How to get the “Chippy” look with Fusion Mineral Paint

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Welcome back everyone! Today we are blogging about a subject that may relieve some major stress for those of you DIY’ers who love the milk paint chippy look but can’t stand to deal with the stress and unpredictability of it’s finish. As you may or may not know, we are bloggers for Fusion Mineral Paint , an extremely high quality acrylic decor paint that is eco-friendly with long term durability and a beautiful color palette. I have been using Fusion for over a year now, and it is my first choice of paint for versatile finishes.

One finish in particular that I have always loved, is the naturally aged, farmhouse-chippy-sat-in-a-barn-for-decades look. The problem is…with milk paint you can never truly control the finish. For spray painters like myself, that pill is really tough to swallow. Unless you are willing to let go of your final vision and let the milk paint do it’s thing..then and only then will you truly love the authenticity of true milk paint.

But at last! I have found the secret to recreating that authentic chippy look using Fusion Mineral Paint without the headache!

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The Prep

Prep was same as always. Sand, fill in major holes, wait to dry. Repeat. The chippy look is usually accompanied by well worn age like knicks, nail holes, minor scratches, etc. So I really only fixed major problems with this piece like rescuing the casters, stripping the top for stain, and adding some wood braces within the drawer tracks to help the drawers guide smoothly.

Some bug bombing and a good wash, followed by a compressed air blow dry were really the last of the prep stages.

The Secret Weapon

Well, you won’t be surprised to know that the trick to getting this naturally chippy look is the same trick milk painters used to gain a little more control over their chipping. Good ole spray Shellac in a can. Yep. No special technique, no super secret chemical or mixture…just good ole shellac.

Although the ingredients are the same, the result is much different with Fusion. In fact, I think it makes the effort easier, because YOU determine where the chipping happens!


See, the thing about distressing is it has to look natural. I’ve come across way to many pieces in the past (and I must admit I have made this mistake myself) that just look destroyed by a sander because there was no real method to distressing…just kinda wherever it looked spaced out enough to kind of look natural. I have a habit of wanting an extremely smooth surface so my method of distressing is orbital sander.

The Look

To get this look I simply sprayed shellac in places where I wanted the paint to chip heavily. I sprayed one light coat of Shellac over the base and when it was dry I went over specific spots heavily (face front and drawers edges) with a heavier coat.

Then I sprayed two coats of Fusion’s “Bedford” with about 30 minutes dry time in-between. When the last coat was dry to the touch I took my orbital sander and sanded away. I wasn’t intentional about where I sanded for a reason. Fusion takes about 12 hours to fully dry for maximum durability. I sand about 30-45 minutes after it’s dry to the touch for this very reason…I want those areas where I shellacked to chip off as the sand paper makes contact. And so it does, just let the sander and the shellac do the work for you and you will see as you go over the shellac, the paint will chip away nicely!

Finishing Touches

The hardware was picked up from Hobby Lobby. I’ve been into cup pulls lately. I also gave the painted portions three coats of General Finishes HPTC in Satin. High traffic pieces like dressers need maximum durability.

The top was stripped, sanded and stained with one coat of Rustoleum’s Dark Walnut and sealed with two coats of Minwax oil-based Satin Polyurethane.

Lastly, the pop of floral color to top off this pretty rustic dresser. My client gave me creative freedom with this one and I’m so glad she did because I see no other vision for this piece. I love the end result and wouldn’t change a thing about it.

So what do you think? Are you ready to take on your own chippy dresser? I can’t say that this method will work with any other brands of paint as I haven’t tried it, but Fusion just makes painting so easy, and the colors are to die for. You can’t really go wrong, especially now that you can get a whole new type of finish with an acrylic paint. Order a jar and try it for yourself!

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