Adventures in Milk Paint….Part2

Welcome back! It’s time for the second installment of Adventures in Milk Paint and I gotta tell ya…this one is full of success and ends in an opportunity to win supplies for a milk paint project of your own. That’s right!  A giveway full of goodness. Aw yeah.

Let’s see. Where shall we start? First, if you haven’t already, skim through Part 1 and get caught up.

So, we left off with my dresser stripped of its first milk paint makeover and waiting patiently for another makeover.



I gave it a couple of days, talked myself through the steps I would need to take to be more successful the second time around and then…I had an idea.  I sent an email to the good people at Old Fashioned Milk Paint to pick their brains and to see if by any chance they’d like to sponsor this post by supplying product for me to use and by hosting a giveaway with me. Guess what! They did! Man, can I tell you how awesome they are?  Anne and I exchanged a lot of emails (Sorry about being quite the Chatty Cathy, Anne!) and she was so kind, so knowledgeable and so very generous!  Before I knew it, I had these goodies delivered to my door and ready to make things beautiful.

After she read the first post about the dresser and I told her about some other pieces I’m ready to paint, she sent me 2 quarts of Marigold Yellow, one quart of Salem Red, and one quart of Oyster White. Plus, she included some Extra-Bond, some Clear Coat and some awesome furniture polish samples. I think the UPS delivery guy that I had finally lost my mind as I snatched the box out of his hands, grinning like a goon.  Can you blame me?



See, the thing about milk paint is that besides looking fabulous, it’s green as can be! It’s free of VOCs, lead, mercury, plastics, etc.  It’s so safe that you can use it on children’s toys. Pregnant and wanting to paint your nursery? Check out their Safe Paint for walls! This is stuff you can bring into your home and feel good about having it around your family.  You can paint indoors and not worry about passing out from fumes!

Now, I want to take this opportunity to compare using Old Fashioned Milk Paint to the process of making milk paint from scratch.

When you make your own milk paint using lime powder, you’re looking at spending a good chunk of time getting it all ready. I won’t go in to great detail, but here is a little rundown:

  • Go purchase hydrate lime powder. It’s not expensive, but it’s still something you spend time going to get.
  • Find and purchase pigment in the color of your choice.
  • Get a gallon of skim milk and let it come to room temperature. This takes most of a day.
  • Mix milk and vinegar and let it set overnight to produce quark.
  • Strain quark.
  • Mix lime and water, add that mixture to the quark. Add pigment. Stir.
  • Strain again.
  • Paint.

When you use Old Fashioned Milk Paint powder, a lot of the work (and time!) has been done for you and the process is quite simple.

  • Purchase paint (powder).
  • Mix with water.
  • Paint.

If you’ve spent any time looking around my site or have been a reader over the last few years, you’ve probably noticed that in pretty much any area of my life I prefer to try making something myself before purchasing a ready-to-go product. I think that habit stems largely from the fact that I grew up way out in the country. Going to a small town with little to offer took 30 minutes one way. Driving into a larger town with a little more variety–and an hour away–was something we didn’t do all that often and never without good reason. You can imagine that Mom and Dad didn’t exactly rush me to the store on my every crafting or shopping whim, so I got creative and learned to work with what I had. I love that  piece of my life for that reason.

However, with my  hands pretty full these days, I will freely admit that I love anything that can save me a little precious time. When it comes to prep time for a milk paint project, Old Fashioned Milk Paint wins my vote!

So…..back to the dresser and my new shipment of goodies. I decided to change the color completely and go with Marigold Yellow for the main color. Boy, am I glad I did. It’s gorgeous! This is what the powder looks like fresh out of the bag.



So pretty! When you get a quart of milk paint, it’s roughly 2 cups of powder. Mix that with an equal amount of water and stir well to work the biggest lumps out. Take a few minutes and really work on the lumps. Then, strain it from one container to another. You can use a few layers of cheesecloth like I did in Part 1, but I had far better luck straining through pantyhose this time around.

Now, let me address the main issue I had in Part 1: the bubbling/chipping/flaking. My number one reason for that failure was the plain and simple fact that we didn’t prep the wood well enough. It was sanded but not nearly sanded enough to let the milk paint do its magic. Hence, the paint getting the heck out of Dodge once it dried. User error without a doubt.

