{Before & After} – Milk Paint Roll Top

Sweet Pickins Furniture - Sea Green Milk Paint

A few weeks ago, i scheduled a much needed week of no custom orders.  In some ways i love customs, but it does limit me as far as trying out new paints, techniques, products, etc.  Sometimes i just have to be free of deadlines and trying to give people exactly what they envision so i can do my own thing and play around a little :)

Ive used milk paint in the past and really like it (i posted a cute sofa table here, its actually the same color that i used on this desk).  Im not a fan of chalk paint, but i love milk paint.  Its very unpredictable and hopefully it gives me the chippy look that i love so much.  I will do a post another day about my thoughts about milk paint vs chalk paint.

Anyways – i got this solid wood heavy duty roll top about a month ago.  I really like roll tops, and this one is in great shape.  And the little drawers and cubbies inside are so cute!

This is the best before pic that i had…

Sweet Pickins Furniture - Sea Green Milk Paint

The best thing about milk paint, is that there is no prep work, i did not sand before painting.   In this case the desk had a clear coat on it, but it wasnt super shiny and i knew that the paint would stick to the wood.  If you are working with a super smooth, shiny piece of furniture you can add ultra bond to your paint and that will help with adhesion (you can find info about that here on the Old Fashioned Milk Paints website).

I just mixed up some milk paint in a plastic cup – the paint comes in a powder form and you have to mix it.  I find it best to mix it with hot water, it seems to be the best to keep the lumps out.  And you will have to stir it while using, sometimes the paint  can start to thicken and settle at the bottom.

For this desk, i just did one coat of paint – and its brushed on (my sprayer doesnt spray it well).  After letting it dry, i just took a sanding block and went over the entire desk.  Some parts had already began chipping – thats my favorite part.  You never know what its going to do, some parts stuck really well, some you cant even scrape off.

After sanding the desk, i lightly glazed it.  I mixed up some SW glaze in van dyke brown (talked about here) with mineral spirits and went over the whole thing.  With milk paint, you have to make sure and sand 1st before putting on the glaze – its so porous and flat and if you dont, the glaze will just be sucked up by the paint and will be splotchy.

The last step after sanding down and staining the top was to seal with a water based poly to protect the finish.  Milk paint is super durable and doesnt need to be sealed, but i find that it just gives it a little more depth and i like the little but of shine over distressed pieces.

And the after…

Sweet Pickins Furniture - Sea Green Milk Paint

Sweet Pickins Furniture - Sea Green Milk Paint

Sweet Pickins Furniture - Sea Green Milk Paint

Sweet Pickins Furniture - Sea Green Milk Paint

Sweet Pickins Furniture - Sea Green Milk Paint

Sweet Pickins Furniture - Sea Green Milk Paint

The 411

Paint – Sea Green Old Fashioned Milk Paint

Glaze – SW Van Dyke Brown

Stain Color for top of desk – Diluted Kona by Rustoleum

Clear Coat – SW Woodclassics in a gloss

19 replies
  1. Tammy Salvatici
    Tammy Salvatici says:

    The desk looks so amazing! You never seize to amaze me. I here you on being free too :), enjoy!!

  2. Mindi
    Mindi says:

    Beautiful!! I love how chippy it is, thanks for all the tips, I haven’t tried Milk paint, but I would like to someday…. Have a happy Mother’s Day!

  3. Elisha @ Pneumatic Addict
    Elisha @ Pneumatic Addict says:

    You’re garage looks like mine (full of furniture)! I have a messy husband that welds and works on a Jeep on the other side though, so my floors aren’t as pretty. I love the desk too! I’m in the process of a roll top makeover as well. I pulled the roll top off of mine though. You always do great work!

  4. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I’m a long time follower of your blog-way before it was Sweet Pickins! Just wanted to tell you how much I love seeing your furniture re-dos!

  5. Heidi
    Heidi says:

    Love the desk! Came across your site & am on the way home with a used rolltop desk. Looks like the one in the picture. Im excited to try milk paint also. Thanks for your info about how to do it.

  6. Amy
    Amy says:

    Is there something I can buy at a paint/hardware store that can be used for a bonding agent instead of Ultra Bond Adhesion Promoter? I need something now and can’t wait a week to get it shipped.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      I dont know about this question – i would go on to the old fashioned milk paint co facebook question and post the question there, they are always really quick to answer

  7. Wanda Honeycutt
    Wanda Honeycutt says:

    This is just the look I want for my roll top! Mine is walnut however. So do you think it would work out as nice as yours? I love the milk paint color that you used and want to use it too.


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