Furniture & Antiques

Sweet Pickins Milk Paint – How to get ‘that’ chippy look!!

Sweet Pickins Milk Paint!! Have you tried it yet? If not you seriously must! It is the creme de la creme of milk paint, amazing to work with, has the sweetest colour range and is for sale in our shop.

I love using milk paint and adore the chippy goodness only milk paint brings. Unfortunately not all surfaces are chippy friendly (porous surfaces and raw wood generally mean no chipping). If you have a surface that has a polish, varnish or shiny smooth finish then you are nearly gauranteed to get the chippy look to varying degrees. So how do you get ‘that’ chippy look when your surface is porous or raw wood or just wont chip you ask!?

Let me show you what has worked for me 😊

Enter this amazing old hutch / top piece off a sideboard.


I jumped for joy when I got my hot lil mitts on this beauty. Alas though the wood was as dry as a bone and VERY porous. I knew painting straight on this piece would mean no chipping, which is fine if you wanted a uniform finish but I really wanted rustic chippy goodness. Plus after my gut suspicion and spot testing a small area this piece also would be candidate for yellow tannin bleed.. Eekk!  So what to do?

The positives are that the piece already was a nice dark base colour so no need to stain (which you can do when trying to replicate this look over raw or light wood). The surface just needed a ‘resist’ something to counteract the porous surface and seal in the tannins.. now some might say Zinsser Shelac.. which is fabulous for sealing in all forms of ‘bleed through’ .. but not so good for chipping.

I tried brushing  hemp oil over the surface but the effect after was this..


Not a true chippy finish and if I am being honest too streaky.

This is where a satin(matte) clear coat is your friend. I have used semi gloss polly urethane in the past and it worked a little too well. The piece was a tad too chippy, you can read about that HERE..

So on this piece I decided to use a water based (no turps clean up, yuck) polly acrylic clear coat. Satin seems to work best as i find gloss tends to be too chippy. All clear coats vary so you may have to practice on a small piece of wood first and see before painting your own furniture or someone elses.

I applied ONE solid coat and allowed it to dry. Then I went right ahead and mixed up some sweet pickins goodness and got pinting. I chose to use the latest colour Haberdash which is a greige – an awesome soft warm grey.

After the second coat (2 coats were all that was needed) I could see the tell tale flaking / raised areas telling me the chippy was well and truly happening. Once fully dry I used a coarse and med sand sponge (alternating) to bring out the chipping. The course sponge ran lightly over the surface will knock off all the loose flaking paint and the medium smooths the finish to prep for your sealing/wax coat.

20161125_145503-01 How goooood is that chipping! Now admitedly there were a few small areas that became a bit too chippy/bare so I just used the coarse sanding sponge and sanded those areas back a little and repainted. Was easy peasy to fix and another perk of milk paint .. it self levels so not only do all your brush marks vanish but you can touch up areas no problems.

Now if by chance your piece goes crazy chippy (it happens, different clear coats can react different so thats why its great to have a mini practice run on a piece of wood) don’t despair you can fix by sanding the trouble areas and repainting as per the post mentioned above.

NOTE: Painting over chippy milk paint can make it more chippy as the wet coat reactivates the coat underneath. So when spot painting over sanded areas dont paint over chippy areas that you don’t want to chip more.



I love being able to still get this great rustic finish on all sorts of pieces. I sealed this beauty with Sweet Pickins Oil Wax (super matte water repellent finish) and dark wax and she was done. I really couldn’t part with this beauty so I decided to use her as part of our new milk paint display.. what better way to showcase the unique chippy finish only milk paint brings.


How perfect does it look all loaded up with pretty bags of Sweet Pickins Milk Paint. There are so many pretty colours to choose from. We try to keep most in stock but they are very popular.. so if you are after a specific colour and its sold out don’t despair, we are more than happy to order it in for you and let you know when it arrives.

Hurrah for Sweet Pickins Milk Paint & Products 💜💜💜

Adriana Xo

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