Buttermilk was my color of choice in order to perk it up and contrast with the wood's stain which would show as distressing transpired. Milk paint is an amazing but finicky thing. It can be very temperamental on certain surfaces, and you must be prepared to accept the consequences which are unpredictable but usually awesome. You do have some control if you apply it as appropriately as possible given the item and its prior finish, but there is still a margin for milk paint's personality to shake up the outcome. The thing to remember is, it's paint. It can be sanded back off or painted over. Deep breath and sigh of relief.
So, I slapped on the first coat and it looked pretty awful (normal). This stuff dries super fast which is perfect for we almost-instant gratification kind of people.
I was anxiously inspecting for the signs that milk paint was doing its thing: self-distressing or soaking in. After two hours, nothing. After three hours, slightly more than nothing.
After four hours of intermittently scanning every surface and nook, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a little crackle here and a chip chip there. Hand swing up to the heart. It was love. Milk paint antics had been delayed, but finally arrived in all its luscious, crackly chippy glory. I slathered on the second coat and it looked way better (normal). Now all I had to do was sit back and observe. Yes, I like watching paint dry.
Section by little section, the paint pulled and peeled and picked itself perfectly apart.
Hand sanding smoothed out the process. The warm, creamy yellow buttermilk color was perfect against the red-brown tone of the wood which was busting out in fragments all over. The little roll top desk now had a chipper chippy furniture smile.
As my first experience actually using milk paint, I must say I thought it to be wonderful. I like the edgy mystique it has. I like the drama and suspense of see how it will act or react on different surfaces. I love to await the peeling, crackling and burrowing in it chooses. It won me over.
Mixing it with water to get the right consistency was not too intimidating to me. Maybe because I like the challenge of doing it right or maybe because I have learned that again, its just paint. Added too much water? Mix in a bit more paint powder. Too little? Splash in another dash of water. Do I like to make mistakes and clean up my own mess? No, I much prefer to get it pretty close to right the first time around, but if not, I won't let that stop me from testing the waters (literally here) with different techniques and products.
The adorable after: