I love experimenting with different materials and finishes, and I decided I would try my hand at getting a chippy paint look with latex paint – no milk paint needed! One thing that surprises a LOT of people (especially on my instagram) is that almost all the cool antique, vintage looking pieces in my house are things that I’ve built. And the secret to making any DIY build look like antique salvage is to make it chippy, worn, and a tad bit grimy. So let me show you how to make latex paint look chippy!
Disclaimer: I was given products to use for this project by Crates & Pallet, and there are affiliate links in this post. But I only reccomend products I love & think you will too.
I have a few qualifications when buying antiques:
- It has to be dirt cheap. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to buy something that’s dirty, chippy, and broken for $ one billion dollars.
- It can’t have Lead Paint on it. The exception is the original four doors I got (basically for free) from a farmhouse built in the 1800’s. But they ain’t coming into my house until I strip & seal them.
- It has to have loads and loads of character. I like to keep things minimal around here. So if I buy something, I have to have fallen in LOVE with it. Head over heels. Period.
So with all that said, I’ve ended up just building my own salvage looking things. Mostly using reclaimed wood and pallets. The advantage of this is I get to make sure everything fits in with my house size, style, and color-wise. Truth be told, I a NOT an awesome woodworker. But that’s okay. I’ve embraced the rustic, sloppy, old look in my decor. So if everything doesn’t line up perfect, it doesn’t bother me.
There are some pieces that I have invested in (like my almost 100 year old cast iron drainboard sink), but for the most part Silas and I just build everything. So I thought I’d share the painting process I came up with on these lockers we built for our mudroom. I wanted that really chippy milk paint look. But I knew that since this locker would be used for coats and shoes I needed a more durable paint. You could totally do this finish with chalk paint, but I wanted to try out getting a super chippy paint look with latex paint.
Click the image above to watch a video tutorial of my process for achieving a chippy paint look with latex paint – no milk paint needed!
Here’s what the hutch/locker looked like unfinished.
We were originally going to do separate compartments and four doors, but then the reality of having to open up four doors to get everyone’s stuff settled in… and we decided it would make more sense space-wise to just do one large compartment and two doors.
I was feeling extra adventurous with this piece and opted for painting the base coat instead of staining. The main reason behind this decision was I didn’t want the stain to react differently to the several types of wood we used to build this piece. So I painted instead of stained. The color I picked turned out to be a little more orange that I had planned (I wanted more of a burnt yellow brown- whoops!) I had my little helper paint this color on. Ideally when using paint to mimic a stain, you want to water down your paint and just apply it in thin coats.
Here it was in all of it’s pumpkin glory! Haha!
To tone down the orange & get that really chippy look with latex paint, I took my putty knife tool and scraped the paint on. I wanted to go for a grunge look, so I purposly left little raw patches of the original color here and there. Those would turn into my “chippy” looking areas later.
After applying lots of uneven scraping, and patting on a second layer here and there on the piece, I used a diaper wipe to rub off the areas that were still drying.
I also applied a bit of latex paint to the diaper wipes & added a slight wash over any areas that were too bright orange. I like using diaper wipes while painting because they are pre-moistened, and disposable. Oh, and I have four kids, so there is always a pack of them nearby. Hah!
Once I was done with the outside I needed to decided what to do with the bright orange inside. I ended up applying a super watered down version of the cream colored latex paint to tone down the orange inside. I didn’t want the outside and inside to look exactly the same, so adding just a little bit of white wash was the perfect solution. The best way I can describe the finish on the inside would be “foggy.” It has just the perfect touch of chalky cloudiness.
Here’s the locker all done.
If you look up above it, towards the ceiling you will see that we are still struggling to finish this ceiling in this room. Fixer upper problems.
I did the same orange washed down paint on the crates & then wiped and distressed them with a watered down solution of the latex paint. I wanted them to look like vintage french market crates.
I made this cute little bench using these forged steel hairpin legs from Crates & Pallet HERE.
Here you can see how awesome the watered down latex paint looks on the inside. It kinda looks like a mix of chippy milk paint and some mega liming wax.
If you want to see some other fun painting techniques I’ve used to get a chippy finish, check out these two posts:
We added a little hook latch on the front…
…and then two on the top to lock both doors so the little ones can’t get into it whenever they want. You all probably noticed that I kept the top orange. Haha! I actually like how it looks without any white paint on top.
Let’s face it, it’s NOT going to look this minimal & well organized for long. We’ve got to fit the coats and shoes for a family of FIVE in here.
Each person will have their own crate for shoes & a couple hooks for their seasonal coats (I keep the extra “out of season” ones in a storage bin in the closet)
This house does not have a lot of storage. and we are essentially doubling the space we had in our previous coat closet. Having this locker in our mudroom is a life saver! We opted for hooks instead of hangers, and I really love how easy it is to grab and go now.
Silas added a little shelf on the top for keys, chargers, and hats.
Creating this space has helped me go through and organize all the shoes and things we were previously just throwing in a giant rubbermaid. I think the system of having one crate per person is going to help us get in and out of the house much easier.
No more digging through a giant bucket to find shoes! Haha!
Eventually I would love to build a big long bench for this space.
But for now, we just have this cute hairpin leg bench.
So there you have it! My tutorial on how to get a chippy paint look with latex paint – not milk paint!
PRODUCTS USED IN THIS PROJECT: