The Love Affair That Almost Happened {milk paint}

I do not like to paint furniture.

Let me say this again.

I do not like to paint furniture.

Now repeat another 100 times and you may be a bit closer to understanding the depths that I will go to NOT paint furniture.

I am guessing that many of you are very similar to me and that is why chalk paint and milk paint are so popular.

It is a true Christmas miracle when you don’t have to prep a piece of furniture and you can just paint over it.

In fact, I watched THIS video by Marian (AKA Miss Mustard Seed) and she painted over dust.

I was in love.

I ordered the Mustard Yellow and antiquing wax.

I swooned over the packing when it arrived and knew that the packing was going to guarantee great painting success.

I am not a directions kind of girl….but because of my great desire for success I did read the directions and watched videos.

It may be the most I have ever studied for a project in my life.

Let me repeat for all of those that know me personally…I READ the directions and WATCHED videos.

I swear.


Kelly was working late one night and I knew the time was right to create my most perfect, chippy, yellow end table.

I knew the stars had aligned and my project was going to be so awesome that Marian herself was going to pin my table to her milk paint wall:-)

I did not do one single thing to prep the table besides wash it off.

I wanted to be a rules follower.

It went against everything I knew about painting furniture.

Before the first coat was on I was beginning to worry a bit.

The paint was already flaking off (I did not order the binder because I wanted it to be a little chippy.  A LITTLE) and I was trying to hurry to get the second coat added before the whole first coat flaked off.

As the second coat was drying I went into the living room to make a call.

Half way through the call my daughter came downstairs and said, “Mom, is your table supposed to look like THAT”?

We started dying laughing.

It was like we turned around and our end table had eyelashes and curly hair.

It was the fourth child I had always dreamed of!

By the time I was done on the phone the whole table was so chippy and flaking off that all I had to do was BRUSH all of the paint off.

BRUSH it off!

Marian was not going to pin my project!

I was pretty sure of that!

It then lead to a pretty funny Facebook thread that even included Marian jumping in and having a good laugh.

I guess there are some pieces that just don’t work with the paint.

Nice to know.

This was a Restoration Hardware piece that had been heavily sealed and I can understand why the paint didn’t work at all on it.

Marion suggested I try again with the binder and see if it would work then.

Have I ever shared with you that I don’t like to paint furniture?

Just curious!

As much as I LOVED the Mustard Yellow and the results that everyone else in the whole flippin’ world had with milk paint…..I had to go another way.

You know I love you Marian.

I do.

It was funny the first time (really funny in fact).

I just had a little feeling that failure the second time would not be as funny.

I decided to chicken out on using milk paint on this table, color matched it at Benjamin Moore (Aura paint with the primer already in it), sanded the table and got geared up for round two.

For a girl that hates painting furniture this wasn’t going so well.

First coat.

Second coat.

I let it dry for a few days and sanded the edges.

The final step was to use Miss Mustard Seed antiquing wax (which I loved by the way).

It is not the chippy masterpiece that I was dreaming of but it is done, it is yellow and it is ruffed up a bit and this is as good as it is going to get.

I did tell Marian that I would make her yummy coffee and talk with her if she would fly to my house to fix my disaster.

Hmmm….so weird that she never showed up.

I make really good coffee!

I have some of the milk paint left and I will maybe (MAYBE) try it again on a more raw piece.

Oh, who am I kidding?!

How about I pay one of you to come to my house and do it?

Have I ever mentioned I don’t like painting furniture?


Quick shop news…

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  1. Susan DeLaire

    I sell MMSMP at my shop in Centralia, Wa, called Abundance Vintage. Love this story and you! I love the table too. xxx

  2. paige

    oh jeanne, i’m sorry but that is truly hilarious. AND i hate painting furniture too!! i have high hopes of painting my older dining table. i’m using the annie sloan. i’ll keep you posted. maybe annie will head south if i have a matching disaster!
    but it does look fab!

  3. Anne

    I’ll come I love coffee.But you would have to fly me there .You must think I am crazy to want to paint.Yes I DO paint furniture…..allot of furniture in fact.And I did see this on facebook.But seriously I am laughing more now!What a site to have walked into see that.Well even though it did not work the first time.It did turn out beautifully the second time.

  4. Miranda

    That is so funny. I totally laughed at the first picture. I actually enjoy painting, but I hate the prepping and finish work. I do know that each piece of furniture seems to have it’s own personality and it never fails that I end up on plan C or D by the time I’m done. Painting requires letting go of preconceptions and accepting the quirkiness. I LOVE how your table turned out, it’s really beautiful.

  5. Lori

    I missed the FB thread but I remember seeing it on Instagram ~ love the story Jeanne! The table turned out really nice ~ adore the finished product.

  6. Rita

    Funny story…and I agree with you I hate painting furniture (too impatient) but I love the results when it ‘s all done. And your table is beautiful.

