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Milk Paint Experiment

A few weeks ago I got a text from a friend asking if I knew anyone who bought antiques . . . I responded, “Yes, me!”  Her husband’s grandmother had passed away and the family was ready to start selling some of the furniture and decor they had chosen not to keep.  She was kind enough to text me pictures of everything she had, then bring it up here from the grandmother’s house several hours away.  All I had to do was tell her what I wanted then pick it up from her garage. Some of the easiest treasure hunting I’ve ever done.

I picked this wonderful oak short dresser from what she had to sell.  What was really nice about the process was that even though it was a piece that had been in the family for a long time, they were excited to let it go and find a new “life” with someone else who would really appreciate it.  I felt the freedom to give it a complete makeover, without the worries of offending them for painting their heirloom.


It has wonderful curvy lines and is solid to the core.  And of course, the casters!


It was quite scratched up though, so I thought a complete paint job would be the best way to go.  Because the wood underneath was of such good quality (no veneer, just real wood), MMS milk paint was a great option.  I prefer using chalk paint for pieces that need to be completely covered, and saving milk paint for when I’m going for that real chippy look with lots of original wood peeking through.

I wanted to try to layer colors, so I tried a new (well, new for me) technique using Vaseline.  I started off with a coat of MMS (Miss Mustard Seed) Shutter Gray.


Look closely and the right front corner, it’s starting to chip–the magic of milk paint!


After the Shutter Gray dried, I rubbed some Vaseline on “high traffic” spots, like edges, by the handles, the legs–places where the piece would have naturally gotten alot of wear and tear over the years.  After letting the Vaseline dry for about a half  hour, I painted a top coat of MMS Ironstone.  The Vaseline kept the Ironstone paint from sticking, so it created this neat two-tone effect where it appears that the top coat of paint has naturally worn off over years of use.


And then of course after letting it sit for a few hours, the milk paint started chipping away again and it was time to give it a light sanding. Here is the final product.




The milk paint did ALOT of chipping on this piece, giving it a real primitive look in the end.  I’m happy with how it turned out and I enjoyed experimenting with the Vaseline technique. There are so many ways to create interest and texture on furniture, especially with milk paint.  Give it a try if you haven’t already.


On a different note, I wanted to share that April was the best month I have had in my 10 months of being an antique dealer.  I think my clientele is starting to build and I’ve had some success at identifying my style. Thank you all for your encouragement–hauling all of this stuff around is not glorious work, but I’ve sure had fun with it.

Linking up to Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday


Perfectly Imperfect MMS Milk Paint Party

3 thoughts on “Milk Paint Experiment

  1. Pingback: Top Posts 2013 | lose the ordinary. find the unique.

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