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A Milk Paint Tutorial for Control Freaks

By Adrienne Boswell @chiccalifornia1
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A Milk Paint Tutorial for Control Freaks

Are you a control freak when it comes to painting furniture? Or anywhere else in your life for that matter? Me too! When I have a vision of how I want a painted piece of furniture to turn out nothing short of exactly how I imagined will do. I have learned however, sometimes you have to let loose and let the paint and furniture do the talking. That is especially true when painting with milk paint. There are 2 basic looks with milk paint. Chippy and not Chippy. You can check out my Milk Paint 101 tutorial to see how to make milk paint chippy. And my Milk Paint 101 1/2 tutorial for how to prevent chippy with the addition of Extra Bond.

Milk Paint Tutorial for Control Freaks by Chic California

But what if you just want a little bit of chipping? Or some crackling? I have your secret weapon!


I have been spraying shellac on furniture for some time now. Even when I painted mostly with chalk paints. I used it to prevent bleed through of old stains through new paint. It works great to block stains, oil and any unsightly, weird and unidentifiable stuff from showing through all that fresh paint.

And then I found out from Sausha at Sweet Pickins that you can also use it to control the amount of chippyness you get from milk paint. I always use the spray version. It’s fast and it dries fast too and I generally use two coats. And then I am ready to hit it with the milk paint without extra bond. No extra bond! I know this is really living on the edge for you inner control freak. But you can do it!

Milk Paint for Control Freaks

I applied 2 coats of shellac to this dresser in order to prep it for paint and prevent anything weird from revealing itself through the finish. And then I mixed up my Sweet Pickins Milk Paint in Sweetie Jane.

Sweetie Jane Milk Paint

(Sweet Pickins)

I did not intend to paint the inner drawers on this piece. I was going to leave them alone. SO I only sprayed shellac on the body of this piece. And then I started painting and one thing led to another and I painted the inner drawers.  So this turned into a perfect case study of the difference between using shellac before milk paint and not using it at all.

Milk Paint tutorial from Chic California

Milk Paint tutorial from Chic California

See how chippy the inside of this piece got without shellac? It’s way chippier than the outside.

Milk Paint tutorial for Control Freaks

The shellac can also give you a crackly effect, which looks especially great after you age and distress your piece. I used clear wax followed by aging dust on this piece. I love how the aging dust works its way into all the cracks and crevices.

Milk Paint tutorial from Chic California

You can even paint the hardware using milk paint. It sticks and makes it look great! I love adding extra aging dust around the handles and drawer pulls. Anyplace where a piece would naturally get more wear and tear.

Milk Paint turtorial

Here are a few more beauty shots of this gorgeous dresser for you!

How to Control Milk Paint

bottom of dresser


How to use Milk Paint by Chic California

Are all you control freaks out there are ready to throw caution to the wind and give it a try?


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