i don't know why it took me so long to try my hand at distressing a piece of furniture using milk paint. most everyone i've come across who live in the world of furniture distressing/refinishing has heard of and used the hugely popular annie sloan chalk paint but milk paint, that red-headed stepchild, not so much; even though it's been around much much longer, like...thousands of years longer. or, maybe, i've just been living under a rock. that said, i finally decided to redo a little antique dresser i recently got a hold of using miss mustard seed's line of milk paint. after much deliberation, i chose the color "dried lavender" and also picked up a jar of her white wax.
here's my piece. from the 1920s and still with the original hardware. score!
i ordered my milk paint online. the directions for mixing or self explanatory. i mixed the entire contents though i could have easily gotten by with just mixing half. if you're a careful painter, you probably don't have to tape off your piece but i did as i tend to get a little over zealous with the brush which, by the way, doesn't have to be fancy but should be decent quality.
be sure to take care of any needed repairs to your piece before you paint such as re-gluing, tightening or filling. like chalk paint, milk paint doesn't require any surface prepping prior to use (which is awesome!) though you might need to do some depending on the look you're going for. oh! disposable piping bags (i got mine from my local cake decorating supply store a while ago) work GREAT for getting wood glue into tiny little spaces!
now you're ready to paint! first coat coverage is pretty decent though two is best, especially if you're going for the "chipped paint" look. and, from what i gathered on the blogoshpere, when you're going for this look: two coats of paint with 24 hours of drying time after the last coat to get the greatest possibility for areas of resisting that will then chip off. the waiting is the hard part but just hang in there. you'll be glad you did.
when i was learning about milk paint, specifically from Miss Mustard Seed's line, i saw that she also offered a white wax that could be used with it to give a particular look, much like the annie sloan dark wax - which i LOVE - can be used to age and define particular parts of a piece. and where the dark wax will deepen (and can completely change) a color when applied, the white wax does much the same, though in reverse. i used it to highlight details of my dresser, especially pushing it into seams and creases and even some areas that i left unfilled with wood filler.
here i used the wax on the feet, covering them completely and giving extra attention to creases before wiping it off. a little side note, if you use a clear wax first, you won't get the color or adhesion of the white wax so keep this in mind when you start waxing your piece.
love love love how it finally turned out and yes, i will definitely use it again. in fact, i have a large trestle table and chairs that i want to tackle next and i already know what colors i want to use. definitely give milk paint a try sometime, especially if you like the "chipped paint" look.