It’s thrilling to try a new paint colour, especially one that’s out of my usual zone. I don’t tend toward blues or whites, but Mora was Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint colour of the month for June 2023, which forced me into unexplored territory.
This piece is solid wood and in great condition. In fact, its only fault is that it was dark and boring! The whisper-soft pale blue colour of Mora gave me all the beachy vibes and inspired a light, easy-breezy look. My plan was to strip it and lighten the top then add natural-looking handles.
I washed the dresser inside and out, then removed the handles and gave it a good scuff sanding.
Honestly, I don’t enjoy removing a finish down to raw wood. I tried sanding it but the finish didn’t want to budge so I used CitriStrip to remove most of it, wiped it over with methylated spirits (this helps remove the stripper and dry it out) and left it overnight. The next day I used 80 grit sand paper, then 120 and 180. I finished with 220 grit.
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint is earthy and rustic and I LOVE it. It comes in powder form. I used a lidded jar and mixed equal parts warm water to powder, approximately a half cup of each. You’ll typically need 2-4 coats of MMS Milk Paint for full coverage. I brushed it on using a ClingOn F40 flat paint brush. Milk Paint can be tricky and ClingOn paint brushes make the job much easier. You can read more about using MMS Milk Paint in my Basics of Milk Paint blog post.
When working on furniture with a stained top and painted base, I am often asked whether to stain first or to paint. I paint first because once the paint is on I might change my mind about what colour stain to use. For example, I wanted a light top but I first needed to see Mora painted on the piece to make sure the whole thing didn’t look as boring as when I started!
Once a few coats of Mora paint were dry I started on the natural timber top. For the paint wash I mixed a small batch of MMS Milk Paint in Carolina Dune, a neutral beige, using two parts water to one part milk paint. This was totally an experiment. I’d never done a paint wash using milk paint before. When applying a milk paint wash the wood will get very wet and dark but as it dries it lightens up. Once it was dry it was exactly the white-washed look I was hoping for!
Using water based products on raw wood may cause some of wood grain to raise. This is a natural reaction when the wood grain becomes hydrated. It may settle down once the wood is dry, but if it doesn’t, it’s easily sanded down using a fine grit sanding pad.
I painted a total of four coats of Mora milk paint. I often use fine grit sandpaper on the painted surfaces to smooth before I wax, but I was enjoying the grainy finish with the rustic look of the natural top so I skipped the sanding and waxed the entire thing, top to bottom, using my Jolie Pointed wax brush and MMS MilkWax Clear. I added a dab of Saddle Brown MMS MilkWax to the timber top.
All ready for lemonade and lazy days.
All the best with YOUR next furniture painting project and don’t forget to get in touch with any questions. I’m here to help!
Find out more about Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint here: https://www.mmsmilkpaint.com/