I received the products below from The Real Milk Paint Co. to review in exchange for this post. However all of the opinions are my own and I only promote products and brands I truly love. You can read my full disclosure here.
When we put together Clara’s nursery, the dresser that Ava had been using (my mom’s childhood dresser, actually) got moved in there to be used as a changing table. My dad came to the rescue, though, and offered up his childhood dresser as a replacement. With the addition of a full sized bed in Ava’s room, my dad’s more petite dresser was absolutely perfect. It was in need of a little love, but luckily it had come to just the right place.
I decided to give it a makeover with milk paint from The Real Milk Paint Co. Milk paint is hands down the best paint for creating an authentic old, chippy finish. I couldn’t believe how well this dresser makeover turned out and I was the one painting it! The finish looks like it has been there for ages instead of a few weeks. It creates that perfect “farmhouse” look.
Unlike latex or chalk paint, milk paint comes in powder form. When mixed with water, it creates a non-toxic paint that is completely kid and environment friendly. You can read more about the details of milk paint on The Real Milk Paint Co’s website.
I also want to take a second to brag on the people at The Real Milk Paint Co. They were so easy to work with and helped me figure out exactly what products I needed to create the look I wanted. Plus, they are based in Middle Tennessee and I love supporting local brands!
Supplies used: (Some affiliate links provided. See my full disclosure here.)
- Milk Paint in Soft White from The Real Milk Paint Co
- Chippy Paste from The Real Milk Paint Co
- Soft Wax in Clear from The Real Milk Paint Co
- all purpose cleaner
- microfiber cloths
- medium grit sanding sponge
- clean lint free rags
First and foremost, mix up your milk paint since it needs to sit for about 20 minutes after being mixed. Simply follow the instructions that come with your paint. For this project, I used 1 cup of milk paint to 1 cup of water and it was the perfect amount.
Then, I got to work cleaning the dresser with some all purpose cleaner. Its important to get any dust and grime off before painting. If your piece is really dirty, you may want to clean it with a degreaser like Krud Kutter or TSP. The folks at The Real Milk Paint Co. also suggest sanding your piece if it was previously painted or has a shiny finish. My paint was quite old and flat so I skipped this step. However, its a good idea to test a spot of paint in an inconspicuous area so you can see how the paint will react with the previous finish.
Chippy Paste was up next. This is used as a resist to create authentic looking chipping and crazing exactly where you want. I used a stiff old brush to mush the chippy paste on in random spots. One thing I learned is that you have to put the paste on in thick globs to get it to cause chipping. In the spots where I lightly applied it, only a minimal about of crackling happened.
Once the Chippy Paste dried for 30 minutes, it was time for my first coat of paint. Milk paint has a very unique consistency. Its a lot thinner than paint you are probably used to and it was almost foamy. I did three thin coats, letting each completely dry in between.
Here’s a little video I made showing you how I painted it. This was my first time making a video so bear with me! (You may want to mute your sound because there’s some weird noise in the background of the video that I didn’t realize was there.)
After the final coat was dry, I went back over it with my sanding sponge and scraper to create the chipping. You’ll be able to see the spots where you applied the Chippy Paste – they kind of bubble up. Then, I lightly sanded the edges of the dresser to knock some of the paint off in areas that would naturally be worn down over time.
Before sealing the piece, I wiped it down really well with a microfiber cloth to remove any flakes of paint or dust from sanding.
The final step was to seal the dresser with wax. I used Soft Wax in Clear from The Real Milk Paint Co. I can’t rave enough about this stuff! Its super soft, easy to work with and actually smells amazing. It has a fresh citrus-y scent. Using white link free cloths, I applied the wax in small sections and buffed it out, focusing extra on the handles. If you are new to waxing furniture this tutorial from Miss Mustard Seed is a wonderful resource.
And ta da! It looks like a completely new dresser.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the power of paint never ceases to amaze me.
I feel so blessed that Ava gets to use the same dresser my dad used as a kid. Family pieces make my heart sing! Here’s to many more years of life for this little dresser.
The full reveal of Ava’s Nutcracker Christmas bedroom will be up on December 12th, so be sure to stop back in and see that! You can also find out all about her new bedding from Beddy’s here.