Picking a colour for your next furniture project can sometimes be overwhelming. Flipping through hundreds of paint decks and colour chips, there always seems to be a thousand shades of blues, grays and greens! But when it comes down to really giving your piece a timeless makeover, where you know the colour will never fade with trends, sometimes a simple elegant shade of white is all you need to keep your furniture classic. This armoire was in desperate need of some elbow grease and a makeover. The dark wood hid a lot of its beautiful curves and simple lines. We knew that our newest white milk paint colour Porcelain would be an elegant shade of white to brighten this piece up and create a classic white makeover.
Here is a before look at the piece:
Below is a list of supplies you’ll need to complete a similar project.
- Fusion TSP Alternative + Wiping Cloths
- Homestead House Milk Paint Porcelain
- Fusion Mineral Paint Newell
- Electric Sander and Sanding Pads/Paper
- Zinnser BIN Shellac Primer
- Fusion Flat 2 inch Synthetic Brush
- Fusion Gel Stains in Espresso & Greystone
- Fusion Tough Coat
What prep do I need for Milk Paint?
When prepping for white paint on dark furniture, we must pay a bit more attention to prep. We want to keep those dark wood oils and tannins from bleeding through to our white paint, so a thorough cleaning is the first place to start. Begin by vacuuming out all the dust and debris, inside and out. This removes the loose items from the surface and interior.
Next, we clean using Fusion Mineral Paint TSP Alternative in a 1:4 water solution in a spray bottle. This just makes for easier application and cleanup. Giving a good saturation of the cleaner and allowing it to sit for a minute or two helps the grease and oils break down more easily. Microfiber cloths are not only a great way to help clean and scrub your furniture, but they also reduce paper waste since they are machine washable. Clean your furniture well and give it a second cleaning if you feel your piece needs it.
Primer to Block Bleed Through and Wood Tannins
Once your cleaning is done, we want to scuff sand the surface. This helps our finish with adherence and also smooths out any surface-level imperfections like chips and raised wood fibres. We use an electric sander with abrasive sanding pads that help with long surfaces on pieces like this. After your scuff sanding is complete, make sure to remove the dust with a damp cloth.
The next step in our prep process is adding a primer coat. Primer is not always necessary, but we recommend it when working with open-grain woods, and when painting with white. The only primer we recommend using to block stains, oils and tannins is Zinsser BIN Shellac. You can also use clear shellac to block stains and oils. However, BIN primer also provides a transition coat from the dark wood to our light paint colour. You can add as many coats as you need. The best way to know if the shellac is blocking the tannins is to check it for pink, red, and yellow stains. Once the stains no longer come through, you should move on to the paint coat.
Paint it Beautiful
With our prep work finished, it’s time for the best part of the process, the painting! We mixed up our Porcelain Milk Paint using equal parts of water and milk paint. Mix it with a stir stick to break down any clumps. White lighter shades that require more coverage, sometimes it’s helpful to mix your paint a little thicker for better coverage.
Our first coat seemed almost invisible over the primer coat, but as it dried, you could see a slightly warmer hue over the BIN primer. Bin primer is a stark, sterile white and Porcelain is a shade or two warmer. Putting 2 coats of Porcelain is all we really needed!
We decided to break up some of the white by adding a fun pop of colour to the interior. We broke out a jar of Fusion's Newell. This is a great way to use jars of leftover paint that can’t quite cover a full project. We rolled on 2 coats of Newell onto the interior doors and drawers.
Once paint was dry, we added two coats of Fusion’s Tough Coat to add a protective seal.
During our sanding process, we decided we wanted to stain the top with Fusion Gel Stain. We took the top down to bare wood and removed the sanding dust from the surface. We premixed a small amount of Fusion Gel Stain Espresso & Greystone to give us a beautiful smokey brown shade for the top. Since Gel Stain has a built-in poly top coat, we only needed to add two coats for a pretty satin sheen.
A Classic White Makeover
What we love the most about this makeover is how our simple white shade just brings this piece to life. We always knew white could be a statement colour. Porcelain was the perfect colour to stand out against moody and warm elements.
There is something so soothing about a beautiful shade of white. Porcelain helps us to appreciate all the beautiful details about this piece that once faded into its dark old wood. Pairing this shade with simple accents like brass knobs and a stained top gives this armoire an elegant look.
Isn’t it a fun surprise to pop open the doors and find Newell on the interior? It adds such a pretty contrast to Porcelain and dresses up what could be a plain interior. It almost gives you a reason to want to leave your furniture doors open!
We hope that you enjoyed this makeover featuring one of our new milk paint shades. Homestead House is here to bring you an endless array of shades to help bring your projects back to life. Their colour collection creates a classic and timeless look. We can’t wait to see what you paint with Porcelain to create a classic white makeover!