Peeled Paint

Adapted from a technique by Claudine Helmuth.

These techniques give a very old and well worn look to your projects.

I've had satisfying results working with purchased blank journals. I stock up on plain black ones whenever I find them at a decent price.


I like to use good quality acrylic paints.
Lumieres are my favorite- but the Ranger Andirondacks have some beautiful colors too.
I dab the paint on with my fingers and texture it with various things- like paper towels.

I love using the Ranger Distress reinkers. They give such a warm, aged glow to the underlying colors.

I drip a little on and then start scrubbing it in with paper towels.
Are you noticing a pattern here? I use a LOT of paper towels in my studio.

You can keep applying and scrubbing away til you get a look you like.


I applyed an image I printed on a piece of plain white computer paper.
A stamped image would work just as well- but be sure to use a permanent stamping ink.

I tore the image out to give a rough edge to the paper and then applied some of the Distress Inks to it.
I attached it to the journal cover using Golden Matte Gel Medium.

You'll want to apply a coat of gel medium- matte or gloss depending on your preference, to the entire surface or the cover. This is important. You'll need that protection for it when you do the next steps.


Now comes the really messy part.

You want to glob on a thick layer of petroleum jelly over the parts you want to protect from the layer of paint you will be adding to this.

Yes, you did read that correctly. Petroleum jelly, Vaseline is a common brand name.

Smear it on. Trust me. It's gonna be OK. I promise.
You coated the whole thing with a clear acrylic gel medium, right? That will protect it from the petroleum jelly.
And the water you'll need to use to wash it off later.....


Now you need to cover the whole thing with a thick layer of paint.

I used Golden brand Micaceous Iron Oxide for this particular journal. Any color of type of acrylic paint will work just fine.

You can allow it to dry on it's own- or if you are impatient- try hitting it with a heat gun to speed up the process.

For a more traditional look- you might want to try colors that are reminiscent of house paints. Actual house paint should work for that. ;)

I tend to use metallics or flat blacks a lot. Just a personal preference.
Try for a bit of contrast.


Now wipe over the surface with- well, whatever- a paper towel works!

The area covered with the petroleum jelly wipes off. It leaves a rough looking surface with interesting edges. Looks much like paint that has peeled off with age exposing the previous surface layer.

I left a lot of streaks and uneven brush stokes on this piece.
I didn't let the top coat of paint dry very well on this. I got a bit of color staining the whole surface- but for this one, that worked.

I washed off any trace of the petroleum jelly with some Orange Oil spray cleaner.


I went back in with a stipple brush and reworked some of the edges around the collaged image.

I'll probably do some additional work on this piece. It doesn't feel "finished" yet.

I loved using the Distress Inks on the underlayment for this. I love the rich, warm look they give.

I suspect this is a technique I will continue to work with. There are so many possibilities. So many different paints and inks to try out.


I used some PVA type glue mixed with the Gold Lumiere for the top coat on this one.
I hit it with a heat gun until it bubbled up and gave a cracked type finish to the top coat.