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Creating a Perfect, Chippy Finish with Milk Paint

Creating a Perfect, Chippy Finish with Milk Paint

We are in the process of renovating and fitting out our new Bird on the Hill Studio. It's a fantastic space - we will be sharing one half of an early Australian Federation department store. It's a double brick building with high, pressed metal ceilings, lofty skylights and the builders recently unearthed an old fireplace that had been hidden behind a fibre wall. 

The original mantle is long gone, so I am creating a new, floating mantle in a traditional style. 

The new pine corbels are a lovely shape, but really needed some character. 

Enter Vintage Bird Milk Paint - the perfect paint to help me easily and quickly get that gorgeous, vintage, chippy paint look.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a little video that walks you through the process...


The products I used for this project were "Almost Famous" black Milk Paint, "White Gauze" white Milk Paint, Birds & Bee's Clear Wax Paste, and a clear poly-acrylic to seal.

These were the steps:

  1. Paint the corbel in the black milk paint- two thin coats with approximately 60 minutes drying time between coats.
  2. Next day, use the wax paste to rub on to the corbel in the areas that I wanted to see the chippy effect (edges, raised details etc...)
  3. Paint with two coats of white milk paint, drying each coat with a heat gun or hair dryer (force drying the paint isn't necessary, but it's so cool watching the milk paint crackle over the wax resist!)
  4. Rub back gently by using your fingers, or a very fine grade of wet/dry sandpaper to allow the cracked paint to chip off. 
  5. Allow a day of drying time, ensure all loose paint is removed, and give it a coat of your preferred finish. I used clear poly-acrylic for this project.

That's it! Sealing the milk paint makes it easy to look after, and will arrest the paint from chipping further, meaning you get to keep the finish as you created it. 

There are so many things that this technique would work for. The sky is the limit!


I can’t wait to show you the finished mantel. 

Happy painting.

Corrina xx

PS: If you want to see how easy it is to use milk paint, check out my blog here: