Cover Yourself!

So you used the tips given in my last post to find that perfect piece of furniture to refurbish. What’s next? Painting furniture instantly freshens a piece even if you do nothing else. Let’s look at three of the best paints that you can use to totally transform your piece into something amazing:


Chalk paint


This is a mineral paint with a matte, chalky appearance once dry. More natural and non-toxic, mineral-based paints are suitable for the chemically sensitive and others avoiding toxins. This is the easiest paint to work with because it doesn’t require any kind of prep work like sanding. While your piece will still need to be clean and dry, it can be painted right over even already painted surfaces. This paint works well on vintage pieces with a lot of details because it goes on smoothly and, because of it’s consistency, less likely to drip. A lot of pieces are completed with a colored wax to give it a vintage type of feel. While chalk paint does typically have a vintage inspired feel, it can actually work with a variety of home décor like farmhouse, bohemian, and even minimalist. Clean up is a breeze because chalk paint is water based, so your brushes can be cleaned with simple soap and water.


Brands I have used: Jolie Paint, Annie Sloan, and Rustoleum brand chalk paints.


Milk Paint


This is another mineral paint and arguably the most natural. Milk paint has been used for centuries to paint not only furniture, but barns, carriages, and other wood objects. The dead flat, uneven, grainy look is quite distinctive and a favorite of artisans and craftsmen looking to bring authenticity to their projects. It comes in rich, beautiful colors that are durable and don’t fade over time. It is also biodegradable, non-toxic, entirely solvent free, and when in a dry state, odor free. As expected, when wet, Milk Paint has a faint milky odor that is not overwhelming. Drying time is fast at 30 minutes to be dry to the touch. This paint is purchased in dry form and mixed with water when applying. It is an authentic finish for use in the restoration of antiques or in the reproduction of antique furniture. Milk paint is used to get that “old look” that is still on trend for not only furniture but walls, signs, stenciling, and even floors. (I do love a whitewashed wood floor!) Most paint will lie on top of the surface, but milk paint penetrates into clean, unfinished (porous) surfaces. If you’re looking to paint non porous surfaces, a bonding agent may be needed to ensure durability. With any surface, using a clear topcoat will seal the painted item so fingerprints and even spills will not mar the surface. As mentioned before, Milk Paint comes in dry form so the shelf life while dry is indefinite. However, if mixed with water, it is only good for 24 hours as long as it is sealed up and refrigerated.

Brands I have used: Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and The Real Milk Paint Company

Amulent paint


Amulent paint is both a brand and a specific type of ceramic technology that allows it to outperform typical latex paint. It has excellent flow and leveling properties, strength, durability and workability that works well on wood that has dings or dents. Where other décor paints have the clay or chalk fillers under the surface of the paint, Amulent uses ceramic microspheres under their paint layer which provides a smoother base for the paint to lie against. Amulent has no unneeded additives, so its original undiluted formula is extremely durable with great coverage and smoothness. Amulent Décor Paint is also virtually VOC Free. I used this paint on the computer station I created from a 1990 TV Entertainment cabinet. I was pleasantly surprised at the grab it had to only a lightly sanded piece, and it covered exceptionally well. You can see this is a clean, more modern look than the other two, but it could still fit in a home with a farmhouse or even bohemian vibe.



These are three different types of paint with three distinct looks, so choosing the right type will depend on your style. All can be found in many home styles and can be mixed & matched to bring a whimsical yet pulled together look for your home.


Happy painting!


~~kathleen