Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Branching Out: Using Milk Paint on our Bedroom Headboard

As evidenced by the extensive collection of chalk painted pieces crowding our apartment, I am a big fan of the Annie Sloan chalk paint. It is easy stuff to use and it has always turned out well for me! However, I was finding it hard to find a convenient supplier of chalk paint in Houston and having my mom ship me some from Tennessee was out of the question (that stuff is already crazy expensive before shipping costs!). I played around online and decided to try out Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint, since I could buy it online and have it shipped to me at a rather reasonable price, which is to say expensive but not so much as Annie Sloan. I'm thinking the chalk paint goes further, and I probably could have ordered it online and paid only a little more than for the milk paint, but I was curious to try out this "milk paint" and see what all the fuss was about.

The headboard I chose to paint is a gorgeous and very solid, wood "antique" of sorts that belonged to my fiance's stepfather's father. I spotted it hanging out alone in a spare bedroom at his mother and stepfather's house, did a double take and thought "hello gorgeous." I would have loved to maintain the beautiful wood, I even would have sucked it up and stripped the whole thing just to re-stain this beauty, but the very top decorative molding is made from plastic. I didn't know how to get around this, so it became the perfect candidate for my next painting project!

Now for the milk paint: Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint came in dry form in a little pouch and requires that you mix it before use. I also ordered the MMS additive that will keep it from flaking off too much (I wanted a slightly cleaner look than what I was seeing on her website). I watched Miss Mustard Seed's online tutorials and how-to videos and felt well prepared, but damn that stuff did not want to mix!! I mixed and mixed and mixed and it was still watery with goop on the bottom. There was nothing else to do but either scrap it or lay it on, so I sucked it up and laid it on... ohmygosh it looked bad. Really bad. It was almost bubbly looking with little crystals in it and was very rough to the touch. I tried a different brush, I used less paint thinking maybe I was using too much, I tried using different strokes, I even sanded it once dry--all to no avail. In my usual style, I got frustrated that I couldn't figure out how to fix it and left it for about a week (okay, maybe two) until the fiance said finish the damn headboard or don't, but I'm moving the bed back! Whatever, Miss Mustard Seed practically says it will look like crap at first and then get better with more coats, so I mixed up the next coat (also goopy and displeasing) and slapped that on. Then I did another. And another. After three coats, I was out of paint and decently pleased with the outcome, so I scruffed it up a bit with some sandpaper once it had dried and declared it done. I would have waxed it if I had had any handy, but it has held up well the past 2 months or so and any distressing only adds character and authenticity to it, so I believe I am going to leave it. And now some pictures!

So there is the first coat above. Not so hot, right? And I forgot to mention that I did sneak a little chalk paint into this project ;) I painted the shell/flower motif so that it might subtly coordinate with our bright blue buffet that we use as a dresser in our bedroom (which I need to blog about!). Below you will see the whole headboard after one coat. Not too hideous for a first coat, no, but keep in mind that this whole headboard has the above-pictured texture (yikes).

Also, it would be negligent of me not to mention the dog hair stuck in every single layer. Broo had some needy moments while I was working on this project and as careful as I tried to be, a black dog and sticky white paint will be together no matter what. You can't stop it. So I embraced it and snapped a photo of my needy, shedding furchild "helping" me paint. Thankfully you really can't see the hairs unless you search for them!

Now for some pictures of the completed headboard!

You'll have to excuse the dreadfully wrinkled pillow cases. We're not fancy around here--if it's clean we roll with it. Someday it will be nice to be fancy; we'll paint the walls, maybe get a rug, find 4 matching pillowcases, buy curtains that fit our space instead of using leftovers from college (that now have flecks of white paint on them, oops). Until that time though, I can be happy with the hodgepodge set up we have ;)

After this experience using milk paint, I must confess I still remain a chalk paint girl. I'm not horribly disappointed or even displeased with the outcome, but it was a large pain in the arse and didn't save me any money either. I could see milk paint being advantageous if you are going for the chippy look that it lends itself to, but I myself am probably done with milk paint for a while!

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