Milk paint oh how I love you! I wish you weren’t so finicky sometimes though! Have you struggled with the unpredictable aspect of milk paint too? Today I am sharing a fool proof method to get a solid finish with milk paint!
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How to Get a Solid Finish With Milk Paint
I discovered milk paint several years ago. I instantly purchased several bags online, I just knew I was going to love it and it would be the answer to all my furniture painting dreams. WRONG! The first time I used milk paint it sucked. There I said it. It did! I have to be honest. It completely chipped off the first dresser I painted it on. I don’t mean a little either I mean it literally flaked off completely. I had 3 more bags waiting for me to use and now I hated this product! What the heck?! I realized very quickly with each subsequent project that the first incident was the exception. Not the rule.
I hope if you’ve had issues with milk paint too that this post will ease your discouragement. I hope at the very least in encourages you to give it a second chance. Or if you’ve never tried it, a little more confidence when you do. If you do you may just discover the most beautiful furniture medium of all time! NO really! I’ve tried a LOT of different furniture paints at this point.Painting dozens of pieces of furniture makes you want to try out lots of options. Milk paint is still at the very top of the list after all the different brands and types of paint Ive tried. It just has the most unique finish that is unparalleled.
How to Prep Furniture for a Solid Milk Paint Finish
Today I am going to specifically cover the steps for prepping your furniture before you get to painting. This may seem boring or even un important! But I assure you this step is the most important! It will help you achieve the best results. It may also help you figure out why your previous attempts may have been in vain.
Step One for Prepping Furniture with a Solid Milk Paint Finish
The first step once you’ve got your work space all set up is to asses your piece of furniture. No really take a good look at it. Determine if you like the hardware. Does it stay or does it go? If you want to switch it out the first step is to remove it.
If you plan to keep the hardware decide if you need to take it off prior to painting. Or if you can keep it on and get good results painting it in place. I’ve done all of the above with hardware so you just have to determine what is right for you!
Step Two Prepping Furniture for a Solid Milk Paint Finish
Take a good look at the actual finish and texture of your dresser. This is really what factors into a solid milk paint finish. If your surface has a polyurethane top coat or a shiny finish this is going to cause the milk paint to flake off. Don’t worry though you can easily remedy this! Its time to get to work really prepping your piece!
Supplies You’ll Need to Prep
- –Orbital Sander (I’ve ran a few to the ground back when I made thousands of signs for my shop, this one is my favorite and will last! while also working efficiently)
- –Medium Grit Sanding Pads
- –Foam Sanding Block
- -Old Rag
- –Leaf Blower (optional but I use this every time to blast off the dust to get it cleaned and ready for paint. You could always just vacuum it too or use a damp cloth to wipe the dust away.)
- Rubber Gloves
- Face mask
- Eye Goggles (or sunglasses as you’ll see me wearing in the video)
Now that you have assessed your piece of furniture and have all the supplies you need to get the job done its time for the real prep work!
How To prep!
Start with your orbital sander. Going with the grain not against it start sanding your piece of furniture. The only time I’d say you can get away without sanding is if its a raw piece of furniture thats new without any imperfections. Otherwise I sand all second hand pieces of furniture.
How Much Do I Sand
This is a great question to ask your self. The key is to sand way all imperfections as well as the glossy top coat. The surface should be dull and matte to the touch when you are finished. This may mean you spend a good chunk of time sanding. Thats ok if you want your paint job to last and be flawless it will be worth the time spent!
Avoid any detailed areas or nooks and crannies your orbital sander can’t reach. You don’t want to damage or destroy the details with your orbital sander.
If you took off the hardware in the earlier step make sure you sand away and indentions left from the old hardware. That is only if you plan to replace it! You don’t want those indentions showing up under the paint if they end up not being covered by the new hardware! I’ve had to learn that one the hard way!
Prepping the Hard to Reach Detaled Areas
Once you have sanded everything you possibly can with your orbital sander go in with your foam sanding block. This will be the best way to get into those areas while not damaging the details and reaching everything.The same rules apply here. Sand till glossy top coat is gone and the furniture is matte and almost rough to the touch.
I know I’ve shown you how to prep furniture in previous posts such as HERE and HERE. This time I’m introducing you to a new prep product! that is a De-glosser. This is going to further “de gloss” everything.
Pour a generous amount on to your old rag and liberally apply it all over! into every square inch! Make sure you rub it in well with your rag as you go.
This will dry and you’ll have a surface that is the perfect medium for milk paint! You paint will hold on tight and won’t chip and flake off!
In Conclusion-Prepping Furniture for a Solid Milk Paint Finish
Once the surface of your furniture is dry be sure to wipe or blow away any lingering dust. You are now ready to paint! This will definitely take some time and effort. But I can assure you the pay off will be well worth it in the end! Next week we will get to paint! you don’t want to miss it! If you have missed any of my previous posts or videos in my introduction to furniture painting course be sure to head here and catch up! I’ve covered so much already and I hope you’re that much closer to beautifully painted furniture!