Table Makeover with MMS Milk Paint in Boxwood

Supplies Used:

  • MMS Milk Paint in Boxwood and other products in tutorial

  • paint brushes

  • Citristrip Gel

  • 220 block sander

  • steel wool

  • mineral spirits

  • Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish

  • plastic putty knife

I bought this table years ago at a consignment store for $30. I knew it was a reproduction, but I didn't care. It reminded me of a table that you would see in an Old Victorian Home, like maybe in a sunroom or on a wrap around porch. When I purchased it, the base was red and the top was black. Honestly, at the time I had one room that had a fair amount of red in it so I left it that way until about a year ago when I painted it boxwood. It was my first time to use milk paint, and I must say I was a bit intimidated, but I followed the directions and was pleased with the outcome. I wanted a chippy finish so some of the red would show through and I was able to achieve that look by following this tutorial.


At the time I painted the base, the black top was in good condition and I really liked the black and green combination. However, recently the top started flaking and showing wear that was beyond a pretty patina. I thought about sanding it and repainting it black, but the little bit of wood that was showing through peeked my curiosity.



I started sanding away with my palm sander, but it wasn't removing the varnish very well and my table was turning into an ugly diy project gone wrong!! While I wasn't really in the mood to break out the stripping gel, I knew that was my only hope. I have learned the hard way that continuous sanding can compromise the wood.


I applied the first coat and let it sit 2 hours, but the varnish underneath the black paint was not budging.


I applied a second thicker coat and let it sit for another hour and then began scraping away with a plastic putty knife. It was a messy process, but I could see the potential once the varnish was removed and the raw wood was showing through.


I cleaned up the remaining residue with mineral spirits and several pieces of steel wool. This is a process, much like removing gum. I also used a dull pencil to work the mineral spirits into the grooves. Do you like my antiquated iPod?? My children would be so embarrassed to know that this is how I listen to music!!


After the mineral spirits, I used a 220 block sander to give the top a smooth finish. I was pleased with the look of the raw wood so instead of re-staining it, I applied two coats of Minwax Polycrylic in a clear mat finish.


I wouldn't normally refinish the top of a piece of furniture a year later than I did the bottom, but it worked out this time. I'm pleased with how the natural wood top compliments the

base and gives it a bit of an updated look. This table is in our sunroom which is currently getting a "refresh", so you will be seeing in again soon. An updated piece of furniture is another piece of furniture saved!! What furniture projects are you working on while you are staying home??

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