How to Paint a Coffee Table with Milk Paint

milk paint coffee table

Oh my gosh. You know when you have an idea in your head for a DIY, but you are afraid that it might not work? I have been so nervous about my DIY milk paint coffee table. I found two perfect items (milk paint and tin ceiling tiles) that I truly believed would make a perfect coffee table. Fortunately, the idea became a reality and I absolutely love it.

Today I’m sharing with you a Do It Yourself Milk Paint Coffee TableProject I made with Old Barn Milk Paint.

new fall decor

I found this wooden chest at www.vintagejunktionla.com. The size seemed perfect.

Wooden Trunk

Many months before I found this chest, I bought two of these vintage tin ceiling panels. At the time I bought them I had no idea where I would put them. But for $10 I knew I would eventually find a good use!

Vintage ceiling tiles

I have wanted a coffee table in our living room that would look good with our vintage general store counter. The counter has a white chippy wonderful look and I knew the only way I could find something to match it was to make it myself with milk paint. So I reached out to Old Barn Milk Paint and they were kind enough to send me some of their products to try out. Please note, that this is the first time I have ever worked with milk paint. I watched a lot of their videos just to make sure I wouldn’t do anything wrong. And it was really easy to do.

What is Milk Paint?

Milk paint is an environmentally friendly paint made from simple, 100% natural ingredients like clay, milk protein and lime—and its water-based. Milk paint is a non-toxic water-based paint and is commonly sold in the powder form.

Are there any advantages of milk paint?

Milk paint adheres to almost all clean, porous surfaces and is environmentally safe, non-toxic and anti-bacterial. It is solvent-free, non-flammable and odorless when dry.

What kind of a brush do you use for Milk paint?

Foam brushes are great when applying milk paint, especially if you want a smooth finish without any brush lines. The best size is three to four inches, although foam brushes typically range in size from one to four inches. 

What is the Difference Between Milk Paint and Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint can create a wide range of looks; from distressed paint, crackled paint to limewash looks. If you want a ‘chippy’ paint look, milk paint is better. After you apply milk paint, it starts to chip away giving it a very authentic vintage look. It doesn’t need wax or a varnish coat which makes it super easy to apply. It’s the calcium in the milk paint that gives it a chalky finish.

Old Barn Milk Paint

What You Will Need

How to Make a Milk Paint Coffee Table

I mixed one bag (12 oz.) of Sweet Cream Old Barn Milk paint with 12 oz. lukewarm water. Mix with a whisk for a few minutes until smooth. Put the bowl aside and let sit for ten minutes. If necessary, add a bit of water if the paint seems too thick.

Milk paint

Using a brush apply one coat of milk paint to your piece of furniture.

Applying milk paint

Let it dry approximately 30 minutes. Apply another coat of paint.

Applyimg coats of milk paint

Let the table dry completely for a few hours. Using a paint scraper (I love the one from Old Barn Milk Paint), scratch off paint in the common areas, that is the places where it makes sense that the piece of furniture would wear over time.

scrape off the milk paint

Scrape off as much paint as you want. Then lightly sand the entire piece of furniture.

Sanding the milk paint

Seal the paint with one light coat Old Barn Milk Paint Clear Wax. You can apply with a large round brush or a soft cloth.

Apply the clear wax

Once I was done painting, scraping and sealing the chest, I pulled out my piece of tin. I knew immediately it was going to work.

add vintage ceiling tile to top of wooden table

My only concern was that my piece of ceiling tin was about 3″ too wide. So I bought a large pair of tin scissors and carefully cut along a cut line I drew with a sharpie. I cut very slowly to ensure a straight line.

vintage ceiling tile

It worked! Next, I made some nail holes in the tin with a medium-sized nail and then hammered in small flat hear nails about every 8 – 10 inches. I then painted the nails white with the Old Barn Milk paint so they wouldn’t show.

finishing the coffee table

I carried in the table so I could see how it looked. Of course, it was still a bit wet because I just couldn’t wait! And I think the result is amazing!

old barn milk painted coffee table

simple-summer-decor-coffee-table

The end result is exactly how I hoped it would look! I absolutely love it.

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21 thoughts on “How to Paint a Coffee Table with Milk Paint

  1. Leslie! I love this and am glad in the midst of refinishing my hope chest!! I think you have inspired me to do something different with it than I originally thought!! Thanks for sharing! Claire @designsbyhuntersridge ❤️

  2. Leslie it is perfect! I’m just experimenting with milk paint and this gives me even more ideas.
    Thanks for your inspiration.

    1. The biggest tip I have is to lightly sand the piece just to make sure there isn’t any varnish on it. If there is then the milk paint won’t stick. Other than that just paint. It is so easy!
      Leslie

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