20 Milk Paint Furniture Before and After Makeovers

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Are you looking for a unique, authentically aged look for your next furniture makeover? 

Then you need to give milk paint a try.

Milk paint is the best paint to use when I want to get the “chippy look” on a piece of painted furniture. 

It’s also an eco-friendly and affordable option for your painted furniture projects, even if you don’t want a chippy finish.

I love it specifically for painting old wood furniture and raw wood surfaces.  Milk paint colors also have a depth and character to them that you don’t get from a liquid, pre-mixed paint.

One of the best parts about using milk paint that often goes unmentioned is that it hardly shows any brush strokes!

Because it has no real synthetic fillers in the paint, it settles down nice and smooth once all the water evaporates and the paint dries. 

​Milk Paint Basics

True milk paint is very different from other furniture paints on the market. Unlike latex paint or chalk paint, it comes in a powder form that you mix with water.

​It’s also made from mostly natural ingredients, including milk protein (that’s where the milk paint name comes from), and other binders. 

It produces a matte finish that you can easily distress, and will sometimes chip and flake on its own if painted over slick, non-porous surfaces.

On raw wood, it will soak down into the fibers of the wood, acting more like a stain than a paint.

Read this post here for a full breakdown of mixing, prepping, painting, and finishing milk paint:  What is Milk Paint?

milk paint furniture before and after

Types of Milk Paint

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There are several main milk paint companies, which include:

Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

General Finishes Milk Paint

The Real Milk Paint Co.

Sweet Pickin’s Milk Paint

Old Fashioned Milk Paint

Homestead House Milk Paint

All milk paints will require a top coat to seal the finish and add the durability needed for daily-use furniture.

You can check out this post for the three topcoat options I use when sealing milk paint:  Three Ways to Seal Milk Paint

Other Tips for Painting with Milk Paint

  1. Milk paint works best on actual wood furniture.  If you are trying to paint something that is not real wood (like laminate or metal), you will need to add a bonding agent to your milk paint for the paint to actually stick to your project.
  2. For best results, it’s a good idea to use a bit sand paper or a sanding sponge to lightly sand the surface of your entire piece before you start to paint.  The rougher and dryer the wood is, the better your milk paint will adhere.
  3. The first coat of paint always looks terrible when working with milk paint.  It usually takes 3 to 4 coats of paint to get full coverage.
  4. If your milk paint begins to chip as it dries, brush off the loose paint with your hand or a paint scraper. If you like the chippy look, you can leave it as is, or you can repaint that area–but be sure to clean and sand it first to help the paint adhere better.
  5. Be sure to finish sand your milk-painted furniture. Use a high grit sandpaper (320+) and lightly go over your entire piece to smooth out the way the milk paint feels.  After finish sanding, it should feel buttery-soft to the touch.
  6. For high-use areas, especially any that may get wet, be sure to use a hard topcoat (like a polyacrylic) over your milk paint. 

Milk Paint Furniture Before and After

Are you ready to see some amazing furniture makeovers with milk paint?

Painted Oak Washstand Makeover

This piece of furniture got a new beachy look with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint and white wax on the top.


French Provincial Buffet Makeover

​A lovely shade of blue milk paint turned this dated buffet into a french-cottage stunner.

Antique Dresser Makeover

An old dresser was given a new life with a milk paint color called Shutter Gray. The top was also refinished and stained a new, lighter color.


Primitive Hutch Milk Paint Makeover

I wanted to create a distressed finish on this wall hutch, so I layered two colors of blue milk paint with a wax resist in between. The paint did a lot of chipping and the final result was perfect!

​Green Chest of Drawers Makeover

A light green color of milk paint freshened up this wood chest of drawers, for a cottage vibe.

Very Chippy Small Painted Lowboy Chest

This very chippy finish was created by layering two colors of paint, and using Vaseline in between the two colors to create a resist. The final coat of white paint flaked off the areas where the Vaseline was used, giving the paint a naturally worn look.


Gray Painted Washstand Makeover

Another vintage washstand gets a new look, this time with a gray color of milk paint, perfect for a farmhouse decor look.


Hoosier Cabinet Makeover with Lucketts Green Milk Paint

Milk paint in the color Luckett’s Green was the perfect choice for this vintage hoosier-style cabinet. The owner wanted it lighter but more modern looking, this minty tone did the trick.


Milk Paint Oak TV Stand Makeover

Two colors of dark blue milk paint were layered on this old empire-style dresser, turning it into a stylish TV console.


Primitive Milk Paint Cabinet

In this makeover, a beat-up cabinet is turned into stylish storage with a blue-gray milk paint.

milk paint furniture before and after


Painted Washstand with Red Milk Paint

Can you paint furniture red with milk paint? Yes! This is the color Tricyle, and it was finished off with a coat of hemp oil and dark brown wax for an antiqued finish.


Oak Washstand Makeover with Milk Paint Mustard Seed Yellow

This washstand has the perfect yellow chippy finish that you can get only with milk paint.


Farmhouse Green Chest of Drawers Makover

This makeover features a dark green milk paint. The front legs were left stained and polished to shine, for added contrast and interest.


Milk Paint Dresser Makeover

Another great farmhouse style piece, easily created with milk paint.


Cherry Blossom Dresser Milk Paint Makeover

Chippy white milk paint frames the body of this oak dresser, while hand-painted cherry blossoms accent the front.



Layla’s Mint Milk Paint Dresser 

A soft minty green adds cottage charm to this vintage furniture piece.  It was also accented with hand-painted details for extra customization. 



More Milk Painted Furniture

Marianne shares the makeover of this gorgeous set of nightstands over on her blog.  She used light blue milk paint to marry them as a set. 


If you love a chippy finish, you will love this stately antique dresser painted by Danielle at Finding Silver Pennies

Natalie from A Ray of Sunlight also creates a stunning piece with dark gray milk paint on this antique dresser.

The crackled milk paint finish on this dresser, painted by Salvaged Inspirations, is absolute perfection!

I hope you can see now how milk paint can be used to revive many different types of furniture pieces! The next time you get out your paint brush and start a project, I hope you will give milk paint a try. 


Jan Hebert

Wednesday 14th of June 2023

These are amazing examples of what can be done with milk paint! Love all of them but especially the small cupboard painted in tricycle! And my husband is not a fan of the chippy look - but I am! Jan in MA

Melanie Alexander

Friday 16th of June 2023

Thanks Jan :) I love the chippy look, but get it's not for everyone. Milk Paint can be nice and smooth as well, as long as you properly prep the piece (clean and sand). Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday 13th of June 2023

I've never used milk paint, but some of these are so pretty that I'll have to give it a try.

Melanie Alexander

Friday 16th of June 2023

It's really a fun paint to work with, if you're willing to experiment a bit :) I love it for old wood pieces, where the finish is really dried out. I do hope you give it a try sometime!

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Monday 12th of June 2023

Hi Melanie - I love milk paint and use it almost exclusively for furniture painting. I love that it is nontoxic and that you can customize your paint by mixing it yourself. Of course, I love the chippiness it can impart too. So many great examples of how to use this paint in your post!

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