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Thursday, August 19, 2021

How to Achieve the Perfect Authentic Chippy Finish

Do you love the look of chippy vintage furniture?  Do you hate dealing with messy strippers?  Learn how to get the perfect authentic chippy finish in a few easy steps! 

The layers and character of naturally aged paint make chippy vintage furniture so beautiful and hard to resist.

Authentic vintage furniture is easy to love and now you can achieve the perfect chippy finish in just a few easy steps! 

How to achieve the perfect authentic chippy finish
I recently bought an antique mantel from an auction that was full of character.  It had been painted many times over and had aged and chipped beautifully, but I wasn't thrilled with the warm yellow color.  Thankfully, there was a layer of white paint under the yellow, so I set out to remove the yellow paint while also keeping the character of the mantel.  

Thanks to Down Home Chippy I learned that a simple household cleaner works wonders in easily removing old layers of paint for a beautiful chippy finish.  I tested the method out on this antique mantel and it worked beautifully!

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*** Disclaimer **** I started with an old and already chippy piece of furniture.  My goal was to maintain the character and authenticity of the piece, while also giving it a more modern look.  I have not tried this technique on new furniture or recently painted furniture.  I would also not recommend this technique on furniture that is not solid wood. 

Okay, now that that's out of the way......let's get workin' on this mantel!

Vintage mantel before
The mantel was solid, had great character and was a perfect size, but the color had to go!  Here are the super-easy steps I took to remove the yellow paint while still maintaining the original character.


Spray the entire piece of furniture (in my case the mantel) with a generous amount of Easy-Off Oven Cleaner.   The more the better, so don't skimp on this step. 

Easy off oven cleaner

Spray easy off on furniture


Go do something fun and let the cleaner sit for at least 20 mins.  You will start to see the cleaner foam a little as it begins activating. 
Let cleaner sit on furniture for 20 mins


Using a power washer (a hose may work too, but you may have to do a little scrubbing), spray off the cleaner from the entire piece of furniture.  
Power wash cleaner off furniture


Seal your piece of furniture with water-based poly to protect the furniture and seal in any loose chippy paint.  I also like to seal chippy vintage furniture because you never know if it's covered in lead paint and it's better to be safe than sorry. 
Seal furniture

How to achieve the perfect chippy finish

Authentic chippy mantel

Authentic chippy vintage mantel

I was amazed at how well this cleaner stripped off the top layer of paint without any scraping or messy strippers.   It left behind an authentic chippy finish that kept all the character and charm of this beautiful vintage mantel.  

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How to get the perfect authentic chippy finish

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Would you like to comment?

  1. How wonderful this looks now! What a great idea to try. I'm always amazed at people's ingenuity! Lucky you to find such a great piece. Envious!

  2. That oven cleaner is really strong. Be sure and wear a mask and eye protection.