How to Milk Paint Furniture: From Drab to Fab with a Coat of Paint

Published on March 29, 2016 by Lauren

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  • Bringing new life to an old piece of furniture is like therapy to me.  In today’s post I want to share with you How to Milk Paint Furniture. Milk paint works a bit different than chalk paint, it typically chips a lot more than chalk paint does, so you need to be prepared to have a more rustic piece.

    Milk Paint Furniture

    So… I found this old dresser at a local thrift store for $30.00 – YES…only $30.00!  It was in rough shape but I was looking for a buffet table for my new dining room design and thought this would be perfect!  I had this vision in my head to paint it a green color to match the colors that I found in my area rug.

    Milk Paint Furniture

    You can see the green color I was going for in the area rug that I wrote about last week.  I think I got pretty close to it!

    Milk Paint Furniture

    This is the ‘before’ picture of the dresser – pretty ugly huh?  I decided to try out Mrs. Mustard Seeds Milk Paint  (in the color ‘Kitchen Scale’) to give it the distressed and vintage look that I wanted.  To prep the dresser, I wiped all the dust off… and that was about it.  I didn’t sand it or strip it.  It did have some type of varnish on the top so I was concerned about the milk paint not sticking well.

    Milk Paint Furniture

    I mixed up the milk paint using my Cuisinart stick mixer and applied it like normal paint.

    Milk Paint Furniture

    You can see that when the paint started to dry, it automatically started chipping.  This was the first time I’ve worked with milk paint and to be honest, I was kind of a nervous wreck.

    I didn’t like not being able to control where my paint chips, which is one of the benefits of chalk paint as opposed to milk paint.  Chalk paint allows you to distress where you want and milk paint just flakes off on it’s own, giving you little control.

    Milk Paint Furniture

    I applied 2 coats of the paint and then very lightly brushed the chipped paint off.  To finish it, I applied 2 coats of satin finish polyurethane (which I already had) to protect it from chipping any more.

    Milk Paint Furniture

    I added the hardware from Lowe’s for around $3.50 each!  They weren’t exactly what I was looking for, but I didn’t want to spend $10.00 for each drawer pull so I compromised on these.

    The total cost for this project:

    Dresser – $30.00

    Milk paint – $25.00

    Drawer hardware – $ 45.00

    Total cost – $100.00 for everything

    Similar dressers I’ve found online for around $400.00, so for $100.00 I got a beautiful new dresser!  Since it is in my dining room, it will be used for linens and accessories.

    I also plan on using it as a buffet table when we have guests over!  I am very pleased with how it turned out and it makes a great focal point for the room!

    If you were wondering how to milk paint furniture, I hope this article helped.  If doing this again, I would choose chalk paint instead of milk paint.  The chipping with the milk paint was really too much for me.

    This was part of my dining room redecoration – you can see the finished room here.

    Milk Paint Furniture



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