How to Create a Non-Chippy Finish When Using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint is well-known for creating an authentically aged chippy finish, similar to this.
But did you know that Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint doesn’t always have to be chippy? It can be used to create a non-chippy, smooth and full-coverage finish as well!
So when a client requested that I create a non-chippy finish on this sweet little Victorian-era washstand, I knew exactly what needed to be done!
The trick is prepping your piece accordingly and using a product known as Bonding Agent.
Prepping For a Non-Chippy Finish
Prep work is essential for any furniture makeover. When it came time to get started on my washstand project, I started by prep cleaning the piece. It had been sitting in storage somewhere and needed to be cleared of cobwebs.
I used my shop vacuum to tame these sticky nuisances and also cleaned out the inside drawers and cabinet spaces.
My client requested that I refinish the top of the washstand using General Finishes Graystone Water Based Wood Stain, so I removed the backsplash by undoing the wood screws holding it on.
Part of creating a non-chippy Milk Paint finish for your project is to evaluate the existing finish on your piece. If it’s very glossy and shiny, you will need to either prep sand it, prime it, or apply some other type of product to help Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint to adhere. This could be the Bonding Agent, Tough Coat or a layer of another paint, such as Chalk Paint. (Remember to test this first, as combining different paint lines may not always work.)
For my piece, I chose to prep sand it. I used my Festool Orbital Sander to tackle the sides. Since they were nice and flat, the sander made short work of those surfaces. When it came to the hard-to-reach places, like the panels on the doors, I opted for a piece of 120 grit sandpaper and did the work by hand.
As you can see in the photo below, prep sanding is more of a scuff sand. The goal is to scratch up the surface, not to completely remove the existing finish. The shinier and smoother the surface is, the harder it will be for Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint to adhere. This scuff sanding breaks the seal on the existing finish, giving the surface some texture and “tooth” so Milk Paint can stick.
Once the body was scuff sanded, I turned my attention to the top.
It didn’t take very long to sand off the existing finish!
This is what my piece looked like when the sanding process was completed. You can see the backsplash up on the table in the right corner of the photo.
Using Bonding Agent
The next tip in creating a non-chippy finish is to use a product called Bonding Agent when you mix up a batch of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.
Bonding Agent is a milky white water-based acrylic emulsion. It gets squirted into a batch of mixed MMS Milk Paint, thus turning it into a tinted primer. It’s main job is to help MMS Milk Paint adhere to slick and glossy surfaces that it otherwise wouldn’t stick to such as metal, glass and factory-finished pieces of furniture. It’s your insurance policy against chipping!
My client selected Layla’s Mint as her color for the base of the washstand.
I measured out 1/4 cup of Layla’s Mint MMS Milk Paint powder and added slightly less than that of water. When I’m using Bonding Agent, I like to go light on the water since I’ll be adding another liquid to the mix. After giving it a good stir, it looked like this.
Then, I used my bottle Bonding Agent and squirted about 2 tablespoons into the cup and gave it another good stir. The directions on the bottle say to use up to equal parts Bonding Agent to paint. I find that if you use that ratio, the paint is too watery. Go light on the Bonding Agent, do a few squirts and call it a day. (It’s not very precise for you Type A’s, but that’s what works!)
Painting Two Coats
When you’re using Bonding Agent to create a non-chippy finish, your first coat may look a bit thinner than normal.
This is completely normal! The second coat will look much better. Trust me! You can mix Bonding Agent into every coat you paint on if you’re extra concerned about chipping. I will probably forgo using it in my second coat of paint because I don’t foresee any chipping being an issue with my washstand. The finish that I removed wasn’t particularly shiny, and the first coat soaked in perfectly.
For those of you who enjoy following me on Instagram, I’ve created a little video tutorial of the story I created as I was working. You can watch that below.
Pin this post for reference so you’ll know what do to the next time you want to create a non-chippy Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint finish!
I’ll be sharing more steps in the process of this washstand makeover, so stay tuned!