Milk Painted Chest


Chest before

A long time ago I stripped and lime washed this chest. In the many years that we have owned it, it has been used as a stereo chest, a kid’s toy and game chest, a clothes dresser and now it’s back to holding clothes. What I like about it is that there are many drawers, so it holds a lot of items, and they are neatly concealed behind doors. What I don’t like about it is that the doors were made of a different wood and always looked different than the rest of the dresser. Wood is like that. Also it was looking a bit boring.

So I decided to change it up a bit. I had been doing a lot of research on milk paint because I like how non-toxic it is. It is made up of chalk, limestone, milk protein and pigments. I found a website I really liked called Miss Mustard Seed where the author gives detailed video tutorials on how to use milk paint. I didn’t really want to pay for the shipping of it into Canada, so imagine my surprise when I found it for sale at Weeks Home Hardware in Waterdown. I was doubly surprised to find that it’s made in Toronto by Homestead House Paint Company.

It’s extremely easy to use, no prep required at all. You mix it with water, brush on a couple of coats, then sand or scrape off what doesn’t adhere and top coat with either varathane, hemp oil or wax. As you can see from my photos I did it right in my living room. It smells a bit like toothpaste but otherwise no odour.

In the case of my dresser, I used a Homestead House colour “Laurentian” which is a very pretty turquoise shade. The photo below shows two coats on my dresser but I have not had a chance to antique it or apply the top coat yet. I put the glass knobs on just for the photo so the final finished dresser will look a little different, a richer colour with some distressing. I tried sourcing glass knobs at ReStore but no luck and they were frightfully expensive at Lee Valley, but I managed to source them inexpensively at Target.

I am pleased with the result so far and I think it will really freshen up the cottage bedroom.


milk paint is sold in small packages of powder




all you need is a small plastic cup, some water and a chopstick or something to mix it with



mix for several minutes until smooth



2 coats of milk paint, new glass knobs. It already looks fresher even though I am not finished.




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