This just in

I've been at the workshop all weekend, finishing one project and starting a number of others. The latest thing completed yesterday, and taken to the mall today, is this refractory table. (I apolgize again for the bad phone cam shots) I really had no plan when I started, other than how I always begin with removing what remains of the old finish and pulling off any loose veneer.

I tested a blue and red undercoat, and red won hands down. For the top coat I decided a gray would be unexpected. I've been wanting to use milk paint as it's been ages since I've had any. A friend found a woodworking shop in Lenexa selling it, so I went out last weekend and bought a can of snow white and lamp black and mixed my own shade of gray.

How much do I love this paint? It goes on well, drys quickly, has no strong odor, and washes out of a brush really easily. What's more, it comes off beautifully with fine steel wool. When removing latex paint, it "rolls up" on a microscopic scale, but milk paint goes to dust and doesn't stick.

The end result looks a lot more "time-worn" than "distressed," and that's what I'm shooting for. After taking the steel wool and exposing some (not a lot) of the red undercoat on the edges, corners, and especially the stretcher where things would likely hit it, the paint was still a bit fresh looking. A little black paint and a lot of water brushed all over and wiped off took care of that nicely.
Finally, a clear coat to protect. General Finishes makes a polyurethane to go with their milk paint, and it's wonderful. Just like the man cashiering at the store said, brush strokes disappear as it levels itself. The satin finish is more shiny than I expected, but it looks great. I'll be using these products a LOT more going forward.


Decorina said...

That table is stunning. I'm going to try to find some milk paint - one reason I keep putting off painting furniture is the latex paint and its little pills.

designerman said...

hi - nice blog - you have great taste...

i left you a message on my blog. but in case you don't see it email me at and we can talk about the drawings (yes, i do sell them).