Tag Archives: Milk paint

Trade days toil


As I blogged about last time, I had many a table prepared to go to my booth at trade days. I worked very hard in the weeks prior to trade days accumulating furniture, then madly painting everything and trying to price it all effectively. This event was a true learning experience. What did I learn?

I learned:

*sitting outside in 90+ degree weather 3 days straight is terrible draining miserable. No other word to describe but miserable.
*hauling furniture to and from my booth was a ridiculous amount of work.
*why other vendors choose fixed indoor locations to sell their pieces.
*who my true friends are that chose to come sit with me in said miserableness.
*the term “flea market” being tossed around in lieu of “trade days” makes people instantly think anything priced above $10 is too high.
*rearranging the booth multiple times a day keeps me from being bored 😉

Will I do trade days again? No! Will I continue to paint furniture? Absolutely! As my husband & I discussed many times during that weekend, this was a learning experience and I now know what I am and am not willing to do. I met some great people that weekend, spread the word about my business, sold a LOT of milk paint, but I think that I’m going to keep my business home based for now.

I wanted to show a quick peek at a dresser I literally finished during the trade days and brought up on the last day. It sold at the last minute of the last day. Coincidentally I had purchased this chest from a local couple, who happened to stop by and see it and were quite pleased with its transformation.





In all the hustle and bustle of trade days, the only pic I got of it “after” was in my booth.

Here are some more pics of my booth throughout the weekend:





Never stop learning!



Tables everywhere!


Over the last few weeks I have been accumulating furniture like crazy to have a full booth at the Wylie Last Monday trade days. I’m excited for the opportunity. I bought furniture from an estate sale, an auction, Craigslist and a local sales site.

I have a “set” amount I like to pay for certain pieces. End tables and night stands are quick sells and always seem to be easy to come by. That was true this time plus I ended up with 3 coffee tables. 2 of them are very very similar but were purchased 40 miles apart! 😉

Here are some pics of the pieces and their respective makeovers. All pieces in this post are for sale. Please email me for pricing and availability questions.

Matching end tables BEFORE:

And AFTER in their Pitch Black milk paint goodness:



I adore this round end table BEFORE:

AFTER in its 2 tone chalk paint finish:



Another end table BEFORE:

And AFTER in its 2 toned glory:



Now for some coffee table transformations. This oval beauty BEFORE:

I have 2 of these but finished them differently. The first in a custom Salem Red/Barn Red milk paint finish:


The second in a chalk paint/glaze finish:


Lastly a rectangular coffee table that I somehow didn’t end up with a before pic of! Here it is finished in Sea Green milk paint:



So here’s hoping my table excessiveness pays off at trade days this weekend 🙂 If you live locally I hope to see you there!!


What is Milk Paint?


One of the most common questions I get asked is: What is the difference between milk paint and chalk paint?

Well, I’d like to blog about milk paint. 2 reasons:

1 – I recently became a retailer for Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company, Inc..


2 – most people shy away from milk paint usage because it comes in a powder form and they are scared or unsure of how to use it properly.

I first learned about milk paint via Pinterest. I was excited to find a retailer where I could purchase some to try. I bought 2 different colors: Salem Red and Pitch Black. I have to admit I was nervous.
You can read about my 1st milk paint adventure here.

What I want to focus on today is how to use milk paint. Because, if I can do it, ANYONE can do it.

Before I go into the step by step instructions on mixing and using milk paint I want to add a few additional “pros” that swayed me to not only use milk paint, but to retail it also:

1 – it comes in powdered form and the brown bag packages are small and compact. I don’t have a lot of space to store cans and cans of paint and I’m very stingy with my space!

2 – I live in Texas. Summers here suck!! Weeks and weeks of 100*+ days. I recently had to relocate all my chalk paint inside because after being in the garage for a few 95*+ days the cans emit a sulfur smell when opened. I dislike having to store paint IN my house but I dislike stinky smells more!!

3 – I can easily blend colors and create custom colors while milk paint is still in powdered form. If you go to the color chart on the OFMP website you will discover that they have 20 colors but have recommendations on how to create 60 more variations of the colors by mixing to various specifications. Mixing chalk paint is a pain. I’m clumsy and messy and trying to mix paint already in liquid form is extremely difficult for me. You might not have issues, but I do. So my chalk paint colors are limited to the exact color that comes in the can. With milk paint I can use a pinch of each color and mix it, see if I like it, before I mix up an entire batch for a piece. It’s also easier to recreate if I don’t mix enough. I never could do that with chalk paint.

4 – it’s CHEAP!! $13 for a 6oz. packet of powder that I get 6-8 pieces painted with. I pay upwards of $35 per can of chalk paint and get the same coverage.

