Sunday, May 27, 2012

My first Milk Paint! GO BOLD, or go home!

So excited to show this dresser. (For you color haters, I'm afraid you will gasp in absolute shock!)

This was my first time using milk paint. I have been coveting the color of a dresser that I saw months ago from Stiltskin Studios. It's the cobalt color antique dresser off to the right side of their page.  

Anyhoo......When the UPS man showed up, it was like Christmas!! I'm sure he thinks I'm an
absolute lunatic. I do a happy dance every time he brings me packages.  Whatever. 
I got all these goodies from the Real Milk Paint Co.  This is my first time using
any milk paint product, but after seeing how this came out, it's not my last! 

The wreck below was just that. A wreck. Showed every bit of it's 90+years.
Hubs shored her up from the back. 
Now those of you that have seen my other stuff, know I usually preserve the wood tops. Not happening on this baby. Why people insist on carving into their furniture or leaving it outside to get wet and warped is beyond me....I sanded quite a bit and put a fresh coat of stain on the top and drawers.  This was before I thought about what color I was going to do.  Enter Milk Paint!  This paint loves bare wood and this baby was stripped to bare bones.  Perfectamundo!

Ready?? Put on some sunglasses.......


PHOTO ALERT......Grab a snack and a cup 'o joe,,,lots o' pictures ahead.
Guh-head....I'll wait. 

                                    Cobalt Blue is my all time fave color. 
 I have it throughout my yard......

This is one of our three koi ponds. The outside of our house is a Mediterranean/Spanish style and this pond is in the front patio/courtyard .  I had the wall stuccoed and then painted it this vibrant cobalt. The rest of the house is a rich gold with hints of terra-cotta. I know a lot of people just cringe at these colors. But hey, I love bold!  My yard is filled with flowers and plants with vibrant foliage.  I'm just coordinating with nature!

This is the side patio with the smaller pond for the smaller koi. 
Saltillo tile inlaid with hand painted Mexican Talavera cobalt and marigold of course!

Cobalt color
glass mosaic
 tile line the
 back drop
  for the

To the right
is the largest
of the ponds.
There is a
of cobalt
in the pots and flowers around the pond.

  Just a pic of one of one of my favorite guys.  No, he isn't cobalt. I like him anyway. 

        Back to my dresser......

Painting with milk paint is almost identical to chalk paint.  I'm used to mixing my homemade chalky paint, so mixing this was no biggie. Simple directions. The rep at the company told me it will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks. It will thicken, so just add some water before using.  Good to know!

I kept all the original hardware. Shined and polished and some parts were sprayed a bit. 

After sanding I wipe the whole thing down with naphtha. (I have to buy it in the neighboring state..Calif is sooooo air conscience)

"Judy" was kind enough to model the before and after drawers.

So. This is the second coat.  The first coat was, um, scary. The wood just soaked it up. I had an "oh-oh" moment. Until I read that is normal. The 2nd coat goes on like a thick latex paint and you can actually see the color. It dries just like chalk paint.

Here is the top after one coat of paint and sanding. 

 This is during the 2nd coat.  Just so you know, Milk Paint will not "fill in" any cracks or divots, you must apply wood filler to those prior to painting.
This paint dries super fast. You can seriously knock the whole thing out from start to sealing in a few hours. Instead of sealing with wax, the manufacturer recommends natural tung oil (or their burnishing paste). It's completely non-toxic, same as the milk paint.
Tung oil is very thick so I thinned it with their citrus solvent (also non-toxic) to make it spreadable. You can use mineral spirits if you want, but that will remain toxic until the spirits evaporate.  It's the same with the paste wax. The solvents are added to make the wax pliable. After the solvents evaporate, you are left with your hardened wax. 
After applying the oil, the color deepens. They recommend 3-4 coats of oil. This was one. 
The oil goes on very easily. You put on a thick layer, let it soak in for about 30 mins, and wipe off.
Depending on how porous the wood is, will determine how many coats of oil. It's a lot easier than waxing. However, you can still apply a coat of wax over the oil finish if you desire a more polished appearance.  If you look at their website, they give you how-to's on their products.   

