Prettifying my curb-found table: Adventures in milk painting

I’ve told you about this table before, haven’t I? While out for a walk in our old neighbourhood, my Dad spotted it curbside. Someone put it out for free! (One man’s trash is another man’s come-up, right?) We were in need of a table, so we scooped it up and brought it home. It’s solid wood, but not really our style, but I kept it around thinking one day I’d refinish it. Well, that one day was yesterday. (NOTE: click on any of the photos to enlarge)

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I had ordered some milk paint from Homestead House a couple months ago, and finally got to use them. I bought Sturbridge White and Rideau Blue. As it turned out, the blue wasn’t quite the shade I’d hoped it would be, but it worked out great anyhow, I think. Milk paint is an all-natural, powder-based paint that gives that awesome antiqued look that’s so on trend these days. Because my table was free, I was totally happy to experiment a little with it, and I’m so happy I did!

photo (57)I started by watching the tutorials on the Homestead House site, and then took the table outside for painting. There was NO prep here. I painted directly on top of the varnish coating already on the table.

I decided to paint the legs first. I’d mixed the milk paint with my hand blender, and actually wouldn’t recommend that — it was too bubbly and I had to wait for it to settle and then re-stir it. The legs were painted in two coats of Sturbridge White.

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Mason (3) was able to help because the paints are non-toxic, and the joy of milk paint is that messy is the best! He was in heaven helping out with the project.


photo (59)The paint dries very quickly (<30mins, especially when outside in warm weather) and was ready for a second coat by the time I’d completed the first coat. We then flipped it upright and I mixed the Rideau Blue. I was hoping it would have a turquoise tinge, but it’s very accurate to what’s online — very blue. And too blue for the kitchen, as my accent colours are turquoise and orange. I was disappointed but then thought to layer more white over the top to give it a grey tinge. It worked like a charm! Our kitchen chairs are dark grey, and the walls are Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter, so it all works together beautifully.

When the first coating of blue was dry, I sanded it with a fine sandpaper to bring out some of the wood grain, focussing on small areas where I wanted to appear more distressed (edges, etc).

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I then painted a layer of Sturbridge White over the entire top surface. Once dry, I sanded that lightly, too. The result is a nicely antiqued appearance, with a greyish top surface. To seal, I rubbed the entire table down with hemp oil (also purchased from Homestead House), which gives it a gorgeous, soft, non-toxic finish.

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photo (63)Isn’t it so pretty?

I bought the 1lb bags of milk paint ($36.99 each) and the 1L hemp oil ($26.99) but have tons of them all leftover, so the project cost next to nothing. I estimate I spent about $15 in materials for the project.

My chairs were about $12 each (HERE is the post detailing that super-easy project) and my table was free plus the cost of paint (~$15), so in grand total, my kitchen set cost around $75. With summer upon us, it’s garage sale season, so keep your eyes peeled for awesome finds like these! You never know what treasures you can create from someone else’s junk.

Not too shabby at all for some beautiful shabby chic furniture, I say.


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9 thoughts on “Prettifying my curb-found table: Adventures in milk painting

  1. I am looking for a paint technique course for very authentic antique look that I can do online. Must have support. Do you know of any?

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