Furniture Makeovers Garden

Outdoor Porch Swing Makeover with Milk Paint

Outdoor Porch Swing Makeover | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company | The Chelsea Project |

Hello Friends,

I don’t know about where you live, but around here, we love September through November.  The long, sunny days are milder in temperature, but much, much less humid.  These are absolutely perfect conditions for outdoor painting.  And wouldn’t you know?  I just happen to have a stack of projects waiting for a fall refresh.

Among these projects is a long, long overdue porch swing.  

Although it is just a standard swing from the home improvement center, it is made out of soft pine and has to live outdoors year-round totally unprotected.  Well finally, all the years of bad refinishing jobs took their toll and, this fall, I was faced with three layers of different kinds of paint that had combined into a hot-blistered mess.

How would I ever get this paint stripped off so that new paint or stain could be applied?

This milk paint makeover did not require that the piece be fully stripped before painting | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Outdoor Porch Swing Makeover with Milk Paint

And so, the research began.

Step 1:  Strip Off Layers of Old Paint

Here I had two basic choices.  Either use a chemical stripper to melt away the layers of old paint or sand until I hit raw pine.  But if you look closely, the swing has slats.  This means that with either method, I’d still have to find a way to “floss” the paint away from in between each and every slat.  To get ALL of the paint from inbetween those slats could take forever.

Huuuum. No.  There had to be a better way.

So after looking at my options, I decided to scrape away the paint that was blistered, use sheets of sandpaper to “floss” paint from between the slats, and then sand the entire swing until smooth.

Did I get all of the paint off? No.

And did this concern me? No.

Let me explain why.

A weathered outdoor swing is sanded, but not stripped before a milk paint makeover | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Disclosure: I was supplied free product by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company in exchange for writing a review.  All hot-blistered swing messes and opinions are 100% my own.

Step 2: Choose the New Paint or Stain

After Step 1, the swing was still kind of a hot mess, but it was no longer blistered.  And the paint that remained was now buttery-smooth and stuck to the wood like white on rice.  Moving forward, I needed to cover a combination of latex and oil-based paint with raw wood.

At this point, I could either prime and then paint with an oil-based/latex combination of products or use one product, like milk paint, that is designed to work as a stain or a paint. 

Tavern Green milk paint powder | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Step 3: Mix a Custom Color

To get the color I wanted, three different colors of milk paint were mixed together.  Yep, all I did was toss the powder in a container and mix with water according to the manufacturer’s directions.

And for the record, this combination makes a super yummy color that is made of:

3 parts Tavern Green + 3 parts Soldier Blue + 2 parts Snow White

Just add together:

  • Level tablespoonfuls of each powder
  • Add 9 tablespoonfuls of lukewarm water
  • Stir every one to two minutes for 20-minutes

Blue, green and white milk paint powder combine to create a surprise color - Aqua! | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Step 4: Apply the Milk Paint

  • The paint was applied without any special tools. I just used an old brush.
  • The paint was applied right over the raw wood and remaining paint without a primer or bonding agent.  I knew it would soak into the raw wood and wasn’t concerned if there was some chipping when applied over the old paint. After all, a little chippy goodness is always a good thing.  AmIrite?
  • The coverage you see is after only ONE coat!  I know!  You can’t see me, but I’m totally doing a super happy dance right now.

Outdoor swing painted and sanded | #ponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Step 5: Let Dry for 24 Hours

Just leave the piece in a safe place to dry.  The paint is usually dry to the touch in about 30-minutes, but to garner the best adhesion, allow extra drying time.

Mums at the beginning of the stone walkway | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Step 6:  Soft Sand to Desired Finish

After 24-hours, the swing needed very little sanding to get to a buttery-smooth finish.  I had the option to wet distress, but really wanted to leave as much paint on the swing as possible.  If the paint wasn’t chipping or wasn’t rough, I decided to leave it alone.  This is because the swing will live outdoors in an unprotected area so the milk paint is a good layer of protection between the wood and the elements.

Milk paint is an easy product to use on outdoor furniture | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

The result is a slightly distressed finish that shows a tiny bit of the old paint, but is without any chipping at all.

Let's play checkers! | Outdoor Porch Swing Makeover with Milk Paint | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

And given that the paint was applied over raw wood, latex paint and oil-based paint, I am amazed that the coverage and color are completely even.

