As you may have noticed, we have a new look here at Hooked on Decorating. There are still a few more things to tweak, but in the meantime I have to tell you about this cute little vintage hall table that I found on Kijiji a while back. It was only $10.00 so it was a great thrifty find. Unfortunately, I was in such a rush to paint it that I forgot to take a before photo.
This table was in good condition but I didn’t care for the dark wood. I decided to paint it with Old Fashioned Milk Paint to bring out the details and its nice shape.
To start, I gave the table a good cleaning with Natura Safe Prep to remove any dirt and oils. Then I gave it a light sanding, cleaned away any dust with a tack cloth and then primed it with two coats of my favorite dark gray primer. I made sure to sand between coats of primer, again using a tack cloth to remove any sanding dust.
I then mixed up a batch of milk paint in a custom mixture of chocolate brown, cream and snow white to make a creamy gray colour. I didn’t accurately measure what I was mixing. Don’t take the following measurements as true as I usually wing it most of the time. These measurements are only approximate: two teaspoons of cream, one teaspoon of snow white and about a quarter to a half of a teaspoon of chocolate brown. I mixed the cream and white together first and then added a tiny bit of chocolate brown at a time until I had a colour that I liked.
Milk paint can be a very lumpy when you mix it and it has a bit of a strong odor to it. To minimize the lumpiness it helps to add a bit of warm water to your mixing container and then gradually by the teaspoon full add your milk paint, mixing it in between additions. There may still be small lumps in the paint. Just mix it as best as you can. The small lumps should smooth out when you paint your piece. I know some people swear by mixing milk paint in a blender or straining it but I haven’t had a chance to try those methods as of yet. I have been very happy with my results thus far.
I usually make enough milk paint to apply at least one full coat to what ever I am painting. If you don’t use all of it, it can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to two days. The next time you go to use it you may need to add a bit of water to thin it down a little. The consistency of your paint should be like thick milk or a thin cream.
When you are applying the milk paint you may need to give it a stir every once and a while to keep it from getting too thick. I usually use a foam brush on the detailed areas of the piece of furniture and a foam roller on the flat areas. You can also use a paint brush if you wish, but I prefer the foam brush as it minimizes brush strokes.
The first coat of paint can look a little thin and splotchy but the second coat usually covers very well. Your may need to add a third coat just to do the odd touch up. I also make sure that I give the piece a light sanding in between coats to remove any rough spots. As much of a pain as sanding is, the care you take with sanding your piece will ensure that your final finish will be smooth and gorgeous.
My little table started to crackle after I applied the first coat of paint. That is what I love about milk paint, it takes on a look of its own. No two pieces of furniture will be alike. By the second coat, my table had an all-over gorgeous crackle effect. I then distressed the edges of the table with a flat sanding block, sanding in the areas that would receive more wear like the edges of the table and the bottom of the legs.
To bring out the details in the crackle I then applied some antiquing glaze mixed with a burnt umber craft paint. Making sure to work in one small area at a time, I applied the glaze mixture with a sponge brush and then I removed what was on the surface with a damp rag. I left excess glaze in the crevices to give it more of an aged appearance.
Milk paint dries with a very flat finish, therefore it needs to be top coated to avoid water spots and stains. After my table was good and dry, I applied three coats of satin Polyacrylic for protection. Then to top it off, I applied some of my Town Talk Lavender Furniture Cream (made with carnuba wax, beeswax, and almond and olive oils) over top, buffing in between coats. This gave the table a hand-rubbed finish.
Dry milk paint powder can be stored for a long period of time if kept dry and in a sealed container. You need only mix up what you need to use at that moment. A little goes a long way. Milk paint is also non-toxic, so it is a wonderful finish to use on children’s furniture and toys.
Have you had a chance to try milk paint? If you have, I would love to hear about your experiences. If you haven’t, I hope what I have said will convince you to give it a try. It is one of my favorite paints to use for a time-worn aged finish.
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