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Chippy Milk Painted Antique Towel Bar - Jennifer Baker Creative

Chippy Milk Painted Antique Towel Bar

Feb 10, 2022 | Antiques, MilkCoat, Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint, Studio Projects, Tough Coat | 2 comments

The last time I showed you all my studio, it looked something like this:

Demoing a drywall separating wall with studs

It’s since been completed, and you can see how it turned out in this Instagram highlight:

Everything is all organized into photography stuff, QVC stuff and Miss Mustard Seed’s® Milk Paint stuff. So now that the basement portion of the studio is finished, I’ve been turning my attention to the top floor.

Starting My Studio Makeover Off Small

Truth be told, I was very unsure of the color scheme I wanted to create in the studio. Plus, I only had a desk at that point, so there wasn’t much to plan around.

As I struggled to find a starting point, my Mom and I went on an antiquing trip and I found this sweet antique towel bar.

Antique victorian eastlake style towel bar, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative

It was a perfect place to start because 1) the project was small, 2) I had an immediate need for it to be finished i.e. there was no where to hang hand towels in the bathroom and 3) I knew exactly which color I was going to use – Grain Sack!

Preparing the Towel Bar for Milk Paint

Removing the gorgeous mirror from the top would make the antique towel bar a lot easier to paint.

Antique mirror on towel bar, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative

All it took as a gentle tug on the original tacks on the back to remove the backing and the gorgeous de-silvered mirror.

Using pliers to remove tack on back of antique towel bar, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative
Small tack that held mirror of antique towel bar in place, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative

What I did NOT do is scuff sand the towel bar. I wanted this little guy to turn out chippy. All I did was wipe away the dust and give it a simple cleaning – no sanding.

Mixing New Grain Sack Milk Paint

In case you haven’t heard, Miss Mustard Seed’s® Milk Paint has completely rebranded and has new products available to purchase, which you can check out here using my affiliate link. You can use my coupon code 10OFFJB for a little discount if you use my affiliate link!

Scooping out a tablespoon of grain sack by miss mustard seed's milk paint, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative

The new Milk Paint mixes up a bit differently than the old formula. The powder is a much finer grind, so it takes a little bit longer to incorporate.

Mixing grain sack milk paint, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative

You can put in the extra stirs, or you can use some of these drops. They’re called MilkMix-EZ and they do exactly what their name implies – make the mixing process easier.

Adding Milk Mix EZ drops to boxwood milk paint, miss mustard seed's milk paint

That’s what I decided to do when I mixed up my batch of Grain Sack. In no time, I was using a small artist’s brush to get my first coat on.

Painting the Antique Towel Bar

Because the towel bar was rather skinny, I opted to paint it with a square shaped artist’s brush. These are great for spindles and hard-to-reach spaces.

Brushing on grain sack milk paint onto an antique towel bar, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative
Painting Grain Sack Milk Paint on antique towel bar, first coat, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative

I applied 3 coats of Grain Sack in total. The first 2 looked pretty good, but there were a few places that needed 1 more coat. So really, it’s 2 and a touch up third. It didn’t take very long for everything to dry either.

If you haven’t tried the new Milk Paint formula, give it a shot on something small like this. They sell 2 tablespoon testers, which are great for picture frames!

Distressing the Towel Bar for a Chippy Look

Once the Grain Sack Milk Paint was dry, I used 220 grit sandpaper to rub away the edges, recessed areas and any spots that looked like they were chipping.

sanding and distressing grain sack milk paint on antique towel bar, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative

Much to my delight, I was getting random chippy patches all over the piece. It wasn’t over the top – just enough to simulate age.

Sealing the Towel Bar with MilkCoat™

Another new product in the MMSMP line is MilkCoat™. This water-based topcoat replaced Tough Coat. It comes in 3 sheens (Matte, Satin, Gloss) and has a gel-like consistency. It kind of reminds me of face cream! I decided to use the Matte option for my towel bar.

Miss mustard seed's milk coat matte, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative

To use it, I scooped out a dollop or two into a separate container. Then, I brushed it over my towel bar using a damp brush. (Not soaking wet…just damp.) Keeping your applicator tool damp is a good trick when using this product because it dries quickly.

Dipping artist's brush into water to keep milk coat from drying out, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative
Applying milk coat matte to antique towel bar painted in grain sack milk paint, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative

When it was dry, it looked like this:

Close up of chippy antique towel bar painted in grain sack milk paint with milk coat matte, eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative

Hanging the Milk Painted Towel Bar

Once everything was dry (about 2 hours), I hung the towel bar in my studio bathroom and finally had a place to hang my hand towels!

This project only took a few hours and was an excellent springboard to launch me into the larger scale makeover of my studio workshop.

I’d love to know if you have a towel bar like this in your home!

antique towel bar in grain sack milk paint by eight hundred furniture, jennifer baker creative

This post first appeared on mmsmilkpaint.com.

Welcome to my happy place!
I'm Jenn Baker - Milk Paint lover, photographer, blogger, and QVC Guest Host. Click below to learn more about me and my creative business.  LEARN MORE ABOUT JENN

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