Three colors are combined to make this custom color | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

If you look closely, there is variation in color that adds depth to the finish.  This is a normal characteristic of milk paint and not due to the distressing technique.

Milk paint complete;y covers over raw wood, latex and oil-based paint | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Step 7: Seal with a Weatherproof Topcoat

Part II of this three-part series will explain the easy way to weather proof the milk paint finish and will link back to this post.  This process is currently underway.

Milk paint can be weather proofed with a clear sealer | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

And that’s all there is to it.

A custom color plus clear matte topcoat creates the perfect makeover | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

A milk paint finish in a fab custom color.  Who knew?

For more information about this or other products, please visit their site Old Fashioned Milk Paint.

Milk paint plus a weather proof sealer is the perfect combination for this swing makeover | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

I do hope you will visit the blog again to see more of this outdoor swing makeover.  

Part II – Spray Paint Furniture the Easy Way  

features Weatherproofing a newly refinished Outdoor Swing

Part III – How to Construct a Faux Pergola – LOL..Yes… You’ll just have to see it to believe it.

Fall weather, a sweet swing in the shade and a game of Checkers #familytime | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |

And, as always, please feel free to pin this Paint Recipe and Technique for later.

Outdoor Porch Swing Makeover | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Paint | The Chelsea Project |


#oldfashionedmilkpaintco #oldfashionedmilkpaint #ofmp #ofmpblogger #swing #porchswing 




  • Reply Carolann September 29, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Beautiful Susie. I just love the color. How relaxing. I can totally see a cup of coffee in hand relaxing in your yard. Great work!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 1, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks Carolann! Come on over!

  • Reply Linda September 29, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Love it, pinned it – will try it on some outside chairs!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 1, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks Linda!!

  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 October 1, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    The swing turned out so fantastic. I love how you didn’t stress over getting every little bit of old paint off. And the custom color is divine. I bet you will enjoy the fall season in that spot.

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 1, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      Thanks Deb!!

  • Reply Fabiola October 5, 2016 at 3:04 am

    Love it, twitted and share.

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 5, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Thanks so much, Fabiola.

  • Reply Jenni Pagano October 5, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    I am so jealous you have a porch AND a swing! The adhesion on this is amazing. I adore how it looks fresh but not “new” or “faux” in any way. I keep saying that about milk paint, but it is so true!! Well done.

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 5, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Thanks so much, Jenni.

  • Reply Cynthia Chilson Finger October 7, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Susie!! What a gorgeous, happy color. Your swing would make me smile all day long! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your beautiful photos with us. Love it all! Cynthia

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 7, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks Cynthia! I would love for you to come over and do just that! Spend the day and smile the entire time. 🙂

  • Reply Sam @ Raggedy Bits October 8, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Just gorgeous Suzie! I love the colour you chose! I can see lots of relaxing times spent right here!

    Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous project over at Waste Not Wednesday! 🙂

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 9, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Thanks Sam!

  • Reply Spray Paint Furniture the Easy Way - The Chelsea Project October 10, 2016 at 6:04 am

    […] Click here to see how the swing is refinished in milk paint […]

  • Reply michellejames42 October 15, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Wow! Love this custom color & your photos are stunning!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 15, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks Michelle… You’re so kind!

  • Reply Vanessa October 18, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    I love this swing and the color is beautiful.

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 19, 2016 at 10:48 am

      Thanks Vanessa.

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  • Reply DIY Decorative Christmas Ladder - The Chelsea Project November 1, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    […] How I mixed Milk Paint to get a custom color (Click here) […]

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    […] Plus how to mix and/or create a custom color with milk paint (Click Here). […]

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    […] earlier post on this blog details the mixing process I use.  You can click here to get the mixing directions and then meet me back here to apply the […]

  • Reply Pam List aka Momma May 31, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Love this! I miss having a porch swing. It was my go to spot in high school when I needed to think.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 31, 2018 at 5:35 pm

      Awwww. thanks Pam. You need to get another swing.

  • Reply Susanne June 12, 2018 at 7:30 am

    I just love this swing and milk paint is amazing!! I could see sitting on it in the evening listening to the birds. Thanks so much for sharing with us!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject June 15, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Thanks Susanne. It does lend an inviting and homely feel to the patio. And yes, I do love to listen to the birds. Come and sit anytime.

    Thanks so much for your comment!

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