My First Milk Paint Project!

This is the story of a cabinet. A lonely, sad, neglected cabinet. A cabinet that was crying out for love and attention. Hidden away in the dark recesses of an obscure booth at Brimfield, you would have most likely passed it by.

I almost did.

I was nearly desperate for some functional storage in our master bath. You see, a couple of months ago we were faced with having to combine two households into one. That’s double the shampoo, double the toothpaste, double the everything. And unlike some clothes and furniture, these aren’t the kind of things one gives away or worse, throws out.   


But this isn’t just the story of how I redid this cabinet. It’s the story of how a $20 cabinet became, dare I say it, nearly a $100 cabinet.  It’s not because I bought super expensive paint or finishing hardware mind you. It’s not because the paper I used to line it was expensive. And it’s certainly not because I hired someone else to paint it.  It’s because I screwed up. Here it is, in all its glory. Dirty, dusty and dank. The back of the cabinet is particleboard, as are the shelves, which are three shy of a full set and disgusting! I wasn’t deterred. I had plans.

Big plans. 

  milk paint cabinet   pine cabinet

After cleaning it, I searched my stained glass stash and found the right color (green) glass panel and got to work. I needed 10 pieces about 8″ long by 3″ wide. As luck would have it, I only had enough glass for 9. But guess what? It didn’t matter because I ended up not liking the look of the green shelves. So back I went to my glass stash (say that fast three times) and found several pieces of clear glass which is exactly the look I was going for. Clean and bright.

Here’s where things get dicey. My glass cutter wasn’t doing the job. The glass is 1/4″ thick, and I thought that might be the issue. Well, Fisherman was heading to NY one day so I asked him to get some glass and to have the 10 pieces cut as well. The person who cuts the glass wasn’t there, so he came home with a large piece of glass that was, you guessed it, 1/4″ thick. And did I mention the glass was $35?

Soooooo..I found someone who is local (and by local I mean 20 minutes away…this is, after all, the boonies) and he cut the glass for $20. But guess what? The reason I wasn’t able to cut the original clear glass that I had was not because my cutter was insufficient, it was because the glass was tempered! In other words, I could have cut the $35 piece easily and saved the $20. I only figured that out after the glass cutter asked if the glass we brought in was tempered, and there was some leftover glass which I experimented on and I cut it like buttahhhhh. And…I didn’t need 1/4″ glass to begin with, 1/8″ would have been sufficient and cheaper. 

I actually started the painting process a few weeks ago, but the cabinet took a back seat to some wedding preparations. I used MMSMP Ironstone and Boxwood and I have to say I absolutely love this paint! The only thing I would say is you definitely want some kind of blender to mix it up. I was so mad at myself for giving away a blender after our move because I figured I didn’t need two. Wrong!  (I also gave it two coats of Hemp Oil and one coat of clear wax.) I was going for a mostly whitish look with a touch of green to coordinate with the paper I was planning on lining the middle section with. I used the same paper to make some lampshades not too long ago for our master bedroom and since this is the master bath and I had some paper leftover I figured why not put it to good use and cover up that ugly particleboard?

milk paint cabinet

I know it looks like a 5 year old painted this, but particleboard is a pita to paint, plus it was going to be covered anyway. Thank goodness for that!

painted pine cabinet


I cut the paper to size and used some Mod Podge to adhere it to the back.  Now we’re cookin’ and I’m finally starting to see things come together! You gotta love your Mod Podge! (I fell in love with it years ago and was thrilled last year when this bowl was featured on their site!)  

cabinet redone

I already had these knobs so I gave them a try. I really like the velvet ribbon and the medallion but I wasn’t thrilled with the gold on the knobs so I went to my favorite store for knobs, Hobby Lobby, and changed them up.

pine cabinet milk paint

These knobs go well with the claw foot tub ‘feet’ which you can see in this post and I really like the chippy look. And they were so inexpensive! Only $2.50 each on sale! Finally something went my way!

pine cabinet redo      pine cabinet

I was able to get everything I wanted in the cabinet perfectly! It’s just the right size for what we needed. We do have a good sized double vanity and a small medicine cabinet where we put the items we use everyday, but I wanted something that could house our extra stuff and be easily accessible. This cabinet sits directly next to the tub, on the opposite wall of the vanity. (I’ll most likely do a follow up post on how I organized everything in the bath, but I’m waiting for Fisherman to do one last project before I do that.)  Oh, and did I mention we were going to initially put the cabinet on the wall? After thinking about it, it didn’t seem like that would be a good idea. The particleboard probably wouldn’t have been able to withstand the weight. Without any items inside, the cabinet weighs about 25 lbs. I think this piece wasn’t designed for a wall anyway. Take a look at the bottom. Doesn’t it look like at one time it might have been on top of another piece of furniture? 

bathroom cabinet 

I’m very happy with where it is anyway, so no matter. Sometimes plans change and you just have to roll with the punches. (If you look closely you can see the shelves in the middle also have glass. There was some glass leftover after the smaller pieces were cut and I was able to get enough out of it to do the trick.) 

milk paint cabinet

So this once lonely, dirty and sad cabinet now sits happily in our master bath and not only am I happy my stuff has found a home, but I’m happy to have finally used MMSMP and can say without any shadow of a doubt I really like this paint. If you want to give it a try there are sample bags you can purchase for just a few dollars. You would only be able to cover a small object, but it would be a great way to get a feel for the paint before you invest in a full bag which is $22.00. One of the great things about this paint is it comes in a powder form so you never have to worry about it drying up. Just mix up what you need and store the rest indefinitely.


