Primitive Milk Paint Cabinet { Furniture Makeover }

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I love hidden potential, kinda like rooting for the underdog, you know?  I love when I find a piece that has been completely looked over because of it’s obvious outer flaws, but is something that still can have a new life with some good TLC.  This handmade cabinet was one of those pieces.


I found it tucked away in a garage at an estate sale a few months ago.  I can’t remember exactly what I paid for it, but it was under $50. And because I am in the business of flipping furniture for profit, under $50 is always music to my ears!

It was not an expertly-crafted primitive piece, but was still sturdy, solid, and would provide fantastic storage.  I knew a few coats of milk paint would go a long way to transform this into a quality storage piece for someone’s home.


I started by sanding off the marker writings with my orbital sander, and then gave the top a good, all-over sanding as well.  The top was one solid piece of wood, but was stained in several places and also had a few deep scratches.

I wanted to work with those flaws and keep it very primitive looking, so instead of staining it, I just rubbed on some 3:1 mineral oil and vinegar mix (read more about this process here).


Is that not amazing?  Something so simple brought out the beauty of the wood and took less than 5 minutes to do. It’s awesome.

Next, I painted the whole body in MMS Milk Paint Shutter Gray, then heavily sanded certain areas to make the finish less smooth and allow some wood to show through.  When I applied the wax, the wood underneath the milk paint also deepened in color and produced a really beautiful effect.


It had some missing veneer on one side and some that was pulling off on the front door, but I decided to leave those places as they were.  Those imperfections don’t impact the stability of the piece, so I left them to add to the primitive character of the cabinet.  I did add new hardware and fixed a broken interior shelf so that it now has maximum storage capacity.

Here it is all finished:

milk paint cabinet furniture makeover

Look at all that potential that’s not so hidden anymore!

milk paint cabinet furniture makeover

It’s a fantastic piece with the milk paint now.  The uneven coverage of the milk paint and its quality of being easily distressed fit perfectly with a primitive look.

milk paint cabinet furniture makeover


milk paint cabinet furniture makeover

The new knobs are from Hobby Lobby, and add just a little touch of upscale class.


And look at how gorgeous that wood top is!  All with just mineral oil and vinegar 🙂

milk paint cabinet furniture makeover

milk paint cabinet furniture makeover


I can easily see it in a kitchen, holding tableware and cookbooks.  Or in a child’s room, with books and toys tucked away inside.

milk paint cabinet furniture makeover

milk paint cabinet furniture makeover

This cabinet was definitely the underdog! It was old, ugly, and broken.  Not anymore though:)  I hope you like it as much as I do.


Milk Paint vs Chalk Paint, My Take | Lost & Found

Wednesday 31st of August 2016

[…] Primitive Cabinet in Shutter Gray […]


Thursday 28th of August 2014

Have the exact same cupboard..... Was planning on painting it with chalk paint...thanks for your great very nice of you to share.


Thursday 31st of July 2014

Wow, this is just gorgeous. I love that you worked with the flaws and used them to add interest to the piece. Thank you so much for linking up at The Handmade Hangout at Redouxinteriors. Sharing at the party tonight and pinning!


Thursday 31st of July 2014

Thank you Karen! It was a fun project and I'm so happy too with how it turned out.

Natasha in Oz

Tuesday 29th of July 2014

Thanks so much for joining the Say G'Day Saturday linky party this week. I've just pinned your post to the Say G'Day Saturday board.

Best wishes for a great week. Natasha in Oz


Wednesday 30th of July 2014

Thank you Natasha!!

Meredith Wouters

Saturday 26th of July 2014

Gorgeous! Pinned it. So glad to find you on Say G'day Saturday.


Wednesday 30th of July 2014

Thank you Meredith. I so appreciate you stopping by.

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