MMSMP | prep work | part fiveWelcome back to the fifth installment in my mini-series on prepping your furniture to become a milk paint masterpiece.

Okay. So – I TOLD you that you might be surprised by what I ended up doing with these shutters…

Here’s what they looked like when I got them.

MMSMP | prep work | part five

They’re pretty outstanding, wouldn’t you say? Most of the time the photos in a Craigslist ad are pretty bad and this was no exception. I could tell that they were old shutters but I couldn’t really see the condition of the paint.
The shutters have actually been leaning up against the wall in my barn since mid July. In the back of my head I was planning to paint them (probably in Ironstone or Grainsack) but I never really did a close inspection until the day I brought them out to take photos for this mini series.

MMSMP | prep work | part five

MMSMP | prep work | part five

So – what kind of prep work will these shutters need for their makeover? Do you remember the two questions?

1. What have you got?
(old painted wood with awesome natural chipping patina)

2. What are you going for?
Well. It turns out – I thought they were pretty much perfect just as they were. Unfortunately that paint that remained on there is almost certainly lead based and, as my end goal for these beauties is to hang them on the wall over our bed (in lieu of a headboard), they couldn’t just be left alone. The natural cracking of the original paint was pretty amazing but each little square was just barely hanging on. If I went ahead and hung them over our heads we’d be having a lead snack in our sleep every night.

(read about Tough Coat here)

I decided to just coat them with Tough Coat. Keep in mind – these shutters were really kind of dusty and dirty (can we call that Patina?) but even the slightest brush with my hand or a cloth was removing just as much original paint as dirt. Even in the places where the paint wasn’t flaking off the wood entirely, there was still a white powder coming off. I decided to just stop right there and not fool with it any more. The Tough Coat went on right over what ever dust and dirt was on the shutters.

As I said, I want to put them in my bedroom but I’m not ready to tackle that room re-do at the moment. Once they got their coating of Tough Coat they came into the dining room for a photo shoot. I took some pictures with just this little school desk in front of them – so that you could see them.
All the little chips of paint are still in place – and now they’re held on fast.

MMSMP | prep work | part five

MMSMP | prep work | part five

MMSMP | prep work | part five

Later, I restyled them with the real furniture that lives in this space in my dining room. This is where they’ll stay until I’m ready to move them upstairs. I actually think they look great behind my grandmother’s old table (?) (I’m not really sure what to call this piece of furniture that belonged to my grandmother) . I’m looking forward to doing something “Christmassy” with them, soon!

MMSMP | prep work | part five

MMSMP | prep work | part five

I may still paint them at some point. I have a feeling that they might still look amazing with a fresh coat of Milk Paint. All of the texture would still be there… and the Tough Coat makes a perfect base coat for painting with MMSMP. They might turn out really fantastic… but for now they’re finished!

Thanks for following along with the mini series on prep work! Anyone have any suggestions for other topics you’d like to know more about? I’m all ears!

If you’re considering this kind of makeover yourself and you’ve got questions – I’d be happy to try and help you out – feel free to ask away in the comments!


7 thoughts on “MMSMP | PREP WORK | PART FIVE…

  1. Robin

    Yay! I was worried when I saw these shutters in your line up. I loved them in all their chippy glory and worried your makeover would cover it up…silly me! The tough coat was perfect. Thanks for this series, it’s been great. Looking forward to your Christmas touch on these beauties!

  2. Lisa E

    I have really enjoyed the series! I’d like to see a post or series on how you fix things that went wrong. For example, last week I put white wax on a project and it turned streaky. I put a second coat of wax on and it solved the problem, but what if it didn’t work? What would you do to fix it? Thanks, I really love seeing all the creativity here!

  3. Ginger Marshall

    I believe your Grandmother’s table is a Library Table/desk. The shelf underneath would hold larger volumes or atlases. We have one that is very similar which belonged to my late Father-in-law.

  4. Debora Cadene

    I’m definitely intrigued. I’m wondering how you ended up applying the tough coat to these shutters, to keep as much of the chipping as possible?

  5. Lori

    It looks like this all happened a couple years ago but I also am wondering how you applied the Tough Coat? Did you brush it on or spray it and how much did you use? I have an old Hoosier Cabinet I just aquired and would like to do the same thing but not sure what is the best way to go about it.

    1. Breida

      Hi Lori –
      I actually just used a brush. It may have knocked a little bit more paint off but not much really. I’m not sure if I did one coat or two – but I’d say start with one and wait for it to dry fully and see how stable your surface seems. You could always add another.


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