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Cute White Buffet | Adventures in Milk Paint

close up of white buffet painted with milk paint with accessories

What a cute buffet find – buffets with legs always tend to sell well in the shop, so I wanted to make this one special.  My original plan was to stain the top and paint with milk paint, but after some issues right off the bat I decided to paint the entire piece.

I started out by using a heat gun on the top to remove the finish. That ended up being a challenge. I got the finish off, but it also started to pull up some of the veneer, so I abandoned that idea and decided to just paint the whole piece.

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top of wood buffet before being painted with milk paint

I had to use some wood filler on the top, and I lightly sanded a few sections of the piece. I didn’t sand the entire piece because I want the milk paint to do its thing and chip and flake for a dimensional distressed look. Sanding the piece helps the paint adhere, and those spots will not distress as much.

Time to mix the milk paint!

I used Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Ironstone. (Enter the code BROOKE for 10% off your purchase) This product comes in powder form; you mix it with water in a 1:1 ratio. For this project I used about four tablespoons of powder for the first coat, and a little bit less for coats two and three. The paint needs to sit for ten minutes after you mix it up, and you don’t want to mix up too much, because you need to use it within a few days.


Check out my Instagram Stories for videos about painting this buffet!


I am a beginner when it comes to using milk paint. However, I am not afraid to try out new techniques – paint is forgiving, and trying things out allows you to learn new things! Through this process I have found that milk paint is runny. It’s best to work on level surfaces if you can, take drawers and doors out and lay them flat. On the flip side, the paint is self-leveling, so don’t worry too much about those brush strokes. By the third coat you won’t even see them! 

Milk paint also tends to have issues with bleed through, especially with furniture with a red hue. Don’t worry, you can use a clear top coat, or a clear shellac to cover spots that are bleeding through.  I had a problem with the wood filler that I used on the top; the product is purple when wet and the milk paint kept activating the filler. So, after conferring with a friend that has way more experience using milk paint, I applied a clear shellac to the problem spots, then applied a white oil based primer.  It worked great.

interior of store showing white buffet painted with white milk paint and accessories

I love how this buffet turned out – the black pulls and distressed parts give a nice contrast to the white paint.  I know it’s going to look great in someone’s home.

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