This time I didn’t mess around. I sanded the you-know-what out of that dresser first and then made sure to really dust off and clean the surface up when I was done. Most importantly, I added one part Extra-Bond to two parts already-mixed milk paint (after straining…not sure if that matters). If I hadn’t sanded the dresser further and had left it less-porous, I would have mixed it 1:1 instead.

After mixing, let it sit for 10-15 minutes while the ingredients mix and do their magic.


Time to paint! You can use a bristle brush, foam brush, foam roller or a sprayer. This time, I chose to use a foam brush to apply the paint. Milk paint doesn’t glide on like other paints. You really kind of drag the paint across the surface as it kind of grabs on to the wood. If you’re using Extra-Bond, you can do this in a thin coat and it acts as a primer as well as your first coat of paint. Right on!



It will be dry to the touch after about 30 minutes and ready for a second coat after a couple of hours. You don’t need to use Extra-Bond in your second coat. Confession: I did because I still had plenty of paint mixed up with the Extra-Bond in it. After my second coat, I had more coverage and I was really liking the way it looked. Not too perfect, not too shabby. Just my style.



Sneaks (SneakAway the kitty cat) approves.



With the second coat dry, I put the drawers in and I was loving the overall look. There’s something about milk paint and photos just don’t do it justice. It gives such a lovely finish. Now I won’t lie and say I didn’t consider a 3rd coat, but ultimately I’m really glad I stopped at two. I just love imperfection on pieces like this.



I stenciled on my design without too much concern for getting it “just so”.



Once I was sure I liked it, I lightened my pencil markings with an eraser.  Erasing works quite well on milk paint, so don’t fret too much if you need to redo some of your work.



Painting on the design made me a little more nervous. I will free admit to having very unsteady hands, so I kindly allowed myself room for squiggles and bobbles and oopses.  Again, I’m embracing imperfection. Using a nice flat brush like this one definitely helped keep my crazy under control, though.



There we go! I’m liking it. How about you?



The white looked too stark and freshly painted, so I tried going carefully over it with small scraps of fine sandpaper. I was sanding my fingers more than the dresser, so I wrapped the sandpaper around the eraser end of a pencil and went to town.



Apparently it was so easy that it looked fun to my 5-year-old daughter, so she joined in with a pencil sander of her own.



Getting so close to done! Now to age and distress this dresser-beast and get that awesome worn, beaten-up look I love so much. I started out with some medium sandpaper and after about 30 seconds I realized that’s not the approach I wanted to take. Instead, I grabbed a putty knife and went to town on this sucker.

I chipped.



I scraped.



I abused.



And then I loved. Once it was satisfactorily beat the hell up, I gave it two coats of Clear Coat.

I poked the old drawer pulls through some poster board to keep them upright…



…and gave them a quick spray with this stuff.



When the dresser was completely dry, I put the pulls back on and fell completely in love with my new-old dresser! After a rub down with the Sweet Orange Oil furniture polish and a good buffing….wowza!  Not only did it look stunning, but it smelled amazing!




If only these were scratch n’ sniff photos!



It’s just so purty!



And it adds a lovely spot of color to our bedroom.



I couldn’t be happier with the ease and beauty that comes along with using Old Fashioned Milk Paint.  Add to that the fact that this company is run by Good People (That’s a huge honor and in Texas, I believe when we say it, we say it with capital G, capital P.) and I’m 100% sold on the stuff.

AND NOW! Now it’s all about you!  From me as a thanks for sticking with me through this insanely long post and from the Good People at Old Fashioned Milk Paint because they’re just that nice, we have a giveaway!

Up for grabs is one shipment of milk paint supplies including:

  • Milk paint: one quart OR one pint each of two colors
  • A pint of Extra-Bond
  • A quart of Clear Coat
  • Just added!! 3 (1 oz) samples of Daddy Van’s Furniture Polish. One each of Unscented Beeswax, Sweet Orange Oil, and Beeswax & Lavender. Sweet!
To enter the giveaway:
Like The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company on Facebook
Like The Green Wife (that’s me!) on Facebook
Leave me a comment on this blog post telling me which of their 20 beautiful colors you’d choose and what kind of project you’d like to use your supplies for if you win.

For extra entries:

Follow The Green Wife (still me!) on Twitter and leave a separate comment here on the blog post.

