Do It Yourself Projects

Transforming a Vintage Desk with Sweet Pickins Milk Paint

Hello all 🙂 and welcome to our first blog post of 2015 … after a lovely few weeks away I am slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things and what a better way than to share a furniture makeover with you all!!

I was commissioned late last year to breathe some new life into an old desk that was in desperate need of a makeover. I have to say that when I first laid eyes on the piece in question I was slightly horrified at the bright pink finish … it took a few moments for my eyes to readjust from the glare of its current paint job, but once I had recovered sufficiently I knew that with a bit of hard work and some Sweet Pickins Milk Paint the piece could really shine.


In order to freshen this little beauty up it needed to be stripped back to bare wooded beauty and given an entirely new coat of paint. So this is where the hard work comes in. Using a heat gun and paint scraper (and air filter mask) I scraped away till most of the latex paint was gone.

Underneath was a rich dark brown finish and much to my delight, the top of the desk was made of lovely hardwood planks. I knew that they would come up perfect sanded and stained and so that is just what I did. I decided to use a weathered oak stain and gave it a light colour wash with some grey milk paint to add some depth.

To prep the body of the piece I sprayed it in all over with Zinsser Spray on Shelac. When painting with milk paint, the shelac improves the paint adhesion to the surface and can also add some great crackling. I decided on Sweet Pickins Milk Paint for this piece as I wanted the authentic rustic vintage look that milk paint gives. The colours I chose are Galvanised ( a steely grey) and Flour Sack (a soft white).

The piece took approximately 3 coats. I painted the main parts of the desk in the grey and chose the drawer fronts and paneling for the white.  After distressing the piece in spots I got some lovely chipping, it really is my favorite part of using milk paint. Now all that was left to do was give the piece a protective layer. I brushed the top with Minwax Wipe on Polly Acrylic (2 coats) and waxed the rest of the piece ….. and here she is 😀

Vintage Desk Milk Paint Upcycled

Vintage Desk Milk Paint Upcycled

The owner of the desk really loves pink, but her husband isn’t so keen, so to keep them both happy I added a burst of soft pink to the inside of the drawers … How sweet does that look? 😀

Vintage Desk Milk Paint Upcycled

This piece is the perfect example of why i love milk paint

Vintage Desk Milk Paint Upcycled

Have you tried milk paint yet? I would love to hear your thoughts

Adriana X

3 replies »

  1. So glad to see this very much loved desk by its owner but not so much by others, come up such a treat. Hopefully it will now be on display in a permanent spot in their home. After many years languishing and being moved from shed to shed. Well done. Ken & Chris

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