here’s what you will need:

* piece of furniture -preferably in its wood state 🙂

*orbital sander

*rags, drop cloth


*milk paint

*wax {i prefer fiddes over any wax on the market}, and water based poly

*clean, empty container for mixing paints

* paint sticks for stirring { you will need to stir quite a bit!}


how to:

1. lightly sand entire piece…vacuum and clean with a damp cloth. remove all hardware and fill any holes that you will not be using.

2. if you feel the need, go ahead and apply the tsp concentrate product now if you are worried about excess flaking and then finish prepping your piece… but if you want to just see what happens {like me}, skip this step !

3. mix your milk paint according to the package directions. i have found that hot water works  best for mixing and ensures that all of the lumps are dissolved. stir well, and i mean really well, and then continue to stir every now and again as you work on your piece.

4. apply milk paint using an angled sash brush. i have found that the foam rollers work as well in this situation, but are not my favorite. i prefer the look of the brush strokes with milk paint, and sometimes the foam rollers will trap air bubbles in the surface and disrupt that awesome finish we are going for!  make sure you don’t over work the brush as it will leave unwanted lines in your finish. some lines are ok with this particular look as you will see, but as a general rule don’t work it too hard! the first coat will be very milky and see through….this is completely fine! you will apply another coat and it will cover your piece beautifully!

5. allow paint to dry completely before applying second coat. if you don’t allow it to dry completely , the wet parts will pull away as you apply the second coat, and then you have a mess! normally drying time is about an hour or two depending on where you are painting your piece.  as the paint dries you will notice that the paint will begin to flake and peel where it does not want to adhere. sometimes it is a lot, and sometimes it is not, but be ready for the paint to flake off….and don’t freak out! i have never met a flaky finish i didn’t like! if you have used the prep solution you should  have less peeling, or no peeling at all.

6. make sure that you lightly sand, by hand the entire piece to remove all flaking paint before applying the second coat. if you don’t remove all of the flaky paint it will ball up on the surface when applying the second coat and be undesirable. when applying the second coat {after sanding} you can paint right over where the paint has not adhered….it gives it the character you are looking for….and also allows you to start being creative in layering your finish for that truly authentic look.

7. allow the second coat to dry. when milk paint dries it is very flat looking and superporous, so make sure that you do not get any liquid on it prior to sealing as it will stain your painted surface. the surface will be vulnerable until you apply the wax and poly to protect it.


8. sand entire piece again. i like to use a power sander on the flat surfaces because i love the super distressed look, but you can hand sand if you like a softer approach.

9. apply your finish. i use both wax and poly on milk paint for added protection. i like to put two to three coats of water based poly and then a coat of wax to ensure safety. you can apply the poly with a foam roller or a brush. i personally find myself using a brush more often than the roller, but i have used a roller and it works fine…just make sure you watch for air bubbles and smooth them out if needed. i always apply my wax with a rag, working it in a circular motion and then buff it out with old nylon tights or hose….don’t ask….it just works! wax is normally dry and ready for buffing in an hour. if the piece will be used as a sink fixture or be exposed to moisture at all, i recommend three coats of oil based poly for protection. water based poly will not cut it here…..and i speak from experience!

10. clean up and apply your new hardware! don’t forget to add all of those special little details that make each piece unique.

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