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milk paint over oil


A common question I’ve been getting lately is, “Can you paint milk paint over other painted finishes?”   Yes, you can!


This little dresser has been hanging around in my basement for a while and, after selling some other pieces, I was forced to work on it.  The delay wasn’t because I didn’t like the piece, but because the drawer bottoms were jacked up and needed to be replaced.  Pieces that need repair often get put on the back burner.  I couldn’t find a before picture of this piece, so here’s the best I could do…


…a snapshot from the Removing Paint Part One video.  It had a few layers of paint, the last one being a white oil based paint that had yellowed and cracked over time.  I removed the paint off the top and painted the base in Mustard Seed Yellow with some bonding agent added, because I wanted to have control over the amount of distressing that happened.



I added some hand painted detailing to this piece, since I loved the last Mustard Seed Yellow dresser I did (and it lasted only about 2 hours at the Lucketts Antique Market.)


Once I stripped the paint off the top, I did notice some imperfections in the wood, but I think it only adds to the character of the piece.  I applied a coat of Hemp Oil to hydrate the wood, followed by some dark walnut stain, which I wiped away quickly, so it didn’t get too dark.  I finished with a coat of Furniture Wax and a good buffing.  It’s a buttery soft finish now.



My husband replaced the drawer bottoms, so they’re sturdy and clean.




I lightly sanded the dresser once the hand painting had dried.  The texture of the paint underneath showed through beautifully.


…and I took the distressing down to the wood in a few places.



(I’m really loving that wool yarn.)


I just dropped the piece off at Lucketts today, so we’ll see how long this one lasts!

I’m flying out to Colorado tomorrow for a packed two days of milk paint workshops, DIY seminars and a book signing.  Come by if you’re anywhere near Monument, CO and can make it!

(Ha!  I just realized I mixed up the bottom two drawers!  The design is meant to be a little different, but it’s sort of interesting this way as well…)

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  1. Dawn Lubke says:

    You commented on the bottom of the drawers in the dresser you refinished needing to be replaced. Do you have a tutorial on how to do that? My daughter has an antique dresser and the drawer bottom just fell apart. I have no idea how to fix it.

    D Lubke

    • Jennifer says:

      Oh – I have the same question! We have a pair of old dressers that I love but quite a few of the drawer bottoms are cracked/ broken and I can’t even slide them out to replace them because they are so warped! Would you please let us know any tips/tricks on how to do this repair? Thanks!

  2. Monica in Littlestown says:

    Oh my! You’ve done it again – do you use milk paint for the decorative painting? I love this!!

  3. Enjoy Colorado, my Hubbies family lived their so I have spent some great times in Colorado, and Monument is a fun places…love the piece…I have do to that trick on my next dresser….PS what is the name of you cow, I love how she checks out all your dressers…is she at the top of the stairs…I still imagine you hauling these beauties…up and down the steps….

    hope you find some snow

  4. Have a great trip to Colorado! Love this one and loved your stripping video. Great to see the after! So pretty.

  5. Wow … I love it.


  6. Bailey Dunmire says:

    Love it! Great job!

  7. Stacey Lasley says:

    My friend and I are coming to your seminar on Saturday in Monument. We can’t wait!

  8. Kim Wagner says:

    The dresser looks great under Eulalie. Nice job!

  9. I think this is my favorite design of all time!



  10. so pretty! i like the pattern how it looks in your picture but I’m sure it’s just as awesome the original way too! 😉

  11. I finished your book lastnight and can’t wait for the next one. Where did you get the yarn?

  12. Gorgeous!! I’m guessing it will not last much longer than an hour. I love it!

  13. MMS – i gotta jump on the band wagon and ask about fixing drawer bottoms as well. My current project has old, flimsy bottoms and i’m not sure how to replace them – your faithful readers appreciate the help! Enjoy Colorado – Judy

  14. MMS – i have another burning question: Do you paint the back of your dressers that you sell? I have a couple of old pieces that have cheap wood on the back and you can tell they were meant to be up against a wall and never seen. What do you recommend?

    thanks again – Judy

  15. Sue Pagels says:

    Marian ~ My question is – can you paint OVER milk paint and/or the wax? Or will it need to be sanded and primed if you use another kind of paint?

