How to Create a Chippy, Layered Boat Wood Look

What’s up friends!? Glad to see you back. Today we are going to create a chippy and layered, old boat wood look. Say what? You’re asking yourself what that even means, right? Think about an old wooden boat that has been painted several times and over the years with wear and tear from the water it exposes all it’s old colors. That’s kinda the concept here.

This project is really fun because you get to be creative and use a lot of colors and paint on something like an old bench, potting table, a kids chair or craft table. I wouldn’t necessarily paint a dresser with this technique, but hey, it’s a fun technique to know how to do so that when you run across that perfect item you will know how to do it.

Here is mine. Too cute, right. A kindergarten teach bought it for her classroom. Ahhh it was meant to be.


Keep on reading and I will tell you how I created this look.

The paint that I used here was CeCe Caldwell’s Natural Chalk + Clay Paint in 6 different colors, but you could pretty much use any paint you want and in how many ever colors you want. The other thing you will need is a spatula. Yes, you read that correctly. A spatula. ┬áLastly, you will need a sealer to finish your project. I used Endurance by CeCe Caldwell’s.

Ready to see the step by step? Ok here we go.

Step 1

Paint your project with the base coat color of your choice. On my demo board I used Maine Harbor Blue by CeCe Caldwell’s. Paint it all over and let it dry. I chose to seal my base coat. This is optional.



Step 2

Grab your 2nd color and your spatula. Dip the tip of the spatula in the paint and begin randomly laying down this color. For about the first 4 to 5 colors ( if you are using that many) this is how you will apply the paint. Apply varying amounts of pressure on the spatula and the angle of how you are holding it. Here, I am holding it at about a 45 degree angle. Sometimes I hold it straight up and use only the edge and this creates a nice drag of paint. Experiment and play on a sample board the different ways to hold the spatula.



Let it dry.

Step 3

Grab your next color and repeat the same process as above. Fill in the spaces, but remember you want all colors to show so I wouldn’t go directly right over in the same places.


Let it dry.

Step 4

Again, select another color and repeat process.


As you can see, I skipped ahead a bit since the process is repeated so many times and already added in my turquoise and white paint. Keep in mind you can see EACH color. No color is hidden here. There will be no wet distressing here so don’t completely cover a certain color. I know, I know, it’s rare for me not to wet distress. LOL.

Let it dry.

Step 5

Now at this point in the process you are going to want to vary how you use and hold your spatula. You have the board (or in your case, the project) covered in paint. Now you are “detailing” and adding the final touches. When I get to this point I switch the way I use the spatula which you will see in the picture below.


Step 6

Once you feel like you have all the colors you want you can stop, let it dry and seal it. Again, you can use as many colors as you want. Here is the final board with Endurance used as the sealer. It gives a nice sheen to it and protects the paint. You could use a polycrylic here too.



Trust me! You will have so much fun using this technique. You will feel like a kid again playing in paint. This isn’t for most projects, but when you find the right one for this just go for it. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you have anyone that you think would love this please share it with them.


See you next time!


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