Reupholstered Chair using Milk Paint

One of the perks of writing a do-it-yourself blog is the ability to acquire random furniture from the people in our lives. Over the past year, many of our family or friends have given us their otherwise bound-for-the-garbage furniture in hopes that we can turn it into a treasure and make use of these old pieces. That’s exactly what happened with this little project. A great friend of Bridget’s found this chair for a steal at a local garage sale, and she decided to “donate” it to the DIY Playbook.  Since we’re always up for a furniture challenge, we decided to take her home and clean her up (the chair that is, not Bridget’s friend).
Here’s the sad looking before…
Before: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook
Good lines but bad style: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook

This little guy was seriously beat up and was unfortunately covered in lots of nicks and scrapes. It also had a yucky, shiny varnish all over it’s wood frame.

Needs a new cushion too: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook

The cushion wasn’t much better. The fabric was old, faded, outdated and had a purple satin underside? Not a good look for 2014…

It's a good foundation: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook
On a positive note, this chair had a strong foundation and “good bones”. Because we knew this bad boy was dripping with potential, we were determined to breath new life into our four-legged friend and give him a DIY Playbook Makeover. We hemmed and hawed over what exactly we could do, and eventually, we decided to try something totally out of our comfort zone. A bright splashy fabric and snow white milk paint. Say what?!
Milk paint supplies: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook

Whenever either one of us has painted furniture, we’ve always taken the safe route. Sanding, priming, and latex paint. But this time we were determined to try something new. We’ve heard wonderful things about both milk paint and chalk paint, so we went to a local shop determined to find one of those two paints.

Old fashioned milk paint: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook
This is what we found…Old-Fashioned Milk Paint.  At first we were a bit perplexed. Why was this paint in a powder form? But the lovely shop owner gave us all of the scoop and assured us that this powder would work even better than the paint we’ve been using all this time (thanks Alana!). We decided to take her word for it and we brought that little pouch home.
Mix the paint: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook
We quickly found out that there are some serious perks about using milk paint.  It is an all-natural, non toxic, environmentally friendly product. That means it is a-okay to use indoors. No crazy smells coming from this stuff. Because it was a balmy 10 degrees on the day we tackled this project, there was no hesitation about bringing this painting project indoors.  Another big perk for these lazy rookies…no need to sand or prime the wood. Say what?! Yes, you heard that right. You can just paint this right onto the finished wood. NO.SANDING.NECESSARY.
Okay, so lots of perks. But how the heck do we get it from powder…to paint.
Good thing we were DIY-ing together for this project, because mixing up this milk paint was a bit intimidating. We read the instructions front to back and finally had the courage to mix this stuff up. We grabbed a mason jar and a spoon and got to work. All it took was some warm water, some milk paint powder, and a little squirt of milk paint extra bond.
Milk Paint: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook

Stir, stir, stir and we were in business! We put three light coats onto the wood with a bristle brush, let it dry overnight, and bam this chair was looking nice and bright white!

Finished! Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook
We are both obsessed with the way it turned out and we think the milk paint provides such a cool finish. But, we did learn a lot about milk paint during the process. Here are a few tips…
Rookie Tip #1: Keep on stirring that paint! About every 10 minutes, we gave our mason jars a really good stir with a spoon. If it was getting too thick, a tiny bit of warm water helped get it back to the correct consistency.
New cushion: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook
Rookie Tip #2: Be careful about chunks. If you don’t mix it up well enough, you’ll notice little grainy pieces in your paint. We were able to easily wipe these away, but it could become a nuisance if you don’t catch them right away. Just be sure your paint is thinned out so you don’t have any lumps.
Be careful about the chunks: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook
The reupholstery process was a lot less exciting than the painting project. Just some new batting, new fabric, and a heck of a lot of staples (similar to this reupholstery project).
Style it: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook
The fabric is a bit out of both of our style comfort zones, but we figured why not go a little crazy with color?!
Play with color: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook
Before and After: Reupholstered Chair DIY using Milk Paint | DIY Playbook
We’re totally digging this bright floral chair. What an upgrade from that dingy before pic! The new look reminds us of spring, and it’s giving us hope that soon we will be outside tackling many more painting projects. Keep those “furniture donations” coming…

Bridget&Casey