One of the reasons why people are sometimes afraid to use milk paint is that they think milk paint = chippy. Or perhaps that it is only used to create a vintage, distressed look. Not so, my friends!! In fact, you can get an amazingly smooth finish with milk paint if applied properly. Today I'll show you just how to achieve that smooth finish with this hutch I updated using Sweet Pickins milk paint.
Supplies (affiliate links)
- Milk Paint (Flour Sack)
- Extra Bond
- Paint Brush
- Sand Paper
- Orbital Sander
- Oil Wax
- Water Based Polyurethane
How to Get a Smooth Finish with Milk Paint
- First of all, take everything apart! Remove the hardware, take off any built-in lights, and take the back off. If your doors have glass inserts that can be removed then do so, otherwise tape it off.
- Sand everything really, really well. Milk paint will flake in spots where the previous top coat hasn't been removed, so make sure you get off as much as possible.
- Next, mix up milk paint and add extra bond. To mix up milk paint you add equal parts of warm water and milk paint. So for a piece this large I mixed up ½ cup of water to a half cup of milk paint at a time. Mix your paint and water so there are no chunks. Once I mixed up the water and milk paint powder I added ½ cup of extra bond.
- Paint the first coat using long, even strokes and let it dry overnight so the extra bond can fully dry. It also must be at least 60 degrees for the extra bond to work.
- I had bleed through after the first coat so I had to apply 2 coats of Shellac. Shellac can also work as an extra bond for milk paint so it will help the paint stick even better.
- Now add additional coats of milk paint. I applied 2 more coats of milk paint without the extra bond in it, but you do want to be careful how many coats you apply. Also, the more coats you apply the more likely your paint is to chip.
- Sand in between each coat of paint. I used 220 grit sandpaper in between each coat and at the end to distress the edges (this was the desired effect for this piece, but distressed edges are not necessary) and smooth out the paint. Milk paint sands very smooth.
- I applied 2 coats of a spray on water-based polyurethane. I like to use a spray can because it goes on even.
- Finally, add oil wax to slightly distress and bring out the details.
Look at this gorgeous detail!! Again, you will notice that these edges were given a slightly distressed look, but that is completely optional. It is very easy to accomplish a smooth finish with milk paint. You can see some of my other hutch makeovers here and here.