EASY Built In Shelf Redo Using Milk Paint

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Built in Shelf Redo Using Milk Paint from 1980's Nightmare to Modern Elegance at Cupcakes and Crinoline Many moons ago I purchased milk paint powder and mixed it according to the label {I think I had to add water} and liked it…a lot…but then I forgot about it.  I have been painting a lot lately…small furniture pieces, accent walls, and a fabric chair, and had forgotten about Milk Paint.  I used the very expensive well known Chalk Paint that everyone loves and while I don’t dislike it, it sort of didn’t like me.  It was harder to work with than I thought it would be (again…could just be ME!) and I was a bit disappointed with my results considering the cost.  I see so many other bloggers whose furniture redos make me drool but mine…not so much.  I had almost given up on using anything but old school paint and then I tried General Finishes Milk Paint {no need to add water to this milk paint}.  Oh my goodness…I LOVE THIS STUFF.  It offers great coverage and dries with a subtle sheen and smooth, almost soft butter-like feel.

Built in Shelf Redo Using Milk Paint I have absolutely detested the built in shelves in my dining room forever…honestly…forever but I didn’t paint them….hated them…scowled at them…made fun of them but still….didn’t paint them…until a few weeks ago.  For my shelves I used 1 pint of General Finishes Snow White Milk Paint, 1 pint of General Finishes Basil Milk Paint, a double sided sanding sponge to roughen up my surfaces, premium finishing brushes, Green® Painter’s Tape, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue and Chalkboard paint.  

Built in Shelves Before  and After using General Finishes Milk Paint from Rockler from Cupcakes and Crinoline

Because of constraints with space I only worked on a few of the shelves and it was actually fun to compare the before and after in progress.

Milk Paint, Chalkboard paint and Chalk Paint shelves at Cupcakes and Crinoline

I chose to alternate the colors of the back of each of the shelves anchoring with chalkboard paint in black in the center, Snow White Milk Paint above and below that, Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue next in line and the top shelf and bottom shelf having a backdrop of Basil Milk Paint.  It took 2 coats of the Milk Paint to cover the previously stenciled, cream-colored shelves and 3 coats of the chalkboard paint to cover the center shelf.  

In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing with you a recliner redo with textile medium and the General Finishes Milk Paint ~ the transformation is amazing!

The General Finishes Milk Paint, Sanding Sponges, Paintbrushes and Painter’s Tape are all from Rockler and were provided to me as a Resident Blogger of The DIY Club but all opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

Sharing at:  Monday Funday, Sunday’s Best at My 1929 Charmer, The PinCentive Blog Hop, Party on the Porch, The Power of Paint, Fridays Unfolded at NanCherrow, Link Party Palooza at Tatertots and Jello, Best of the Weekend at Little Miss CelebrationLink it or Lump it

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    • 4


      Thanks so much, Donna. I hope to have the chair finished in the next few weeks. We have so much snow and cold the kids are always inside and I don’t want them near it while it’s drying and it’s too cold to paint it in the garage so I’m a little behind in getting it done.

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    I’m not in the place to be doing any painting right now. But….you have me thinking about Milk Paint. I certainly will give it a try sometime. Your project turned out terrific, Mary Beth! I love the use of different colors in one piece. Once you get started…painting is really fun…if you like the paint. Details!! Haha!!
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day´s last blog post ..My Word for the Year ~ 2014 | Joy Day!

    • 6


      I really loved the Milk Paint and in fact recently got some more ~ not sure yet what I’ll use it for but I wanted to have it on hand in case the painting mood hit me.

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    Mary Beth – I love that you used different colors and it looks fantastic! I’m smiling because I have things that make me scowl in my house, too, but I have YET to do anything about it. Thanks for all the tips and thoughts on the paint, it’s so helpful! Thanks so much for sharing and pinning! Have a wonderful Tuesday and a happy week!
    Cindy Eikenberg´s last blog post ..Home Organization Binder

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      Thank you, Cindy! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does that with things around the house. Have a wonderful week! Hugs, Mary Beth

  3. 23


    with all the painting projects
    i’ve done
    i’ve never actually used ASCP
    or milk paint!

    but your shelves
    turned out just lovely
    and i would love for you to share
    at Fridays Unfolded!

    Nancherrow (formerly Stuff and Nonsense)