Milk painted hall table tutorial

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.







Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

Home Stories A 2 Z – Tutorials & Tips Link Party ~ Somewhat Simple – Strut Your Stuff Link Party ~ Delightful Order – Delightfully Inspiring Thursday ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ Domestically Speaking – 114th Power of Paint Party ~ Skip to My Lou – Made By You Mondays ~ Embracing Change – Inspired Creations Link Party  ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ The Shady Porch – Rock N’ Share ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ Vintage Wanna Bee – Talent Tuesdays ~ House of Hepworths – Hookin Up With the HoH ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ Beyond the Picket Fence – Under $100 Link Party ~ Faded Charm – White Wednesday ~ Restore Interiors – Restored It Wednesday ~ Miss Mustard Seed – Furniture Feature Friday ~ The Shabby Nest - Frugal Friday  ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge – Feature Yourself Friday ~ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt it Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ Mom 4 Real – 4 Real Friday Link Party ~ Days of Chalk and Chocolate – Latest Greatest Friday ~Thrifty Decor Chick – March Before and After Party ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons – One Project at a Time ~




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  1. Stacey

    Your table is beautiful and the chalk paint is something I would love to try! So pretty! I would love for you to come and link it up to my Creative Inspirations Party going on now at Embracing Change! I would love to have you there!
    Stacey :o)

    1. Carrie

      Thank you Stacey. I linked up to your linky party. :)

  2. Sarah

    I LOVE how this turned out!! I haven’t tried milk paint yet, but this makes me want to! Great job!

  3. Eileen

    I love how it came out Carrie. I have not tried milk paint yet but it certainly looks worth trying your table is gorgeous!

  4. jill

    Wonderful job! Thank you for the tutorial ; )

  5. Carrie

    Thanks everyone for commenting! I really love this little table. :)

  6. Lisa

    Looks lovely! I haven’t had the chance to work with milk paint but love the results! :)

  7. Marcy

    Love how your table turned out! I’ve never tried milk paint, I’ll have give it a try! ~Marcy

  8. Cynthia

    Your table turned out lovely! I have used milk paint once so far, and I loved it, too!

  9. Anne

    Thanks for using milk paint, Carrie- the table looks great!

    1. Carrie

      Thank you Anne for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment!

  10. Carrie

    Thank you Lisa, Marcy and Cynthia for your kind comments. :)

  11. Deidre~

    Kuddos! Im totally lovin this piece and the paint job as well:) Ive always wanted to try the milk paint so this is great inspiration for me,thanks,Deidre~ http://simplysimplisticated4.blogspot.com

  12. Deidre~

    Super job! Your makin me a believer with the Milk paint:) I love your color choice as well.Kuddos!

  13. Leanne

    Hi Carrie! I love the look of milk paint and was a total devotee until I heard about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint while I was in Europe last fall. It has a rich finish like OFMP but is premixed, has no smell, no primer required, has low VOC’s (so no ‘special room’ needed to paint, which makes it great for projects in winter, especially when you live in our climate). I could keep rattling on about it, but if you Google it you’ll see loads of info and projects. On another note… your site looks fantastic! If I had more than two thumbs, they’d all be up!

  14. Ann

    Your table looks great! I’m a huge milk paint fan and use it on a variety of finishes.

    I use the milk paint “Extra Bond” product to skip the primer steps. Depending on your base, milk paint does not automatically crackle. Their web site shows the numerous finishes you can achieve.

    Mashing the dry product into water with a plastic fork, bit by bit, helps eliminate lumps. Store left over paint in a covered container in the refrigerator, It will thicken slightly but after it warms to room temperature add a little water and you’re ready to go. It’s very econimical paint to use, no waste!

    1. Carrie

      Thank you Ann for your tips and for taking the time to comment. I did not mention Extra Bond in my post as I had not used it on the peice of furniture that I had painted in my tutorial. I have actually used Extra Bond mixed with the milk paint on some of my furniture peices in the past. The Extra Bond that I had previously purchased a while back actually dried up so I decided to use what I had on hand (the bonding primer) instead of paying the shipping costs. Extra Bond is not sold where I live.

      Other items I have painted in the past, including a wood vanity bench with the same primer-milk paint combination, did not have any crackling. As I had mentioned, Milk Paint sometimes takes on a life of its own and crackles. You don’t always know what you are going to get. :)

  15. colleen

    oh wow you do a great job….commented on you link up @ Faded Plains…such pretty pieces ..I really like what you did with the new sideboard come TV stand!…great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Carrie

      Hi Colleen,

      I tried to find my link up at Faded Plains but did not see it. Strange.

      Thanks for your kind comments.

  16. Kim

    I love the way that turned out with the crackling. I have not used milk paint yet. Thanks for sharing at Wow.

  17. claire

    Love the shape of this table and how the milk paint crackles up-I’m your newest follower-stop by for a visit!

  18. Stacey

    Love the table and how the paint looks all crackly! So pretty! Thanks for linking up to the party – please come back this Thursday as well!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  19. Carrie

    Thanks so much for the great comments and thank you for stopping by!

  20. elizabeth

    loved what you accomplished. and so grateful for all the detail information. i wrote down the steps and hope to try a small piece. well done, elizabeth

    1. Carrie

      Thank you for stopping by Elizabeth. Please stop back and let me know how your experience with milk paint went. I would love to see your finished project.

  21. Megan

    What a beautiful job! I had just heard about this type of paint this morning on another link party. I’m going to give it a try on a china cabinet that we just purchased on Craigslist this afternoon. thanks for such a great tutorial.

    1. Carrie

      Hi Megan,

      I will keep an eye out for your milk painted china cabinet! Thanks for stopping by.

  22. D @ The Shady Porch

    Turned out beautifully! Nice project…great directions! Thanks for sharing at the Rock ‘N Share!

    1. Carrie

      Thank you D. :)

  23. Carrie

    I appreciate your comments, Sarah,Eileen and Jill. I hope you get a chance to try out milk paint.