When it comes to painting furniture there are a few choices out there. Chalk Paint, Milk Paint and Latex Paint. I am not committed to any of these methods in all honesty. I tend to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Miss Mustard Seed or Old Fashioned Milk Paint most often. I love the vintage look it gives to furniture that even flat latex paint just doesn’t achieve. My general rule of thumb is if a piece of furniture has more ornate details then I will use chalk paint. The more simple a piece, the more I think a chippy milk paint brings out its beauty. And I love that there is virtually no prep work involved with either paint. I’ve been known to wipe dust and cobwebs off a piece of furniture with my sleeve and start painting. When I found this dresser at my local thrift store I knew that I wanted to use milk paint on it.
It has really simple clean lines (and wheels! I am a total softy for a piece of furniture on casters) and I wanted to get a really chippy and beachy coastal California look to it.
The first thing I did was strip the old stain off the top. I decided to keep the top of the dresser wood for that contrast. The contrast between a dark top and light bottom on a piece of furniture I think really adds to that coastal feel. I used CitraStrip to remove the old varnish.
I have found this to be really easy to work with and non stinky. I spread it around liberally with a chip brush so that it covers the top.
After only a few minutes you can see it starting to dry and the old varnish/stain starts to gum up. That’s when I grab my handy dandy scraper and go to town.
This is such a great process. There is something really satisfying about watching that old finish just scrape right off.
When all the old goop is gone, a quick wipe down with mineral spirits will take off any excess or residue and prep it for staining.
I forgot to take pictures of the staining process but it is super easy. I choose Minwax Dark Walnut. I tend to use this color on anything I stain. It is a dark non-red color and it just works! Apply in long even strokes with a foam sponge or rag and let set a few minutes then wipe off any excess. I came back a few hours later and did another coat to darken the top just a tad more. I finished the top with 3 coats of Minwax Polycrylic in Satin. I knew I was going to use this in my bathroom so I chose a pretty durable and wipeable finish for the top.
On to the milk paint. I chose to use Miss Mustard Seed Grain Sack. It’s one of my favorite Miss Mustard Seed colors because it is not glaringly white. It has some grayish undertones to it that I really like. Now if you haven’t used milk paint, the cool and scary thing about it is that it is unpredictable. You never really know just how chippy your piece could get. It just kind of happens. Unless you use the bonding agent. So after 2 coats of milk paint I ended up with this.
Now if you haven’t used milk paint before and you see this happen. Let me warn you, you might panic. There might be tears. You might think “What have I done???” Sometimes it seems that your paint is getting so chippy that there might not be any left. I say this out of experience. Now is not the time to panic!!! Move forward furniture painting warrior!
Grap your handy dandy scrapper and just gently run it along all that awesome chippyness to help the excess flake off.
All that chippyness is what adds age and that time weathered look. So chippy is good. Repeat 3 times. Chippy is good, chippy is good, chippy is good.
I finished this piece with a coat of Miss Mustard Seed Wax. I also rubbed a small amount of antiquing wax across the drawers to really age this piece. I know antiquing wax is really for getting into those small nooks and crannies but I just wanted this piece to look as authentically beachy as possible.
I really was going to sell this piece at my space at Shabby Creek on Main. But it turned out so good that it found a home in my bathroom.
I’m Linking up!