The tung oil is great for many things. It revives any type of wood. The tung oil they sell at Real Milk Paint company, is 100% pure oil.  I know you have all seen the tung oil, Danish oil, etc, at HD or Lowes,,,read the label,,,it says tung oil finish, Danish Oil Finish.....very little if any natural tung oil or Danish oil. That stuff is filled with solvents and other nasty smelling stuff.  Don't ever use that finish stuff inside of drawers. The smell will transfer onto clothing or whatever you are keeping inside.   
This was not the mirror that came with the dresser.  I had this from a previous piece and the owner 
did not want it. 
I played around with the other two colors I ordered. I painted them on first and then layered over 
both with the ultramarine. When I sanded, I got peeks of the turquoise and cobalt (they call it 
cobalt but it looks like aqua).  These pics really don't do it justice. The layering effects are 

I will be lining the drawers with this fabric.

I wanted to get a few pics without the mirror. 

Doesn't it go great with the Mexican patio I have?? And my mosaic pot I made years ago??
If you are wondering if this color has been photoshopped,,,the answer is no.  This is really
what it looks like. Definitely not for the faint of heart! 

Adios Muchachos!  

Thanks for visiting. 

linking to all my faves below



  1. I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago and its become a fave of mine, absolutely love this dresser the colour is gorge. I'm always painting furniture and you've given me lots of tips. Cant wait to see what else you do.
    Lesley from Brisbane Australia

    1. Thank you Lesley! I have four more items in the garage just waiting for my time!

  2. I think it looks beautiful!! Thanks for sharing all the info. :)

  3. WOW that looks so amazing. I love that color, so vibrant!

  4. WOW! shazam, batman! i LOVE it! so happy bright and fun!

  5. Whoa awesome!!! And it does go perfectly at your place!!

  6. Brandy~GreyLaneHomeMay 30, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    I love this color. Outstanding job.

  7. Simply gorgeous!!!..Love everything about it:-)

  8. Magnificent! New follower here ...

  9. Looks great! I always try to go neutral and end up wanting more color! I have not tried milk paint yet. . . that is next on my list!

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Beth, This dresser is amazing! Love the gorgeous blue...simply stunning! It looks great on your patio, too. Love your photos, especially of the koi. :-)

  12. Bold and beautiful. Just what a BeColorful girl loves so I featured your blue beauty on this week's Motivated Monday. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I love cobalt blue & your dresser is A M A Z I N G ! !

    Love it!


  14. love, love, love this piece! The color is stunning,
    i would love to feature it, if that would be ok with you
    please let me know,

    1. not sure if you caught the feature, you can check it out here!

  15. I just truly love it. It is inspirational. Sandra in California

  16. I am seriously digging your dresser makeover - the cobalt blue is absolutely gorgeous! You're a girl after my own heart - cobalt blue is right at the top of my list of fave colours, just behind purple :-) I love that you were brave enough to try such a bold colour. Totally worth it, because the results are fantastic!

    Love all the touches of cobalt throughout your yard as well :-)

  17. Wow. Wow. And wow! I use Real Milk Paint but haven't tried the bold colors. I'm taking a deep breath and diving in!

  18. Beth, where have u been all my life??? Love your take on things (attitude is everything!) and your do-overs seriously pump me up . . .

    That cobalt blue dresser caught my eye on Pinterest and led me to your blog; can't believe I have not found it before this. Anyway this dresser is the tops and you have inspired me to try it out.

    Thanks for your dedication to reviving all things needing a new life, and to bringing them to us.

  19. WOW that is absolutely gorgeous! Cobalt is also my favorite color! Especially glass. YAY for color lovers!

  20. O M G Gorgeous! Sharing this over on Fb. Looked for you on Facebook, but can't find you. If you're over there, please send me a link at Thanks!

