This month’s project piece is living proof that even drab, well-worn furniture can undergo an impressive transformation if you know what tools to use and how to work a little DIY magic. If you’ve got a hand-me-down table or old nightstand begging for some attention, the combination of high-quality milk paint and good old-fashioned elbow grease may be all you need to elevate that roadside find.
Our superstar milk paint this month is Parchment. It’s an off-white hue with hints of gray and yellow. The overall effect evokes a timeless feel, giving you an interesting, elegant option for a neutral that will look phenomenal in almost any room in your home. Use it as the central color for your next piece or as an accent to give a more vibrant shade a chance to shine.
As for our Parchment project, here’s what you need to know to reproduce our stunning results.
The Basic Instructions
This old dresser has seen some things. While the structure was intact and there were some lovely details giving the piece character and charm, the stain was faded, the finish chipped and the wood in dire need of some TLC. To give the piece new life, we decided to clean it up with a few coats of Parchment — and we really did need a few coats.
Real Milk Paint is known for having solid coverage, but darker pieces will naturally show through more than surfaces with lighter pre-existing paint or stain. All said and done, it took three or four coats before we reached our desired effect.
The Finishing Touch
After our paint job, it was time to add a layer of protection with Real Milk Paint Finishing Cream in Dead Flat. We chose the matte version of our finishing cream to avoid any residual shine; while that glow is perfect for certain projects, we wanted to create a style that was more farmhouse chic than contemporary and sleek.
Our finishing creams have a number of benefits:
- They’re water-based and washable (after 24 hours) for easy use.
- They have no odor and contain no VOCs, so they’re safe for you, your family and the environment.
- The application is simple — you just need a rag, brush, spatula or damp sponge.
- It goes on great over non-toxic paint or naked wood.
- It’s durable enough to use in high-traffic areas but gentle enough for kitchens and bathrooms.
- You can clean up any accidental messes with just soap and water.
Finally, we used our Ebony Soft Wax to emphasize the carved details and give the otherwise pristine paint a more antique, used look.
Live & Learn: Notes for Next Time
Even pros miss a step here and there. Even though we love how this dresser came out, in retrospect we’d do a few things differently next time around. It’s difficult to see in the photos, but there are some scuff marks and rough spots marring the finish on the wood. That’s because we didn’t sand and clean this piece before starting to paint. We could’ve tackled the small cracks and minor chipping at the beginning and added Ultra Bond to the paint itself to increase adhesion, but some people like the slightly distressed look, and ultimately we’re happy with the outcome — imperfectly pretty though it may be.