Layered Milk Paint Dresser

I finished up a beautiful dresser this week by layering different shades of milk paint and I think it turned great! It is a nice way to get dimension to the look of the paint. There are a lot of reasons why I love to paint with milk paint. It challenges me a bit sometimes but you can create a really authentic unique patina. With that being said… it can be temperamental and it takes patience but the end result is worth it!  With this piece in particular I knew I wanted to paint it Driftwood by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. from the start. I love the way this color looks over a deep mahogany. In my head I kept thinking of this buffet I did about a year ago. This piece was one coat, I used it to sort of create a wash over the warm wood.

Here was the paper (from Spoonflower by Elvie & Co.) and knobs (online wholesaler source) that I picked out for the project.

The layering idea sort of came as I went. I started with a spray shellac by Zinsser. Which is a great way to “prime” your wood before painting. Then I did two coats of just Driftwood. I was going to stop there. But I decided I wanted a look with more dimension, maybe even weathered. So… I mixed a small amount of Buttermilk milk paint by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. into the Driftwood and and painted another two coats of the lighter shade. I sanded well with a 400 grit between each coat to get a really smooth finish. I then finished it with a last coat of just Driftwood and sanded really well to get all the layers to come through. If you have ever painted with milk paint before you know that it sands really well with hardly any work. I sealed it with clear wax from Maison Blanche Paint Company and then buffed really well. I typically only do 2 maybe 3 coats of paint depending on the piece, the layered effect does take more coats.. but its fun to try!


It was hard to get the photos to capture the true patina and color variation so you will have to try some layering and see what you think. I think you can get this look using all kinds of paint… use your imagination and creativity. No limits! Have a great weekend. 🙂


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