  21. Ms Beth! TRULY inspiring. Gonna try me some milk paint in layers and boldness just like you! Well maybe not JUST like you, but like me with you thrown know what I mean. Yayness supreme for your finished project! Thanks for sharing and SO happy to have found you site!

  22. Well, I just love everything about this! What a great color and a stunning transformation. Check out my blog if you get a chance. I'm a card maker, take lots of photos, too.

  23. Wouwww.......bright and lovely!! I am pinning it.
    Thank you.

  24. This is EXACTLY what I had in mind for repainting an old dresser for my soon-to-be nursery if we find out it's a girl. So gorgeous. I'm a color addict, too. Now I don't have to figure out how to do it myself. You even listed the colors and the company! Thank you so much!

  25. Hello! Stumbled across your blog! Beautiful dresser! I saw the colours and k we I had to try this! I have a few questions and wonder if you can help me please? After sanding do I use the vm&p then paint the milk paints straight on? Do you just later the turquoise and cobalt then paint over the top with ultra marine?

    Many thanks


    1. After sanding I wipe it down to clean it off. Then just add the milk paint! I don't mix them together. Just paint one at a time. When you distress, you should see the colors underneath. So You paint one color, let it dry, and then go over it with your next color. Hope this clears it up.
      I tried replying back to you directly, but couldn't

  26. I have a similar question as Emma above: Did you mix the three colors together or did you layer one on top of the other? If you did the layers, which color did you start with and which did you end with? Thanks.

    1. Actually it's just two colors. I brushed the turq on first and then went over it with the ultra-marine (which I call cobalt). When you distress, you want the under color to peek through.

  27. Loving this! Cobalt blue is such a nice pop of color for a Mediterranean/Southwestern feel.

  28. Hi! favorite color! I am finally inspired to try this for the first time. Never done anything like this. Can you tell me what the naptha does? Is it necessary? And when do you use it in the process?
    Thanks! Katie

  29. Also, how much milk paint did you need for this project?

  30. I agree the color is lovely, but I would NEVER use Naptha out of the can! CA is correct in its concern about these products- I hope you don't have any children near it. I wouldn't let my pets breathe it!

  31. Can you please tell me the exact colors you used? I was looking at the Real Milk Paint website and do not see any colors that look like the proper ones. Also is there a substitute for Naptha? Is it essential?
    I've never worked with Milk Paint, but I'm excited to!!! I'd like to execute the same exact color on a vintage vanity I'm working on!!!

    1. Naphtha is not necessary. you may wipe down with mineral spirits (water tends to raise the grain). Naphtha is what dry cleaners used back before it was banned!
      The company has changed their color names. You can always email Dwayne or call and ask. Sorry for the late reply! I just saw this.

  32. I just spoke to you through email tonight and then reread this post and every reply again. I am still not sure what exactly I need to do to duplicate this exact color.
    I'm sorry truly I am but I'm not sure what steps will get me to this BEAUTIFUL color.
    1. Sand and wipe off with mineral spirits
    2. Paint first color which is now known as ( turquoise from the real milk paint company)
    3. Sand and wipe off with mineral spirits again (2nd time)
    4. Paint second color which is known as ( Lakeview Blue)
    5. Sand and wipe off with mineral spirits again ( 3rd time)
    6. Paint on tung oil leave 30 minutes wipe off tung oil
    7. Paint on several more coats of tung oil and each time wait 30 minutes and wipe off
    Is this what I have read?
    It looks like black wax or black paint is coming through on the finished project.

    1. Actually the new color name is Lagoon Blue. if you want a second color, you can paint it on first in the spots you will be distressing. You only use min spirits on the bare wood the first time. After that, just a light brushing or a damp cloth to get off the residual paint powder.
      paint on your paint, lightly sand, wipe with damp cloth or brush, wipe on tung oil/solvent with a rag, let it soak in and wipe off any remaining oil. No black wax was used, thats the wood showing through.

  33. This dresser came out absolutely stunning! WOW! I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the color. What a beautiful job you did. Thank you for sharing and explaining how you did the work.