Coffee Table + Milk Paint DIY

Tired coffee table + milk paint = Perfection. Step by step DIY tutorial to create a layered distressed effect on an old coffee table using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.
Tired coffee table + Milk Paint = Perfection

 

For the past few years I have been looking at this hand-me-down coffee table, and thinking “How can I freshen you up a bit?!”  The dark stain was a little  totally depressing, and there were scratches, cup marks and areas where the varnish had bubbled and worn. I had ZERO experience in painting and restoring furniture… but after a little ‘Pinteresting’ – yes that is a word! – I had a plan!

STEP 1 – A PLAN AND SUPPLIES

My initial plan was to sand and stain the top to create an aged wood effect.  For the legs I wanted to create a beautiful distressed look with some layers of ‘old’ paint peeking through the ‘new’ paint.  (Of course it’s all new paint – but it’s all about creating the ‘look’ of an old loved piece of furniture.)

With a little more  PInteresting research and advice from the lovely (and ever so helpful) Sada from For the Love Creations  I ordered my milk paint supplies.  I decided to use Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paints, as her paints are non-toxic , made from natural ingredients and are safe for use during pregnancy, (I was 5 months pregnant at the time).  I chose ‘Shutter Grey’, a faded blue/grey for my first coats, and a beautiful white/beige called ‘Grain Sack’ for my top coat.

My shopping list included:

-Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Shutter Grey and Grain Sack (I only ordered a sample of each, and it was enough – just!)

-Miss Mustard Seed’s bonding agent

-Miss Mustard Seed Wax Puck

-Miss Mustard Seed Furniture wax

-Paint brushes

-Milk paint whisk (not essential)

 

STEP 2. SANDING (and a new plan)

As I began sanding, the edges were coming up beautifully, with some gorgeous wood grain showing through.   I moved onto sanding the top… As you can see, under the ‘wood grain looking’ top, the wood was actually just MDF (or something similar)!  Devastating!  Plan B – Milk pain the lot!  As I mentioned, I was 5 months pregnant, and it was a January heat wave, so I decided to skip the sanding of the base, and use the bonding agent on my first two coats of shutter grey.

Devo!
Devo!

STEP 3 – PAINT FIRST COAT(S)

Adding a bonding agent means the paint ‘sticks’ to the previous finish – it doesn’t matter what that finish is …. Glass, varnish, metal, anything!  Amazing right!?  This took all the hard prep work out of this project – perfect!  I mixed the MMS milk paint up first, and then added the bonding agent, using a 2 parts paint:1 part bonding agent ratio.  After the first coat, I was sceptical.  It was streaky.  It was uneven.  It was UGLY!  Hmmm…. I wondered if hubby and his family would notice if I quietly placed the table behind the back shed and left it there??

One coat...UGLY!
One coat…UGLY!

I had read about the dreaded ‘first coat ugly phase’, so persevered.  The second coat went on beautifully… it was looking MUCH better!

2nd coat...MUCH better!
2nd coat…MUCH better!

STEP 4 – CREATE A RESIST

“A what?” I hear you say!  A resist.  I wanted to create an aged/distressed look for the table, with some of the shutter grey undercoats peeking through my grain sack coat. A wax puck creates a ‘resist’ between layers of paint, so the top coat will not ‘stick’ to the bottom coat.  This lets the bottom coat (in this case Shutter Grey), peek through the top coat (Grain Sack).

Once the two coats of Shutter Grey were dry (which was no time at all in 40 degree heat!), I started with the wax puck (pretty isn’t it!).   I rubbed the wax puck on areas I thought there would be normal ‘wear and tear’ and paint would have naturally worn over time.

Creating a resist with the wax puck
Creating a resist with the wax puck

STEP 5 – TOP COAT & DISTRESS

Next up I painted my top coat in ‘Grain Sack’ – I applied two coats to get a better coverage.  Once the paint was dry (again – no time!), I used a rag to remove the Grain Sack in areas I had put the wax puck.

Milk paint in Grain Sack
Milk paint in Grain Sack
Tired coffee table + milk paint = Perfection. Step by step DIY tutorial to create a layered distressed effect on an old coffee table using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.
Areas have been distressed using a wax puck as a resist

STEP 6 – SAND AND WAX

Once I was happy with the amount of distressing and layering, I gave the entire table a light sand with very fine sandpaper to give it a super smooth finish.  The last step was to protect the paint.  I used Miss Mustard Seed Furniture wax which gives a durable finish and a lovely soft sheen.

I applied the wax in a thin layer, and allowed it to dry for a couple of minutes.  Then I used a lint free cloth to buff and shine the wax. I added two coats of wax just to give it that extra bit of protection, as the table needs to withstand living with 3 kids under 6!

 

Tired coffee table + milk paint = Perfection. Step by step DIY tutorial to create a layered distressed effect on an old coffee table using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.
Perfection!
Tired coffee table + milk paint = Perfection. Step by step DIY tutorial to create a layered distressed effect on an old coffee table using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.
Just the right amount of layering…
Tired coffee table + milk paint = Perfection. Step by step DIY tutorial to create a layered distressed effect on an old coffee table using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.
…nice legs…
Tired coffee table + milk paint = Perfection. Step by step DIY tutorial to create a layered distressed effect on an old coffee table using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.
…and a funky cow bell from the back shed!

 


So, that’s it!  What do you think of the transformation?  Do you have any pieces of furniture in your home that need a lift?  Why not have a go at a milk paint DIY this weekend?!   I’d love to hear how you go transforming your special piece of furniture.  Feel free to comment below, or reach out on social media.

See you next time…Keep Chasing…

J x

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