The Folky Table | Maine Country Home

Warning: Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint transformation ahead…

This is the story of a forgotten, beaten-up table. It is by far one of the cooler tables I’ve come across. It has lots of curves and architectural detail, mostly in the base. But that was all lost because the base was so dark it was lost to shadow.

before milk paint

Painting with milk paint

A little sneak preview of the color…

– Enter Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

There were several things I knew going into this project: I wanted chipping, I wanted it to be yellow, and I wanted to keep the top of the table natural wood. The one unknown: how much chipping was I going to get? Part of the fun of Milk Paint is that it can be so unpredictable. It teaches you to stop being so rigid and to go with the flow. Sometimes you want your piece to chip, and it all sticks. Sometimes you want a nice, smooth, opaque finish, and it all flakes off. You just have to know your surface.

Having worked with some older pieces and Milk Paint I was fairly confident that there would be some chipping, but not a ton. So with tub and mixer in hand it was time to start mixing some Milk Paint!

I love Mustard Seed Yellow, but I didn’t want it to be so bright. I opted to mix in equal parts of that color with Grain Sack; it’s a very light grey with hints of brown. It ended up making the perfect color for this project, a muted yellow with hints of grey and brown, perfect! So equal parts Yellow, Grain Sack, and warm water. I’ve found that warm water makes the mixing process easier (think about dissolving sugar or salt). Some people swear by a whisk to mix their paint, but I love my motorized mixer! It gets rid of those pesky lumps of paint better than shaking or mixing by hand.

mixing milk paint colors

Sometimes if I want a piece to chip I’ll let it sit a little longer. Once I was very upset that I piece I was working on seemed to stubbornly refuse to chip, so I left it alone overnight. When I got back to the store the next morning I had chippy goodness! So there, Milk Paint teaches us to relax too.

Milk paint coverage

One coat…

2 coats of milk paint

Two coats!

You can see the beginnings of some chipping here…

Chipping milk paint

Milk Paint chippy clay pots

Chipping complete!

I’ll usually take a fine grit sandpaper to knock the rest of the flaking paint off, and to distress a little more. Now here’s where I made a mistake, so learn from me! I used a damp cloth to wipe away the dust and paint chips, don’t do this! It reactivated the paint and it began to chip more! Not that the end result looked bad, but I can just imagine if the piece had been perfect, and then started to chip more. So just use a dry cloth, you’ll thank me later.

Ok, so chipping drama aside…

Chipping Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

Chipping Milk Paint

The top of the table I sanded down to the raw wood, bye-bye stenciling…And I knew I wanted to finish it with Hemp Oil. It’s an amazing food-grade oil that makes a smooth water-resistant finish. So I figured I’d just finish the whole thing in Hemp Oil! I ended up doing about 3 coats on the top, letting it really soak in before applying another coat. On the base I only needed one, and let me tell you, this wood was thirsty! With older pieces I like to let the Hemp Oil just sit for an hour or two instead of wiping up the excess after 15 minutes. (There’s a whole tutorial coming up on Hemp Oil, I think you’re going to love it as much as I do!)

sanding down table tops

Before Hemp Oil…

hemp oil on raw wood

Hemp Oil on the right, raw wood on the left. See how it brings out the color and the grain?

So there you have it! A beautiful transformation all thanks to Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. I wish I had a glamor shot of the finished piece, but a customer came in and purchased the table before I had finished it! So just use your imagination, it was really lovely. I’ve been having a love affair lately with Milk Paint, so be on the lookout for more stunning pieces done in this amazing paint.

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