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Vintage Table Makeover with Milk Paint

When your kind neighbor asks if you want a free table, you don’t turn it down!  I love thrifty decor and you can’t get thriftier than free. Follow along to see my milk paint table makeover and see what I did with this little guy! From traditional to farmhouse style with just a paintbrush. Don’t toss out that old stuff – reuse and redo it to fit your decor. And just know that it doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s one of my favorite things about farmhouse style decorating. Often it’s not perfect and that just add to the character!


An old tiered table next to a window with sheer white curtains. A brown tiered table with mason jars and potted plants next to a window with sheer white curtains.

Vintage Table Makeover with Milk Paint

Not bad –  and I actually don’t mind wood finishes. There was a short time when I wanted to paint everything in sight, but I definitely appreciate beautiful wood tones more now. However, since I’m hoping to use this guy in our newly made over bedroom (you can see our makeover results by clicking here) I thought paint might be good. This one was also a little cherry’ish for my taste.

So, I chose Old Barn Milk Paint in sweet cream. I’ve only used milk paint once before, but what I like about it is you don’t really know what you’re going to get. You can see my first go with milk paint on this antique chiffarobe – click here.


Follow the directions for mixing – I use equal parts paint (it comes in a powder form) and warm water. Mix good with a whisk – it will be clumpy at first. There is a bonding cream you can add (use equal parts bonding cream and paint) that will help your paint adhere. I did use the bonding cream when mixing my paint for this project because the finish was kind of glossy and I didn’t want all of it to chip off. Plus I was super lazy and didn’t feel like sanding. After you mix your paint and bonding cream – leave it alone for about 10 minutes. This is so all your paint/cream/water learn how to play well together and give you a nice smooth paint. You can prep your piece by cleaning and/or sanding while waiting on the paint.

But here’s the thing – apparently I didn’t mix good or something. I got several tiny clumps when I started painting. And you know what, I didn’t really care. I knew I wanted this table to be chippy and distressed. The first coat will be very streaky. Let it dry and then if you get any chipping or flaking, sand or scrape it away before doing the second coat. After my second coat, it still wasn’t completely covered, but again, I wanted a worn look so I stopped there.


After I brushed away the chipped areas, I hand sanded the edges and a few more areas to give it a little more character.

And guess what? I didn’t love it.  The top had a lot of areas that the paint came off when I chipped/sanded. This is what I mean by you don’t know what you’ll get with milk paint. It’s kind of unpredictable. So I decided to take all of the paint of the top circle. I used a metal wood chisel and chiseled both layers of paint off. However – beware of doing this if you want a pristine finish. The metal chisel can very easily gouge your wood, so if you are working with a prized heirloom, please do not use a metal chisel. Or be prepared for a few gouges. It only took me about 15 minutes and the top was just like it was before I painted.

And I love it! I haven’t even put a wax or an oil on it yet – this table will get pretty much zero traffic from kids/brown dogs/drinks….so I’m not terribly concerned about protecting the finish just yet. And if it gets more chips/flakes then it’ll just add to the farmhouse style I’m going for!


A vintage tiered table painted white, farmhouse-style with flower arrangements and books on top.

Clocks and a plant on a vintage tiered table painted white with a farmhouse finish.

A white tiered table with a farmhouse finish with plant decor and books on top.


Throw in some pretty glass jars, some faux flowers and greenery (because let’s get real, I will never be able to keep a plant alive in our room), or whatever other decor you have stashed and that’s it!

From traditional to farmhouse style in a day – a quick and easy DIY! Thanks to my sweet friend for passing this one to me!

Let me know if you have some good experiences with milk paint – I’d love to see your favorite makeovers!

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Tuesday 4th of July 2017

Love how this turned out! It's amazing what the power of paint can do!


Wednesday 5th of July 2017

Thank you Sam! I agree! Paint works wonders!

Waste Not Wednesday-58 - Raggedy Bits

Tuesday 4th of July 2017

[…] Vintage Table Makeover with Milk Paint | Brown Dog Vintage […]


Monday 3rd of July 2017

My mom has almost that same table! I might have to steal it and paint it now! #HomeMattersParty


Wednesday 5th of July 2017

Thanks Emily! You should definitely steal it and make it over! It's such an unusual table!

Nicole (@momfindsout)

Sunday 2nd of July 2017

It's amazing how a coat of paint can give a table a whole different look. I love the blue mason jars, too. #HomeMattersParty

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Friday 30th of June 2017

[…] Melissa shares her Vintage Table Makeover With Milk Paint […]