Our New (High)boy Part 2: Milk Paint Tutorial

Hellooo there! Hope you are doing fabulously! I finally started my job this week, and I. Am. Exhausted. I forgot how tiring work is. And that’s just been 3 days, two of those orientation! I don’t want to think about how it will be when I’m doing my real job all the time and commuting 5 days a week. But let’s not think about that. Let’s continue talking about our dresser.

Earlier this week I posted about how I started work on the dresser, by stripping and staining the top. It turned out beautifully! Read about it here before going on to Part 2: Milk Paint.

IMG_9260Milk paint is a time-honored natural paint known for giving a primitive, chippy finish that makes a piece look like it has been around for ages. Miss Mustard Seed is one of my favorite bloggers (and she’s so awesome she has a paint line, Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint), and I just drool over her chippy dressers with their dark stained tops.

This was my goal. I even chose the same color as the dresser above from her paint line: Ironstone.

You may not have known this, but I’ve used milk paint before this piece.

However, I was not pleased with the results. In one episode it was due to user error and poor choice of subject, and in another case it just did not behave in the way that I wanted it to- it barely chipped.

So unlike my beloved Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, milk paint is unpredictable. You can’t always know how (or if) it will chip (there are other products that you can use with it to force it to bond or resist, though).

So after two unsuccessful attempts, I thought that this dresser might give me the end result that I wanted. It is an older dresser, like all of Miss Mustard Seed’s pieces are, and so I figured it would be a better candidate to resist the milk paint and give me that chippy result.

Milk paint is like chalk paint in that you do not need to sand or prime before painting. I cleaned it off as best as I could and removed the hardware. Since I had just stained the top, I taped off around the top.

Now on to the interesting part about milk paint: you mix it yourself. I followed the directions that came with my milk paint and mixed one and a half parts warm waters to one part paint powder. I put it all in a mason jar so that I could get it mixed well by shaking it.

IMG_9032IMG_9043IMG_9035I was unsure about how much I actually needed to make, so I had to go back and mix paint several times. I used a quality one and a half inch angled brush and went to work.

This paint, while it shares some great characteristics of chalk paint, is in general much different from any paint I have used before. For one thing, it’s consistency is completely different. You know how it is called milk paint? Well that’s about the consistency of the paint, but it is a little bit gritty from the pigment. So, you have to be very careful to make sure that you don’t get it drips when painting.

There is metal detail on the dresser I didn’t want painted and so I used Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint  Hemp Oil as a resist so the paint wouldn’t bond to this area. I just dabbed a little on.

Hemp Oil (534x800) (534x800)IMG_9033It got a little dirty on these areas with the first coat of paint, but was no problem after. And it allowed me to basically wipe off the paint that I got on the metal.

I was using the color Ironstone, which ended up needing three coats.

First coat….

IMG_9040Like I said, the paint is thin and so it looks brushy. Keep going.

Difference between coat one (left)  and two (right)…IMG_9044

After two coats, it started chipping. I was thrilled. Giddy.


But it needed another to make the coat more opaque.

IMG_9059At this point, it still wasn’t completely opaque but I decided I love the brushy look because it almost had a whitewashed effect.

Do you see all that chipping? I could virtually run a finger over some areas and the paint would flake away. But real talk, I used a medium grit sanding sponge ran lightly over the chippy areas so it would flake away. It was so fun.

IMG_9062I waxed ‘er up like normal and, again, giddiness.

IMG_9225IMG_9235We set it up in our room and, you guessed it, more giddiness. Even the hubs. Well, he wasn’t giddy, but he loves the dresser.


I love the natural patina of the paint and how it shows the beautiful dark wood. IMG_9206 IMG_9210I am so glad to have a wonderful result with the milk paint. I love how it looks like the dresser was painted many years ago and has withstood the wear beautifully.

I can’t wait to try milk paint out again!

So, what do you think of milk paint? Are you as in love with this dresser as I am?

Linked up to Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday

Thrifty Decor Chick’s October Before and After


3 thoughts on “Our New (High)boy Part 2: Milk Paint Tutorial

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