I’ve been having a lot of fun working with milk paint lately. I’ve used a variety of brands on real wood and wood veneer, but until now, I hadn’t tried painting a laminate piece of furniture with milk-paints.
When I hauled this 80’s china-cabinet from my inventory, I thought this would be a fun piece to experiment on.
The buffet and hutch screamed Farmhouse-Chic to me!
My vision was a chippy, worn and distressed Country Farmhouse Hutch in a soft muted yellow with chicken wire replacing the glass.
I guess in hindsight, it might have been easier to experiment on a smaller project. This piece took me 3x longer to finish than expected and gave me some nerve-racking moments along the way.
I added bonding agent to help the milk paint adhere to the laminate but NOT ENOUGH…. only about 1/2 of what I could have added. (I thought I was being smart because I wanted it chippy!) The milk paint chipped like I hoped it would… but it chipped like CRAZZZZZZY!
In some places the paint came off in large strips rather than just chipping.
I’ll be honest… as the paint was coming off in sheets, I was hating this piece. I thought OMG, this piece is going to end up with very little paint left on it and look just horrible.
I kept plugging away though… I lightly re-sanded and re-painted in a few areas that were “too” exposed. I painted the inside of the buffet, back of the hutch, and chicken wire a clean white. Then I bought simple cup handles that are a perfect match to the Buttermilk Yellow Old Fashion Milk Paint I used.
This hutch is still VERY distressed and chippy, but once the entire piece was finished and I stood back to take a look, I loved it!
What do you think…. does this piece have country charm!?
Here are the steps I took to Milk Paint this Laminate Hutch… and a few things I learned along the way:
1. I gave the inside and outside of this piece a good cleaning with a damp sponge. It wasn’t stained or greasy so this was enough to get the dirt off.
2. I lightly sanded with a medium fine sandpaper (150-220 grit) being VERY careful not to sand through the laminate. I sanded with a very light hand just to get enough ‘tooth’ to ensure the milk-paint has something to adhere to. There are different opinions on sanding laminate. Some websites caution against sanding laminate surfaces because you can easily sand through to the wood composite. Other websites say because laminate surfaces are shiny and slippery, sanding is a must. I’d love to hear your opinion.
3. I add Bonding-Agent to my mixed Milk-Paint to help the paint adhere. Like I mentioned above, I only added about 1/2 of what the bottle recommended. Next time I use milk-paint on laminate, I’ll be adding the maximum amount of bonding agent to be sure I get the best adhesion possible.
I have a new appreciation for all you furniture artists who use milk-paint to create gorgeous chippy pieces. Contrary to what some people say, these pieces take a lot of work! Arm me with a spray gun and I would have finished 3 pieces in the same time it took me to finish this one….lol.
If you’ve ever painted laminate furniture with milk-paints, please let me know how it all turned out for you. And if you have any tips or suggestions, I’d love to hear them… including whether or not you sand laminate before painting.
Enjoy your day!