If you like a good old fashioned furniture makeover, you’re in for a treat today. Over the weekend I finished up this cute little solid-wood secretary I found a few weeks ago at a garage sale.
The wood was in very good condition, so it was a perfect candidate for milk paint. I knew I wanted it to be part of my Memorial Day /4th of July booth display, and lucky me! I happened to have some MMS Artissimo milk paint left from some prior projects.
Now let me say, milk paint can really be quite tricky, but I thought I had finally gotten the hang of it after using it 7 or 8 times now. But I was wrong–on this project, I had all sorts of trouble. I gave the piece a quick sanding with my orbital sander to deter from too much chipping, and started painting away. Two coats later, my finish was super splotchy with big dark patches scattered around. I think I mixed the paint too thick and I got some splashes of really condensed pigment painted in places.
So to make up for the thick paint, I mixed another batch thinner and tried for a third coat . . . but this time it was waaaaay to watery and I ended up with a bubbly finish. I’m used to milk paint being pretty ugly until the whole process is finally finished, but this time I was really worried. I tried to even out the finish as much as I could, but then honestly, I just gave up. I was tired and covered in milk paint and ready to go to bed.
The next day, I waxed the piece and painted the inside with ASCP Duck Egg. I wanted to provide a stronger topcoat since it would be a working desk, so I wiped on some oil based poly over the chalk paint on the inside, and that’s where my next problems began. Trying to get an even coat of poly inside all the little pigeon holes . . . I was covered in poly by the time I was done. And no matter what I did, the finish came out uneven. Again, I wasn’t 100% happy with the end product, but just had to let it go.
So, you’re ready to see it, right? I’ve prepped you into thinking it’s going to look terrible . . .
Well, even with all the problems it’s still pretty darn cute. The finish on the milk paint is a little more streaky that what I usually go for, but it adds more depth and texture to the piece and I think looks fine.
Even with the sanding, I still had some chipping here and there, but it was a manageable amount.
And I’m very happy with how the inside turned out, botched poly and all.
I think the lighter, smooth blue compliments the rougher, dark navy well.
My final problem with this little desk was my photo shoot. The light kept changing on me and I just couldn’t get the exposure I was happy with. I hope you can still appreciate though how the $10 garage sale find turned out, even with my not-so-great-lighting.
So you see, not everything is always happy in furniture flipping world. But, that’s real life, right? You gotta learn to go with it.
This secretary is now on display at my ACM space as part of my new holiday red, white, and blue display.
Stop by and visit if you’re in the area!
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