Have you ever tried milk paint? How about chalk paint? If you have used both, which do you prefer? I’ve used ASCP on this project and a few others and like that as well. The end products are similar but with subtle differences. The ASCP is, simply put, ‘chalky’ while the milk paint seems to have more of an old world look. Just depends on the look you’re going for. I’m on to the next project. Now that my toiletries have found a home, my jewelry is next. Stay tuned…  

Sharing At

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What’s it Wednesday

Thursday Favorite Things

Thrifty Treasures

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  1. Doreen… I love how this tuned out! You did a great job on this !!!

  2. I love it! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  3. Doreen, your cabinet turned out great! I wish my bathroom cabinet was half this organized! I love organizing and anything that helps me to find something I need quickly so I think this brilliant! Love the antique paint finish you applied…beautiful job!

    • Thanks Susan! When we built the master bath, my husband didn’t even think we needed a medicine cabinet! We ended up getting a small one that is housed between the mirrors over our sinks. It’s fine for the things we use every day, and the vanity has three drawers and of course the cabinets under the sink for things like hair dryers, makeup,,etc., but all the extra soaps, medicine, etc. needed a home. Doubling up our stash from combining two households was/is challenging!

  4. SharonFromMichigan says:

    What a beauty your “Cinderella” cabinet turned out to be! I just love love love to turn uglies into beauties; it lets the creative juices flow and keeps a lot of older furniture and items out of the landfill….You have a good eye for color – love the knobs too! Have a great day.

  5. This little chest turned out great, Doreen! It looks like it has come in handy perfectly, too. I have not tried the milk paint myself but I’ve heard good things about it.

  6. Turned out beautifully! I’ve done that before too….where I end up spending more money than the project cost me in the first place! But, hey…it’s a process, right? and we’re learning all the time! Looks great and seems to fill the bill perfectly! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for your jewelry!!~~Angela

  7. Wow, I am loving this so much! Thank you for sharing your sweet blog at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. Watch for your feature on Monday ♥

  8. I absolutely love how this turned out! I especially love the knobs you found on sale. Such a perfect little touch! The inside glass shelves are so nice! Congrats on a job well done!

  9. Oh Doreen….I love how it turned out! It is perfect…:) The color, the glass shelves, paper, and knobs are all perfect and now you have a one of a kind piece! I am heading over to check out the clawfoot tub now. Have a beautiful day.

    Blessings, Vicky

    • Thank you Vicky! Ya know, after I thought about it i realized it’s probably time for me to update some of those pictures in the home tour. It’s been over a year and things have changed somewhat. Nothing drastic, but nevertheless worth putting on my long ‘to do’ list. The bathroom is pretty much the same though. (The cabinet sits on the wall opposite the vanity.)


  10. Beautiful cabinet…and I want you know how much I love the clean, creative overall look of your blog! Great work…and thanks for sharing with the Thursday Blog hop!

  11. What a gorgeous transformation! Looks beautiful!

  12. I love what you did with that cabinet! Isn’t it great to find something plain and give it your own signature look? I have not tried the milk paint before but would like to one day. I have tried chalk paint though and really like it.

  13. I guess I would have to say, “all’s well that ends well” the cabinet turned out so beautifully and it certainly is a great piece for storage…it seems like it holds an awful lot of items!…I love it and glad that you rescued it and gave it a new home! I have never used MMS paint on an item…just at the workshops…

  14. Hi Doreen, I loved this project! That’s a great cabinet, it has so much storage space. I could hardly believe how much stuff you were able to fit in there. The transformation was amazing. You have the ability to see the potential beauty in things and the talent and skills to get it done. Great job!

  15. I really like this, Doreen. I know you are short on space and it’s just fantastic that you found the cabinet, a diamond in the rough!! I love the paint job…I’ve never used either paint but I think the milk paint sounds more up my alley. Did you have to order it?


    • Hi Jane! A few months ago while looking around for, what else, brooches, I came across a lovely little shop that happens to sell the paint. They are only one of two in the state that does so needless to say I was happy!

  16. HinDoreen, wow your cabinet came out so pretty and I love the chippy look too! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and yes you do need to get new blue eyeliner! Lol! Take care and wishing you a nice evening and week.

  17. Cool piece, Doreen! I love the paper backing ( yes, mod Podge is great stuff!) and the knobs are perfect for it. I haven’t tried MMSMP yet. Hm…

  18. Doreen this cabinet came out great. Never used MMSM paint. I don’t think I would have the patience. You have to mix things together, etc. You really gave this new life unfortunately at the expense of your wallet. The glass shelves were worth the trouble. LOVE the knobs.


  19. Doreen
    It did turn out beautifully, even though it ended up being more expense and work than you had planned!
    Just think, there is no other one like it either. It’s uniquely yours.

  20. So talented my friend.

  21. An amazing transformation, Doreen! I love the glass shelves, the weathered knobs and the paper lining, which is the perfect complement to both the glass and the paint colour. You worked hard on this, but I know how much you appreciate the process! Your new shabby chic CABINet also blends in very nicely with the rustic style of the cabin. And, you got so much storage out of it! I wonder if men feel just as proud about hanging up all their power tools in the garage!;))

    Great job, house honey!


  22. It was obviously a lot of work, but I love how it turned out and those knobs are perfect for the piece.

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