Tweet about this giveaway and leave a separate comment here on the blog post.

Share this giveaway on Facebook and leave a separate comment here on the blog post.

Pin it on Pinterest and leave a separate comment here on the blog post.


Entries will be received beginning at the time this post is published and ending at 12pm CST on Monday, October 1, 2012. Any entries received after that time will be ineligible to win the OFMP goodies.


While you guys are busy doing that, I’m going to start on a coffee table and some side tables! Hello, Salem Red and Oyster White! I’ll be sharing pictures when the winner of the giveaway is announced. Good luck!



Milk Paint Giveaway Winner...
Adventures in Milk Paint....Part 1


  1. says

    Gosh, buttermilk, chocolate, driftwood, Salem red and soldier blue are so pretty, it would be tough to narrow down. I think I’d use it for studio furniture, but can’t decide if a chair, bookshelf or dresser would be more fun. :)

  2. Vicki Ostermann says

    Abbie, that turned out absolutely amazing!!! I love the use of the pencil sander! :) As for the paint colors I’m having a hard time deciding! I really love the marigold yellow that you used. I’m also loving on the barn red and some of the blues. I have lots of projects waiting on me, but I’m thinking I would use this on an armoire that is needling attention and a new home.

  3. Stephanie says

    I have a cupboard that I inherited from my grandparents. It’s at least 60 years old. I would love to refinish it in Tavern Green and stencil the back panel with Marigold Yellow.

    Your dresser is gorgeous!


    I am Inspired and Encouraged. I am Forever a fan. This is the 1st I have ever heard of Milk Paint – and I am wowed! The colors that popped out immediately to me were “Pitch Black, Snow White & Marigold”- am I a Steelers fan- yes I am- is that why I chose those 3 awesome colors–no it is not. Is it coincidental that I stumbled upon you and this site/blog–I think not. My project: Breakfast Table & Chairs. 2 weeks ago – I purchased my “project set” at a throw away price–I saw potential-I saw a new creation at hand – AND I saw my husband laugh at me when I told him my ideas for our soon to be “new” Breakfast area. I’d like to throw that laugh right back in his face. Free Milk Paint would be a GREAT start! 😉

  5. Wendy says

    I LOVE Salem Red and Mustard. So Pretty!!! I bought a house earlier this year and can think of several projects that I would use this on. Thanks for offering such a great giveaway!!

  6. says

    WoW!! I am in LOVE with this dresser, and the milk-paints! I do wood work ( I make crosses) and love to distress them, but WOW it doesn’t compare to the awesomeness of your dresser!

    I just got a “new-to-me” vintage side table the other day and was planning on re-vamping it and I know these milk paints is the way to go on it! So many beautiful color choices too….I absolutely LOVE light cream and mustard…and also tavern green and driftwood :) Thank you for offering this wonderful giveaway, and I will be a faithful follower of your blog :)

  7. Nitra Newlin says

    Have always wanted to try OFMP. I really like the Tavern Green, Barn Red & Mustard. It is so hard to pick just one color. I have several projects ready to paint…3 end tables, a dresser & several chairs. “Liked” OFMP & The Green Wife on FB.

  8. says

    This is wonderful! i liked everyone (already liked you for a bit!) I would have to say either Salem Red or Federal Blue. Honestly, I’d want to talk with Anne to get her opinion on what she thinks would work best on the old desk I have.

  9. susan says

    Pinned on Pinterest.

    If I shout it out to my’hood do I get more entries? Lol. (Great giveaway I want to win. I’d do it!)

  10. says

    I think my favorite color would be a toss-up between barn red and pumpkin, although the marigold yellow you used is also just gorgeous. Wish I’d known about this before I painted our two bedroom dressers almost the same color!

  11. Leah Scholz says

    I’m in LOVE with Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company! I’d choose Barn Red and do my 10 year old dark wood dresser. It majorly needs a facelift!

  12. Connie says

    LOVE milk paint!! Love all the colors but I guess Bayberry is my favorite right now. Or is it Barn Red? Or Federal Blue?

  13. Teri Davis says

    I really like the Barn Red. I just inherited a dresser from a friend and I am in the process of planning on what we will do with it. The girls have claimed it for their room. I would love to try out milk paint!

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