  7. alisonsmom

    hehehehe.. I hate painting furniture too. So i don’t do it. I once spray painted an entire dresser (no primer, no sanding it, nothing) and it went so horribly that I’m scared forever more.

    I do LOVE your finished product though with the antiquing. In fact, I may like it even more than the paint chip look! GREAT JOB!!!

  8. Tricia

    When I first saw the picture of your table I couldn’t figure out what was going on…wow, what a mess! Happily your second try went better and turned out beautiful.

    I absolutely HATE painting too. I painted my black armoire right before Christmas since I, of course, needed to give the room a makeover before I put up my tree and whatnot and ohhh it was awful. I sanded it, wiped it down, painted it with paint that has primer and guess what? I can poke my fingernail into the paint and….hello…there’s the black paint. The whole thing almost pushed me over the edge…lol.

  9. Beth

    Thank you! I *gasped* a little at the chippy picture and then I laughed…out loud. This is why I don’t paint…anything…at all…ever…

  10. Brenda Geiger

    I finally worked up the nerve to paint a piece of furniture, and now I think your post set me back months! So hilarious. I was planning on using Annie Sloan chalk paint, back to watching more videos for me, so I can work up my nerve again! Your finished table was beautiful though!

  11. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.

    Funniest post ever! But in the end, your table turned out beautifully! I love painting furniture (not a fan of walls). I’d be happy to come paint for you!

  12. Beth

    Hilarious. I want to fall in love with the.chalk and milk paint craze, but I hate painting furniture also. give me a wall anyday! your table is AMAZING though! I would come for coffee, no furniture painting necessary. seriously your table looks great, love the sunny yellow.

  13. Candace Bertalan Horner

    Paint + Me = Disaster! When my husband sees me pick up a paintbrush he wrestles it from me and takes over the task, lol!! Really, I have no natural talent for it – I am so messy that I ruin all his brushes not to mention everything in the surrounding area… SO I got some packs of those lil foam rollers and I am ready to tackle anything (small!)!!! Got my first can of chalk paint and ready to select my first (victim) project!!! Jeanne love this post, laughed hysterically at that table with the flaking paint, what a shock that must have been!!

  14. Jennifer Whitmer

    HaHaHaHaHaHaHa! Sorry…I’m not laughing at you, Jeanne…I’m just laughing!!!!! It was a little endearing when your table grew eyelashes and curly hair…come on admit it…but listen, your table looks GREAT now. Absolutely better than ever, with the added bonus of a terrific post. Does it get better?


    I’m with you Jeanne! I kind of hate it but really want to like it because I’ve seen so many cool results in blog land. Your yellow table turned out fantastic in the end. So glad you stuck with it.

  16. Debi Minter

    This post seriously, SERIOUSLY, made my day!!! This is one of the funniest blog posts I’ve read in a long time and I enjoyed it immensely!!! And, by the way, I adore your table. I think it turned out absolutely fabulous!!!

  17. Peggy

    OH my dear, I am so sorry but I hate to admit I did chuckle a bit… I was in a waiting room and knew from past experience that others might not look kindly upon laughing right out loud. OH I LOVE to paint furniture. and yes I am terrible at prepping so most of my work is what would be considered a happy accident. And after almost 23 years of marriage I have now brought my husband over to “the dark side”… ha ha! Your table did turn out quite nicely! (and I would be more than happy to make a trip out to your neck of the woods to help paint… I am sure my cousins and aunt and uncle would be tickled to have me!! and I always LOVE a good cuppa coffee… and i make spectacular scones!)

  18. Nancy Carr

    Love this post and the real life drama your ordeal created. I enjoyed seeing it and would have laughed even if it had happened to me. The end result is great.

  19. Bess

    Oh my gosh, hilarious. It looks like one of those pinterest “fail” photo’s! Sorry 🙂 haha It turned out great in the end though! I love the books you have stacked on it.

  20. Sherry Hicks

    I paint furniture daily and I have had the same results as you on a couple of pieces with the milk paint, the milk paint in my opinion works best on really old wood pieces with no previous paint ones that are dry and the varnish is all worn off I have yet thought to get the perfect chip either none at all or way to much like you so I went back to using (and I have used many a paint) Ace Clark Kensington in a flat matt non glare is 26 per gallon and requires no prepwork works just as good as chalkpaint and can be mixed in any color and matched any chalkpaint color, I still have milk paint and don’t want to give up but I only use on antique wood that has no finish left and I still have to distress myself as it does not chip. Love the color you chose on your table and glad you got it fixed.

  21. Kelly

    What a hilarious post! I have never used milk paint before so I would’ve probably had the same outcome as you and thought what a mistake this was! I love how it turned out in the end though. It’s charming and a great soft color of yellow without being too glaring.

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