The Background Story
of this coffee table redo is a little reminiscent of this classic Friends episode. My husband played the part of Ross and, much as I wished I played the part of Jennifer Aniston, I played the part of Chandler. While I didn’t get stuck under the sofa at any point I did get stuck in the bathroom next to the tiny hallway we were trying to navigate. The stairs down to the basement are also reached from the tiny hallway. Small house issues.
Just like in the Friends episode our brown sofa did end up being cut to finally fit through the hall and down the stairs. It’ll be there for many many years to come and possibly forever because that space is NOT meant for moving large furniture. After we (I mean Tom) repaired the sofa our newly finished basement television area looked like this:
Is it terrible? Absolutely not. It’s just that I couldn’t help thinking the low ceilings called for less brown. Since the sofa is there to stay until the end of time our coffee table and a small bench headed for makeoverville. The coffee table was actually a Target clearance find a few years back. Inexpensive furniture = My favorite!
Adjacent to our television area is a workout/yoga area and the walls are a soft lavender. I wanted an equally soft color with an organic feel. Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Boxwood fit the criteria perfectly. Prep requires only a good cleaning and a light sand if you wish. I was able to complete the whole project right there in my basement. I cleaned each piece with TSP from Fusion Mineral and sanded just a touch with 220 grit paper. Milk paint is great for achieving a chippy look which is what I wanted. I love the look and it also makes the furniture less fussy. If the kids scratch it or knock into it those blemishes will fit in just fine. Who wants a family room where you can’t relax? Not this lady.
The Paint Process
This was my first experience with milk paint actually but luckily it is so easy to work with. The package has easy to follow mixing instructions – pretty much one part water to one part paint powder. Painting both pieces took me less than an hour. Keep in mind you should stir the paint periodically while painting to keep the pigments from settling. Dry time is super fast with milk paint (about 30 minutes) so the second coat went on the same day. After the second coat was dry, I took the same 220 sand paper used during prep to distress the edges. I didn’t get too much natural chipping on the coffee table but got a nice bit on the bench. The next day I sealed each piece with Fusion Mineral Pearl Wax. You can use wax as a top coat or you can choose hemp oil, tung oil, or a polyurethane to seal. The wax feels soft and smooth and goes on easily with a rag or brush. If your family has a habit of setting drinks directly on the table, you may want a more protective finish. I always keep a tray on mine for snacks and beverages, so I’m not too worried.
I love my “new” pieces! The color is just what I wanted, and I love the character provided by the chipping and distressing. Here are the before and after photos: