Disclosure: Old Fashioned Milk Paint provided me the supplies for this great makeover. Our sad dreary armoire is forever in their debt and our new family room storage corner speaks for itself when it raves about this product!
A few weeks ago, I snuck in a little announcement about this cool contest I’m hosting with some blogging pals: The Fab Furniture Flipping Contest. The premise is totally simple: each month a group of bloggers competes for the best furniture makeover and as one of the hosts, I have the honor of voting for my faves. Mwah mwah mwah. Winners take home all sorts of killer swag depending upon the sponsor each month! Last month, the competition involved the incomparable Cece Caldwell and her eco-friendly chalk and clay paints. You can see all the amazing projects linked up here. This month, I leapt at the chance to work with milk paint again and finally tackled a beauty that’s been in my garage for, oh… monthSSSSSS.
The theme for our month working with Old Fashioned Milk Paint is…. Shabby Chic Storage. Um, this little Restore score is the KEY to wrangling clutter in our new family room. It’s a beauty with casters on the bottom and a sweet engraved detail on each door. Inside are sliding shelves as well as drawers so it’s long on clutter busting space! Structurally there were no problems, so all it’s been waiting for is a little facelift. (See it all shabby and dreary in the corner?)
Last time I worked with Old Fashioned Milk Paint, it was for this piece that lived in our foyer a million years ago. Turns out I had NO idea about milk paint and all its potential back then. Folks LOVE milk paint because you can easily achieve the chippy aged patina of a vintage piece. As you can see, I had no idea about this property and sanded down my first milkpaint piece to get a somewhat aged look.
Well, here’s what I’ve learned since I started blogging… I adore the chippy look but I’m not sure it’s something that fits in with our current decor. Good news… Old Fashioned Milk Paint can also be an amazing chic paint without taking advantage of the chippiness.
I’m trying to be better about my preparation when making over old pieces of furniture… a good furniture makeover is 70% preparation and 30% paint/ etc. So the sanding, the cleaning, the patching, the priming… it all MATTERS. Like I said, this armoire was structurally just fine, so my first step was sanding. I took off the doors and the hardware and took my palm sander to it. The finish was so old that it stripped right down with a cloud of dust to show for it.
There were places where the veneer was lifting away from the wood. If the veneer’s really bad, I sometimes just take the whole thing off like on my striped bureau. Thankfully for this piece, I was able to get some wood glue under it and clamp it in place to reattach it all.
There were a few places along the edges where I patched the veneer with wood filler. Obviously this is only a useful solution if you’re planning to paint your piece. When veneer is chipped like this and you’re hoping to preserve the wood grain, I’m afraid you have to just replace the sheet of veneer.
I’ve refinished lots of furniture, but never heard of and used this amazing primer that true blue furniture flippers speak of in their sleep: Zinsser Bin Shellac based primer. It’s ready to paint over in 15 minutes, and helps block and stain bleed through. The stain on these old pieces is typically the hardest thing to lock in, so I’m excited to have learned the secret handshake of the experts!
Milk paint comes in a powder form, so you’ll need a small container as well as something to mix it with. I’m super lazy so I use my handheld mixer. (I’m also not too fussed by hygiene clearly.) You want to blend your paint until it’s the consistency of heavy cream for a more opaque finish. Typically this is achieved with a 1:1 ratio of powder to water, but there’s some wiggle room here depending upon your preference, the temperature, etc. I added a bonding agent to my paint to maintain that smooth non-chippy finish that I mentioned earlier.
I loooooooooooove this color: Soldier Blue. Navy is one of those tones that has so many different nuances and this one is super rich and fits into the navy smorgasbord that we have going on in our family room. I sealed it with their Acriglaze to help preserve the finish from the inevitable wear and tear that this piece will get in a high traffic room like this. Even though I didn’t go for the chippiness that milk paint is known for, I LOVE the depth and tone that you get with it… it takes a couple of coats, but you can see from the first coat that it’s not flat. After a second coat and the Acriglaze, it’s rich and interesting and… glorious.
Disclaimer: See those yellow walls? Not my choice. We moved into this house a month ago and this mustard is every. Where. We’re saving up to get the painter in, because I can’t possibly tackle the mammoth of mustard going on in this space. Rant over. Squint your eyes and pretend it’s a soothing pale gray! It made these pictures all look a little on the whack side sadly…
I was hoping to reuse the old hardware, but when I hit it with the Brasso… turned out it was not so… brass-oh no. (You can check to see if it’s solid brass by holding a magnet over it… brass won’t stick, but a brass coated metal will.)
A big giant bear hug to Old Fashioned Milk Paint for providing the product for this piece. The color is perfection, the finish is perfection… it took an old tired armoire and made it so much more suited to our family and this space! Three cheers for milk paint!
Now comes the fun part… see the Link Up at the end of this post? Well… tune in throughout the month as our bevy of talented furniture maker-overers add their projects! We will share the results of the contest at the end of the month. (See who won last month’s prize package of Cece Caldwell Paints here!) The winner will get six quarts of OFMP (your choice of colors), one quart of Extra-Bond, one pint of Antique Crackle, one 5 oz. tin of Daddy Van’s Clear Wax (in either Unscented, Lavender or Orange Oil), and one 2 oz. tin EACH of Daddy Van’s Antique Brown & Shadow Black waxes. Yeah… whoa.
Check out what the other hosts have done with their goodie bag of Old Fashioned Milk Paint:
If interested in participating in this contest going forward, please contact the lovely Evey at email@example.com or Stacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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