Roost + Restore
DIY Projects

DIY Chippy Paint Layers Using General Finishes Milk Paint

Recent­ly we just wrapped up a big DIY project where we cre­at­ed an island using an old thrift­ed dress­er. From the very start I knew I want­ed an authen­tic, chip­py, aged fin­ish. If you talk to all the “decor styling experts” they may tell you that the farm­house trends are on thi­er way out. and to that I say…so what! The trend may be set­tling a bit in exchange for shades of black and green but this girls coun­try lov­ing heart will always have a place for old and chippy. 

I did­n’t want to fake this look. It as impor­tant to me to actu­al­ly have REAL paint chips and cratch­es on this peice. As if it were pulled out of an old barn, if you will.

For this project we part­nered with Gen­er­al Fin­ish­es and decid­ed on three beau­ti­ful shades of their milk paint, their stain block­ing primer and a flat hight per­for­mance top coat to finish.

This is what we start­ed with. It was a steal for $99 but it was cov­ered in a yel­lowy finishh.

We began with our prep work. Remov­ing all draw­ers, hard­ware and sand­ed the sur­faces of the dress­er itself. There was some addi­tion­al dis­as­sem­bly that you can read about HERE where I share a more in depth tuto­r­i­al on this project from start to finish.

Next came primer. I used this water based stain block­ing primer by Gen­er­al Fin­ish­es! It cov­ered extreme­ly well on a prop­er­ly prepped sur­face. I applied two coats for good mea­sure, allow­ing approx­i­mate­ly 30 min­utes of dry time between coats. 

After prep­ping and prim­ing were out of the way, then came the lay­er­ing tech­nique that would real­ly give this piece the char­ac­ter and age I want­ed it to have. Start­ing with the empire grey milk paint I rand­ly paint­ed streaks all over the sur­face of the island, imme­di­ate­ly fol­lowed by the sage. I used the same brush and did not allow for dry time in between these col­ors because there was real­ly very lit­tle lay­er­ing hap­pen­ing in this step. It looked like a train­wreck of a paint job hon­est­ly. Not gonna lie I was sweatin it a bit at this point; think­ing wow I just ruined a per­fect­ly good peice of fur­ni­ture Haha, nonethe­less, I pressed on and this is what things were look­ing like about halfway through.

You can see lit­tle hints of wood in areas where I did not sand as well as I should have. In this case it worked in my favor for the chip­py look we were wanting.

Before apply­ing the alabaster, I quick­ly went around the sur­face of the island scrap­ing with a small put­ty knife. The paint was not com­plete­ly dry at this point which worked in my favor. It peeled eai­ly in sev­er­al places, leav­ing the grain of the wood show­ing below.

After a quick scrape, came the most crui­cial piece to this puz­zle. The wax. Using a old pil­lar can­dle I scraped the sur­face of the island in areas where I did­n’t want my alabaster lay­er to adhere. I had zero rhyme or rea­son to this appli­ca­tion I just went for it an let my heart lead me.

Then came the coat of alabaster. Since this was the main col­or I want­ed to show, I was sure to do one full coat for this lay­er, not spot­ty and streaky like before.

Before the alabaster had a chance to com­plete­ly dry I began to scrap­ing lay­ers of paint again. The paint chipped per­fect­ly from the areas the wax had been applied and peeled in some of the areas that were still a but tacky, which was an unex­pect­ed sur­prise. I did­n’t mind the extra peel­ing at all, ot brought even more char­ac­ter to this piece.

At this point, I rec­om­mend fin­ish­ing your piece with Gen­er­al Fin­ish­es Water Based Top­coat. Although, I must admit I skipped this step out of eager­ness to install the DIY Rust­ed Hard­ware, I do plan to go back and com­plete this step! 


Now that every­t­ing has had time to dry, it’s time for hard­ware and of course the top! Check out this amaz­ing trans­for­ma­tion using Gen­er­al Fin­ish­es Milk Paint! It’s a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent piece! 

My hon­est thoughts and advice on Gen­er­al Fin­ish­es Milk Paint products

  • This paint had EXCELLENT cov­er­age! I have com­plete con­fi­dence in it’s abil­i­ty to cov­er over dark­er finishes
  • Be sure to do the prop­er prep work. The primer is water based and will only stick to a prop­er­ly pre­pared surface.
  • Dry time is SUPER QUICK which real­ly helped to cut down on project com­ple­tion time. This can be a huge plus when you’re work­ing to get your home back in order.
  • The col­ors were rich in pig­ment and were abso­lut­ly gore­gous alone and layered! 


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  • Ivory
    at 6:22 PM

    Fab­u­lous result. I love this DIY

    • roostandrestore
      at 10:11 PM

      Thank you so so much! I enjoyed it!!