutters just like this for a pretty, vintage look!

shutters with chippy paint finish

I decided to embellish the shutters with decorative number stamps.

Step Seven:  Stamp decorative numbers in various places on the shutters, including the frames.

how to stamp images over a painted finish

I used acrylic stamps (G) which, when removed from their backing look as if the design is backwards. (H) These stamps easily adhere to acrylic stamping blocks (I) for easy placement of your stamped designs. I used a permanent stamping ink in black. (J)

decorative number 3 stamped image

And now I have a pretty set of shutters that will keep me organized!

Chippy Paint Finish on Shutters

Here’s a closer look at the finish:

chippy paint finish details close up

I love how pretty these shutters look. You’d never guess they started out as new, unfinished wood shutters!

Chippy painted wood shutters

Walnut Hollow has so many unique products to help you get organized in stylish ways!

Follow Walnut Hollow on Facebook and Instagram for more ideas and organizing solutions for your home.

Laura of Pet Scribbles

I’m Laura, the creative mind behind Pet Scribbles, my blog where I share craft tutorials, home and garden projects, and occasional cat stories. I can never have enough pretty craft paints to work with, and I love to make things look time-worn with distressing and aging — especially wood projects both large and small. Stop by!


One thought on “Chippy Paint Finish on Shutters

  1. Pingback: How to: a chippy paint finish that always looks authentic!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s