5 – NO VOC – the cool thing about milk paint is that it has been made without VOC’s before that became the “green” thing to do. Other paints I work with smell, and some smell worse after being stored in a hot garage! :-p

6 – it dries FAST!! I am able to complete my milk paint pieces in a day. Even when using multiple colors. When I’m painting 5-6+ pieces a week I love the fast drying characteristic!

Now that you are as excited about milk paint as I am – how do you use it?

Step 1 – choose your color (or colors)


I chose driftwood this time. Milk paint is mixed equal parts paint powder to warm water.

This is the foil package that the powder comes in, inside the brown bag.

I find that a 1/4c. size scoop works for me for a medium to large size piece.

I used to mix my milk paint in a plastic cup and blend with a whisk but I wasn’t liking the consistency. I now use a mason jar and just shake shake shake. Plus, the remainder stores in the fridge better when it has a lid AND I don’t have to clean a whisk! 😉


Shaken up, milk paint has a few bubbles but if I do it well, the clumps are gone. As soon as its shaken, it’s ready to be painted on.

Here’s a piece I’m working on for trade days (BEFORE):


Here is the portion of milk paint that is partially dried:


The darker portions are the areas that aren’t dry. This is a first coat so it’s patchy and shows the original wood through in some areas. A second coat will be used on this piece but it isn’t always necessary depending on the look you are going for.

Now, something that some people don’t like about milk paint is that it can chip and flake off some pieces of furniture but you won’t know when it is going to do it. I’m ok with that. But not everyone is. Something you can do is add bonding agent to the paint when mixing it, and it will solve that problem. I have painted multiple pieces with milk paint and I haven’t had the extreme chipping and peeling experience that most get. It could be the pieces I do, or the fact that I blend all lumps out, or just bad luck. I did have one piece that really chipped, and crackled like I have been hoping to see but it was for a client and not me 😦



She is one of my favorite clients and was totally ok with that finish. The thing about the chipping and peeling is that once you seal it with tung oil or wax, it doesn’t peel or chip anymore. Like I said though, I don’t experience a lot of chipping/peeling when I use milk paint.

I hope that helps dispell any questions or fears you might have about milk paint. If not, feel free to comment or email me. I will have milk paint for sale in all 20 colors in my booth at Wylie Last Monday trade days 6/21-6/23. I’m also doing a giveaway for anyone who shares my Facebook page.


Open for Business…


After much prayer, consideration and time I made my new business official. I opened a Facebook page and I registered for a local trade days that is starting up in June. I’ve confirmed out of the 80+ other vendors that only one other person is selling furniture WOOHOO!! I even got one of those square card reader thingys so I can take credit cards 🙂 I have a plethora of emotions running through me…excitement, nerves, fear (doesn’t everyone fear failure?) and did I mention excitement? Casa de Cass Designs is up and running and I’m buckling up for the ride!

I love painting furniture, I adore the thrill of finding great pieces that need to made over. I’m reminded of the Confucius quote that says

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

When my family sees a garage full of furniture, I see a wonderland of treasures and I start to obsess over how each and every piece will be painted. I know it sounds crazy but most of the pieces I paint kind of speak to me and tell me what color they should end up. I love that!

Anyway, to help me build my business I’m asking everyone to share my page with anyone and everyone they know. It’s a small thing but I’m hoping to start doing classes and giveaways and in order to do that it is helpful if I have a larger audience.

June 21-23 is my first big “sales” opportunity at the trade days and I’ve secured almost all the furniture I think I need and I’m praying for a sell out event!

These 2 pieces are the first ones I’ve ever gotten that basically said don’t paint me! So they are coming to trade days with me and I will be selling them as is, but offering a paint option in case my buyer wants that.


This is an adorable little wardrobe that I see in a little girls room or a nursery.


This vanity pic was taken by the seller so the clutter you see is NOT MINE!! But aren’t they great pieces? I love love love them. They will be offered at $150 each or $275 for the pair AS IS 🙂


Red and Black – client pieces


Over the months, I’ve had quite a few people approach me to quote them on painting custom pieces for them. I find that so cool. Not only do I get to make some extra $$ but I get to paint pieces of furniture that people will have in their homes for years. Wow.

This particular client had shared with me what she was looking for furniture wise and during my daily strolls through Craigslist I sent her links to things I thought would work. She found these great pieces…..

