So Chippy Even Chip Gaines is Jealous: Using the Two-Tone Layered Milk Paint

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A few weeks ago I got a text from a friend asking if I knew anyone who bought antiques . . . I responded, “Yes, me!”

Her husband’s grandmother had passed away and the family was ready to start selling some of the furniture and decor they had chosen not to keep.

She was kind enough to text me pictures of everything she had, then bring it up here from the grandmother’s house several hours away.  All I had to do was tell her what I wanted then pick it up from her garage.

Some of the easiest treasure hunting I’ve ever done.

I picked this wonderful oak short dresser from what she had to sell.

What was really nice about the process was that even though it was a piece that had been in the family for a long time, they were excited to let it go and find a new “life” with someone else who would really appreciate it.

I felt the freedom to give it a complete makeover, without the worries of offending them for painting their heirloom.


It has wonderful curvy lines and is solid to the core.  And of course, the casters!


It was quite scratched up though, so I thought a complete paint job would be the best way to go.

Because the wood underneath was of such good quality (no veneer, just real wood), MMS milk paint was a great option.

I prefer using Fusion Mineral Paint for pieces that need to be completely covered, and saving milk paint for when I’m going for that real chippy look with lots of original wood peeking through, which is exactly what I did.

Writing a Story with Two-Tone Layered Milk Paint

A piece like this comes with an expectation. It looks old, so it must have a story.

So I decided to use a new (well, new for me) technique to write that story.

Hint – It involves using Vaseline! 
(READ MORE about it here)

Base Coat of Shutter Gray

I started off with a coat of MMS (Miss Mustard Seed) Shutter Gray.


Look closely and the right front corner, it’s starting to chip–the magic of milk paint!


Apply Vaseline to High Traffic Areas

After the Shutter Gray dried, I rubbed some Vaseline on “high traffic” spots, like edges, by the handles, the legs–places where the piece would have naturally gotten a lot of wear and tear over the years.

Paint the Top Coat of Ironstone

After letting the Vaseline dry for about a half hour, I painted a top coat of MMS Ironstone.

The Vaseline kept the Ironstone paint from sticking, so it created this neat two layered milk paint effect where it appears that the top coat of paint has naturally worn off over years of use.


And then of course after letting it sit for a few hours, the milk paint started chipping away again and it was time to give it a light sanding. Here is the final product.




Now that’s Chip-Gaines-Chippy!

The milk paint did A LOT of chipping on this piece, giving it a real primitive look in the end.  I’m happy with how it turned out and I enjoyed experimenting with the Vaseline technique.

Now, whoever buys it, will picture whatever story they’d like this piece to tell 🙂

There are so many ways to create interest and texture on furniture, especially with milk paint.  Give it a try if you haven’t already.

Thank you all for your encouragement–hauling all of this stuff around is not glorious work, but I’ve sure had fun with it.

Top Posts 2013 | lose the ordinary. find the unique.

Monday 30th of December 2013

[…] 3.  Milk Paint Experiment […]

Jacalynn @ The Sideways House

Tuesday 5th of November 2013

This dresser is beautiful! I love the layered colors. It really helps the piece tell a story.

I would love if you stopped by my blog!


Tuesday 5th of November 2013

Thank you Jacalynn. I will!

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