I needed a piece of furniture for our entryway and I really wanted to get something with that chippy paint finish I love. Every piece I saw was out of my budget so I decided to find something old and paint it myself. I really wanted to try milk paint after seeing some cute pieces on Pinterest.
What is milk paint?
Milk paint is a no odor paint that chips all by itself! AMAZING. It helps you get that vintage, weathered look without much effort. It comes in a powder form that you mix with water. What’s really great is you can mix as little or as much as you need. Since it’s non-toxic and odor free it comes in handy in the middle of winter when painting outside is impossible.
Milk paint has been around for centuries. Some websites say it’s at least 20,000 years old! Here’s a bit of history if you want to learn more.
Let’s get started on the painting process. I broke this project out into steps to make it easier to follow.
Strip the Paint
Before painting you need to strip and prep the furniture. Stripping paint is my least favorite part of these projects, so I need something that will get it done fast. There were several layers of really old paint on this piece and some of it was oil based so I used this Klean Strip Premium Stripper. Warning: unlike Milk paint, This stuff is toxic. Please use it outdoors and make sure to wear gloves, goggles, and a mask. Follow all of the directions! Once I applied it and left it for about 30 minutes, it was pretty easy to scrape off some layers of paint. I had to apply three times, but I believe this piece had several layers of oil paint on it.
There’s no need to go crazy sanding, because milk paint is supposed to look weathered and chippy. Just make sure you get all the goop and big paint chips off with the sandpaper. Then wipe any dust off with a dry rag.
Stain the Top
I love the look of painted furniture with a wood top. So I used Wood stain, Kona by Rustoleum for the warm finish I like. To apply, I just used a rag and applied a thin layer. I waited about about ten minutes and then wiped it off. Once that layer dried for an hour I applied another layer. I did three layers of the stain and got a nice medium color.
Shellac the Inside(optional)
I always shellac the inside of my furniture pieces, so that any old odors are covered. We may love vintage furniture rehab but we don’t need vintage furniture smell! This is my favorite product for that.
Add Wood Molding
This piece needed to be dressed a little bit. The front seemed too plain, so I found a pretty piece of decorative molding. I am just terrible at putting things on straight and the Hubster is meticulous, so he put it on with some wood glue for me. I let it dry for 24 hours so it was stuck like glue. (haha, get it).
Mix the Milk Paint
Milk Paint comes in powder form. So you need to mix it with water in a mason jar or other washable container. I mix half hot water and half powder and stir… a lot. It shouldn’t be runny or super thick, it should be spreadable with your paint brush.
I chose Sweetie Jane, a nice teal color by Sweetpickins.com. To me, she is the goddess of Milk Paint! I painted two coats. With milk paint you don’t have to wait days to paint a second coat. Just a couple hours between and you’re good!
I used Sweet Pickins dark wax on this piece. It adds a weathered and old look to the furniture. Simply wipe it on with a rag and buff it off. You can buff it off with a new clean rag. I used the the Sweet Pickins brush attached to a drill ( me +drill =very dangerous).
This time just sand it anywhere you want it to look distressed. The paint will already be chippy, so you may not need to sand much at all. That’s the joy of milk paint!
Add the Hardware
I found this adorable glass knob at Anthropologie.com. They have the prettiest drawer pulls. They are a bit pricey for me, around $10 each, but I only needed one.
I’m really happy with how cute this turned out. It sits in my entry way and is so fun to decorate. Maybe somebody will know what the piece was originally used for and tell us all!
Here are the links to some of the products I used.
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