This long dresser:

2 of these night stands:

And a tall chest:

With these 5 drawers that I was too tired to put back in just for a photo op:

She decided she wanted the long dresser to be red with brushed nickel hardware. So I used milk paint in Barn Red and Salem Red and created a custom blend. Once painted and distressed, I used clear wax, then dark wax. Both from Annie Sloan.
Here’s a shot of the drawers with the left side waxed and the right side just painted and distressed. It really shows how the wax deepens the color:

Here’s the completed piece:

And the customary before/after comparison:

She then decided she wanted the tall chest and the nightstands to be painted black and distressed with gray hardware. She wanted a true black so I chose CeCe Caldwells chalk paint in Beckley Coal. She wanted a medium to heavy distress so here’s how they turned out after distress and clear waxing with Annie Sloan clear wax:



And the customary before/afters:



I was able to complete all 4 of these pieces in 3 days from start to finish. I loved the way they turned out, do you?


Painting Class


Back in February when I started researching redoing/updating furniture, I was told about Dumpster Diva. What is a Dumpster Diva you might ask? Well, it’s this neat lady that has an absolute gift for repurposing and redoing furniture. She has a shop in McKinney and she doesn’t throw away anything. What she also does do is teach painting classes. So…I decided I would take one. I figured if I could learn half as much as her, I’d be off to a great start. I told my mom about it and she decided to join me. Later, a friend of hers decided to join us also. The problem was Dumpster Diva was booked til April. Since you have most likely read my other blogs, you know I didn’t wait til this class to start painting 😉

So for $150 I signed up for a 4 hour painting class. Dumpster Diva (DD) provides all supplies except the paintbrush (she asked us to bring a Purdy Cub XL 2″ brush) and she even provided pieces from her “pickin’ pile” that we could choose from.

My mom and I saw a photo DD posted a few hours before the class of the pickin’ pile:

We got very excited and rushed right over to class. We were um, 75 minutes early 😉 but we wanted to know how the “pickin’ order” of this class went. I had my eye on the brown dresser to the right. When we arrived, DD said pickin’ order was first come so we rushed in the back and snagged our pieces. Success! The brown dresser was MINE ALL MINE!!


See…I wanted to find a dresser for my sons room; one I could try a 3 color technique on. The base color I wanted was brown so this was just perfect! Step 1 complete with no effort on my part! I chose Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Bayberry Green and Buttermilk to make what I had in mind.
I started out by painting the Bayberry Green haphazardly over the brown. Lets just say at that point I realized how industrious I was going to have to be to finish in the allotted time!


After the green dried I mixed up the buttermilk and went to town again quite haphazardly over the brown and green. Once all colors of all paint had dried I used a wet sponge to “wet distress” the piece and reveal more of the green and brown underneath.

I played with it a little to find the level of blending I wanted.

I used the same technique on the hardware and then I waxed the piece.
Here’s an updated pic after I got it home:

And the customary before & after:

Not too shabby, eh? And the most important part: my son loved it! I wish I could paint everything multiple layers – this technique is so much fun!

Milk Paint Adventure


In all my Pinterest research I discovered that a lot of people were raving about MILK PAINT. The store where I purchased my Miss. Mustard Seed’s Antiquing Wax, also sold her milk paint. However, it was $22 for one packet (it’s sold as a powder, then you mix with water and wahlah! Milk paint!).

So….I chose to go back to see my friend Melissa at Dumpster Diva and purchase some Old Fashioned Milk Paint in the colors Salem Red and Pitch Black ($12.50/pkt = much better!) I wanted to experiment with this. I had an existing side table next to my sofa that I didn’t love anymore so I decided to play with it. Here it is before:

Nothing fancy, mission style, from Target, used and abused by my family and in need of an update! In my research, I have learned that milk paint gives off a chippy finish. However, if you want it to be less chippy you can either add bonding agent (another product = more $$) or sand your piece and hope it sticks. Since I’m cheap, I decided to sand. Funny how I choose which things I will sand and which I won’t. Oh well! I wanted a layered look so I decided to paint the black first. Here’s how it turned out:

Milk paint was easy to paint with, went on smoothly, dried fast and dried in a flat/matte finish and I barely used 1/3 c. of the powder leaving me with LOTS left for additional projects! It didn’t flake or chip off the top which I sanded extremely well. It did flake and chip in between the slats on the sides where quite obviously my sanding job was subpar 😦

I waited half a day to ensure it was dry before doing the new color then mixed up some Salem Red and went to work:

I didn’t put a thick coat of red on, and I only did the one coat but I loved the look I got. Again, the red didn’t chip or flake on the top, but did between the slats. Note to self: better job sanding next time!
I finished it off with 2 coats of Daddy Van’s Clear Wax and moved it back into the house. This entire project took me a day! What a great experience with Old Fashioned Milk Paint 🙂 Wonder what else I can paint with it next….??