  16. We are so excited to have you out to our store in Monument, it’s and honor! Everyone is thrilled, we will have packed classes for two days. Have a safe trip and see you tomorrow!

  17. maria costello says:

    How do you paint the pattern on – freehand, draw it on with pencil first???

  18. Oh how I wish I live in CO. We are moving there after the new year… and I surely would have come out to say hello!

    And your dresser is lovely! Thanks for sharing! <3


  19. I have just replaced some warped drawer bottoms and they look very new. Did you stain yours so they look more original? Thanks!

  20. Janice Davis says:

    What a stunning transformation! That beautiful piece won’t make it through the weekend at Luckett’s. I always enjoy seeing how to turn trash to treasure. Blessings, Janice

  21. So beautiful! Have a safe trip and enjoy! Megan

  22. Another lovely job….it will sell fast! Have fun

  23. jody walunas says:

    We raised white cattle in eastern oregon and I would love to find a picture like this. Are they available somewhere? Love love love what you share, Thank You

  24. I love it! I must have this color!

  25. It looks great. Love the color too!


  26. Beautiful nice sunshiney color…and I don’t care if it’s not a word, it really looks SUNSHINEY! hehehe!
    Have fun and don’t work too hard on your trip!

  27. Teddee Grace says:

    This is my favorite piece of the many you’ve posted about. Bet it doesn’t last long.

  28. Thanks for the play by play. I have dressers that need repair in our barn. I have been refinishing those first so I get the hard stuff out of the way. I am looking forward to the day when I have more ready to go pieces than in need of a mechanical overhaul.

    I am looking forward to meeting you tomorrow morning.

    Please drink lots of water while you are here. It is probably the most important thing to remember when you are at altitude (I am a previous flat lander).

    I am sure this dresser won’t last long.

  29. Rudy Gunawan says:

    Hi Marian,

    I have been following your blog since March this year. It started as I was looking for ways to paint furniture. Then I found your blog and got hooked since then.

    You are very generous in writing tutorials, very talented and also inspiring. Most importantly, you teach me to believe and fly.

    Thank you very much for everything that you shared and all the very best for you.

    By the way, I live in Melbourne Australia, hope someday I can meet you in person.


  30. I have something similiar on my back burner… maybe time to get going on it! Thank you!!

  31. Oh Marian, your so great at what you do, even your “oopsies” {i.e. the drawer switch} turn out beautiful. Love that mustardseed yellow, too!! Have a great time in Colorado

  32. That’s a breathe of fresh sunshine! I so want to try your paint. I have to travel about 45 minutes to get. I guess a road trip is coming.

  33. It’s beautiful,a always. Hope you have a great trip to Colorado. It’s gorgeous. Only been there once to go skiing at Breckenridge. I recommend that to you if you ever want to do a family trip.

    Love that color. I piciked up a dresser like that a month ago. You’ve got me thinking Yellow!


  34. Love the original mustard seed dresser! Think there is too much detail on this one and it isn’t as symmetrical or neat and things like that really bug me! lol but love the idea behind it. Sure it will be loved for it’s flawed beauty def has that hand painted look about it :)

  35. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be
    actually something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking
    forward for your next post, I’ll try to get
    the hang of it!

  36. Brittany says:

    Hello. I have been using chalk paint and just started realizing how beautiful and easy milk paint seems to be. I hate trying to get that natural distressed look and milk paint just does it for you!

    My question is….I have a piece that I wanted to use as my Etsy table prop for photos but I’ve already painted it with chalk paint and waxed it :/ I read online that once it cures for about 3 weeks you should be able to milk paint over it and it will chip naturally rather than ALL chip off. Well, I waxed it much longer than 3 weeks ago and attempted the milk paint but I can tell it is about to all chip as the entire top is pooling and bubbly looking as it is drying. If it all falls off what can I do to the piece to get the milk paint to go on???? I am really bummed as I want the natural aged look but don’t want to find a whole new piece to do. HELP PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

  37. P.s I so want that cow painting, it’s fabulous. x


  1. […] in giro nella mia cantina per un po ‘e, dopo aver venduto alcuni pezzi di altri, … – Google Blog Search This entry was posted in Senza categoria and tagged Latte, petrolio, vernice by admin. Bookmark […]

  2. […] You can see the part one of the video tutorial HERE and the finished dresser HERE. […]

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