Furniture Makeovers

Create Perfectly Worn Finishes with Old Fashioned Milk Paint

September is here.  Fall is in the air.  And my promise to bring you pieces finished with Old Fashioned Milk Paint has begun.  

If you recall, I joined a group of blogger friends during the summer and we are all working with The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company to share how to use their paint on furniture and other surfaces.  And for milk paint, like all other paint products, there is a bit of a learning curve. Because of this, I began by practicing on a small side table.  

Today, I’m thrilled to share the exciting, albeit short, story about my first completed piece.

The story begins with this sad little side table that was originally taupe.  In its second life, it was subjected to a dreaded purple paint with a tobacco-colored glaze phase.  

Kitchen Side Table Refresh | #sponsored |

And although the table worked well in terms of function, it was a little dark, dreary, and dated for the space.  Honestly, all it really needed was a fresh new color and finish.  

So that’s exactly what I did. I gave it a fresh new look.

And here’s how it happened.

Kitche Side Table in Purple with Aging Glaze | #sponsored |

I received free products from The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company in exchange for writing a review on the blog.  Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are 100% my own.

Old Fashioned Milk Paint Makeover:

Step 1:  Mix the Paint

Mix the milk paint with water according to the manufacturer’s directions. It’s really simple to do, but the directions do suggest to using very warm to hot water, stirring well, and letting the mix rest for at least 15 minutes before using. 

Step 2:  Apply the Paint

The middle photo below illustrates how I painted the piece too quickly after the paint was mixed. Ooooops!  Don’t be like me and get in a hurry. #RookieMistake

I needed to let the paint sit, mixed in the container, for at least another 5 minutes or so. This is because as the paint cooled off, it thickened to the right consistency and then covered beautifully.  The photo below, on the far right, illustrates coverage after the second coat. How about that yummy yellow?  I know!  Right?

I also needed to recognize that the milk paint’s properties may be influenced by applying it over a glaze sealer.

And no,

  • I did not sand or otherwise prep the table since all of the previous treatments were with water-based products.  
  • I did not use any bonding or crackling agents.  

For this trial run, I wanted to see how the paint mixes, covers, and finishes all by itself.

Kitchen Side Table Makeover | First Basecoat in Marigold Yellow #sponsored |

Step 3:  Apply More Paint

Repeat the process in Step 2 with a different color.  Notice that the first coat of green also did not provide complete coverage (Photo – below, middle).  #MoreRookieMistakes

But, Friends, do not despair.

Simply let the paint dry and apply a second coat. Complete coverage is just a few brush strokes away (Photo – right).  

  Practice pieces are great first projects.

Kitchen Side Table Makeover | Second Basecoat Tavern Green | #sponsored |

Step 4:  Distress by Wet Buffing

After the piece has completely dried, bring out the layers by wet buffing.  

  • Find a clean, soft cloth.  
  • Dampen it with room temperature water.
  • Wipe the surface of the piece.  The paint will be removed as the surface is wiped (Photo – below, left)

Wet buffing is GREAT if the piece has to be refinished indoors. #NoDust

Step 5:  Topcoat with a Sealer

Once the piece is distressed to your liking, allow it to completely dry.  Then topcoat the finish with a sealer.

For this table, I chose to seal with a wax (Photo – below, center). This process is super easy, too.  

  • Simply take another clean, soft cloth and work small amounts of wax onto and into the surface.
  • Let the wax sit for a minute and then buff.  

This finish LOVES to be hand rubbed.  The more it is gently rubbed, the more rich and deep the final finish becomes (Photo – below, right).

Kitchen Side Table Makeover | Before and After Waxing #sponsored |

Step 6:  Admire Your Work

Notice the amazing layers of color amid the delicious crinkley and crackley finish.  This photo was taken with my macro lens.  #NerdAlert

Side Table Makeover in Old Fashioned Milk Paint | #sponsored |

When the macro lens is removed and a photo is shot with the regular lens, the finish is still visible, although to a lesser degree (Photo below).  The key for this piece is that the surprise crackley finish is subtle.  The focus is all about the layering of color and less about the crackley and chippy.

The True Milk Paint provides numerous types of finishes,

not just the infamous chippy.

Side Table Makeover in Marigold Yellow and Tavern Green | #sponsored |

And in my traditional home, I mainly use soft touches of worn finishes.  This allows me to incorporate current looks without having to completely change my overall design plan.

Create perfectly worn finishes the quick and easy way | Old Fashioned Milk Paint #sponsor |

 By layering color with Old Fashioned Milk Paint, the table looks authentically old,

not like it was manufactured to look old.

Create perfectly worn finishes by layering colors of Old Fashioned Milk Paint | #sponsor |

And now, sporting a fresh new look, the table has been returned to its functional spot in the kitchen.

Perfectly worn finishes are easy to create by layering milk paint | #theoldfashionedmilkpaintco #sponsor |

Three cheers for traditional decor

…..And for the good folks at The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company for helping us update our outdated pieces.  

For more information about these products and how to order, please visit .

To see more pieces in a variety of finishes on chests and wardrobes, please follow me on your favorite social media. This fall, new pieces will be be featured at least once a month.

And remember, every look has its own refinishing technique…. so always pin the looks you love.


Perfectly worn finishes are quick and easy to create on outdated furniture in only a couple of hours | #sponsored #oldfashionedmilkpaintco |


Signature#oldfashionedmilkpaintco #DIYGreen #OFMP #truemilkpaint #OFMPbrandblogger #OFMPblogger #marigoldyellow #taverngreen #theoldfashionedmilkpaintco



  • Reply Lisa September 3, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Wow! I love this table and milk paint is the finish to use for such a lovely piece. Marigold and Tavern Green play very nicely together.

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 3:09 am

      Thanks Lisa.

  • Reply Carolann September 3, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Love this transformation Susie! The color is perfect. I also loved the purple too! Stunning for sure xo

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 3:08 am

      Thanks Carolann..

  • Reply Marie, The Interior Frugalista September 3, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Oh my Susie do I ever love the timeworn look you achieved with these colors. When I started refinishing furniture I was exclusive to milk paint (by this manufacturer) but I never tried layering colors. I have several bags on a shelf in the workshop and you have inspired me to “play”. Pinned your gorgeous table to share 🙂 Have a great long weekend, my friend!

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 3:08 am

      Thanks so much, Marie. You’re the best..

  • Reply Linda September 3, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Gorgeous as usual!

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 3:07 am

      Thanks Linda.

  • Reply Teri September 3, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I love OFMP. I can’t believe you got it to adhere to that purple paint without any prep. I painted a dresser with it that ended up getting chippy over time.

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 3:06 am

      Thanks Teri. I know!! It’s really a good paint..

  • Reply Debrashoppno5 September 3, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Your table came out fantastic. OFMP is a great product and the table is a good example of the versatility of the paint. It is fun to watch it chip and crackle. Pretty color also.

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 3:06 am

      Thanks so much Debra. It is indeed a fun paint to work with..

  • Reply Jenni Pagano September 3, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    We ARE OFMP sisters! Down to formerly painting things bright purple. 🙂 Love this redo. Surprised you didn’t get chipping but oh how I love that crackle! well done!

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 3:02 am

      LOL….Thanks Jenni.

  • Reply Dawn Cain September 6, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    It turned out fantastic, I love how old it looks now. I’ve never worked with Milk Paint but may have to give it a try!

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 2:57 am

      Thanks Dawn… I do recommend it for some kinds of looks.

  • Reply Val @ Love My DIY Home September 6, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    LOVE this!

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 2:56 am

      Thanks Val..

  • Reply Chelsea September 6, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I can’t decide if I like the purple or green better. Both beautiful!

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 2:54 am

      LOL…..Yep Chelsea.. Purple is also a good color. Thanks so much.

  • Reply Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance September 6, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    This turned out absolutely beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing how to do it !!

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 2:53 am

      Thanks so much, Theresa.

  • Reply Lynn Fern September 6, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    I have a few of those projects that have seen a few different colors 🙂 Love the Tavern Green…it’s one of my fav colors.

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 2:52 am

      Thanks Lynn.

  • Reply Borei Design September 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Awesome tips. Looks amazing! You really done a great job. Sharing on Pinterest page. 🙂 <3

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 2:51 am

      Thanks so much. You’re the best!!

  • Reply Gina September 6, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    This is beautiful! This is a great tutorial, as I have never tried to use milk paint.

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 2:50 am

      Thanks, Gina. Milk paint is easy to work with and provides a wonderful finish. Hope you will give it a try.

  • Reply randiag September 7, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Love the color.. the green is gorgeous. You did a GREAT job!

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 2:48 am

      Thanks so much!

  • Reply diy180 September 7, 2016 at 7:42 am

    What a great table and I love the color comb. Awesome and looks lovely

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 7, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      Thanks so much Vanessa. We love it, too.

  • Reply Rosemary Bridges September 7, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    That looks great! Awesome color selection.

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 8, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Thanks so much Rosemary!

  • Reply Trish September 8, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    I love the way it turned out! I have a coffee table that I took off someone’s hands and it really needs some help but I haven’t been able to figure out what I want to do with it. I think something like this would be perfect 🙂

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 11, 2016 at 9:56 am

      Thanks Trish… So glad this post could help you out.

  • Reply simplysweetday September 9, 2016 at 12:43 am

    Love the new look! It looks really old-fashioned.

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 11, 2016 at 9:55 am

      Thanks Nikki.

  • Reply Cynthia Chilson Finger September 9, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Susie, your “new” table is lovely! (For the record, I liked it in purple, as well. 🙂 ) Your tutorial was great, and so easy to follow. I really need to play with layering colors. Have a great weekend, Cynthia

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 11, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Thanks Cynthia… I loved it in purple for many years, too. But alas…it was time for a refresh.

  • Reply karen@somewhatquirkydesign September 10, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Really beautiful! Products that are manufactured to look old – one of my first world irritants.

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 11, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Thanks Karen…

  • Reply Michelle October 29, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    This is so pretty with all of the layers of color. Absolutely beautiful!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 29, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      Thanks Michelle. Love it when you stop by! Your sweet words are always so encouraging. XO

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 29, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks Michelle. Love it when you stop by! Your sweet words are always so encouraging. XO

  • Reply DIY Decorative Christmas Ladder - The Chelsea Project November 1, 2016 at 7:18 pm

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