sometimes the chippy sneaks up on you (alternatively titled ‘hold on to your hat Betty’).

I’m arriving home from my trip to Norway and Scotland this evening, but it may take me a few days to recover from the jet lag and get back into the furniture painting groove.

But in the meantime, I’m sharing this pretty little dressing table that I painted just before I left.

Isn’t it sweet?

I debated keeping the painted flowers on the drawer, but in the end I just didn’t want to work with that color scheme of greens and oranges.  Instead, the Homestead House milk paint color I chose for this piece is called Stone Fence.  It’s a lovely pale greige.  If you hold it up next to a warmer color it looks quite grey, but if you compare it to a cooler grey it looks quite beige.  It’s one of those great colors that blends well with anything.

I followed my normal procedure with this piece.  I sanded it lightly, cleaned it with TSP Substitute and then painted it with two coats of Stone Fence.  I followed up with two coats of Homestead House Limestone on the details (much like I did with the Gatineau table).  I did notice some areas starting to chip before I added the Limestone, but not anything excessive.  However as I added the Limestone once again I could see that more of that color was going to chip off.

I decided to keep an open mind and just keep going.   So I sanded to distress and knock off any flaking paint, then I went over the whole piece with my shop vac.  At that point I had quite a bit of chipped paint on the Limestone details, but still only mild chipping of the Stone Fence.

That’s where I probably made a wrong turn.  I decided to add a coat of General Finishes Flat out Flat.  I thought it would seal the piece to prevent further chipping.  I’ve used it over milk paint before and had good results.

But this time I couldn’t have been more wrong.  As the Flat Out Flat dried, it lifted even more paint including the Stone Fence!  In addition, for some reason the top of the dressing table got very streaky looking.  I don’t have an explanation for this, but am just sharing my experience.  I’d say use caution if you ever decide to add Flat Out Flat over milk paint.

So hold on to your hat Betty, this one got really super chippy!

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Betty is one of my readers who isn’t terribly fond of my chippy pieces.  I once accused her of being my mother using an alias because my mom also can’t imagine why anyone in their right mind would want a chippy piece of furniture.  I am very slowly trying to win Betty over to my side, but I’m betting she’s not going to like this one!

As you can see in this next photo, the sides and legs of the dressing table didn’t chip nearly as much as the front.

I know that there are fans of the chippy look out there that will love it, even though this look isn’t for everyone.

Although technically this piece is a dressing table, or perhaps could be considered a small desk, it’s really quite petite.  I think it would make a perfect bedside table instead.  It would have plenty of room for your alarm clock, some bedtime reading material and possible a reading lamp.

So what do you think?  Is super chippy for you?


37 thoughts on “sometimes the chippy sneaks up on you (alternatively titled ‘hold on to your hat Betty’).

  1. Debbie, I really do love this piece! I like the chippy look and I am glad that even for you it causes some surprises sometimes. I am just getting into this and had some real “strange” experiences with Milk Paint so far… but I do love it though!


    1. The blog is turned back over to Q/ Linda. She is back from vacation now and I have no time. All of it is working on the new house.


    2. Yep, don’t confuse me (Quandie a.k.a. Linda) with my sister Debbie. She was just filling in and responding to comments while I was off on a fabulous vacation. As for milk paint, yep, you are going to have some strange experiences with it. I know I have. You have to be willing to go with the flow when it comes to milk paint, but I always feel like it’s worth it in the end.


  2. I love the chippy on the dressing table! I wish I could see close up on the front where the flowers were, it looks like you did a rub on in that spot. Is the streaking minimal or will you have to rework that part (from the flat finish)? Hope you are happy with your trip, looking forward to the recap.


    1. I did add a rub-on, good eye Laura! And yes, I’m going to have to rework the top where it got streaky. I think I can just add another coat of milk paint over just the top. That’s my plan anyway!


  3. I think it turned out great. It is a lot if chippy but still I like it. For those who don’t understand why anyone would like a chippy finish, I kind of get that, I feel the same way about people who buy new jeans with holes already in the knees. :). Hope you had a great vacation.


  4. I’m probably in the undecided category with this chippiness factor. Lovely piece though. Sometimes I think you just have to be there in person to get the feeling of it.
    Welcome back! Looking forward to hearing all about your adventures.


    1. You should maybe knock on wood when you say that Jacquie 😉 One of these days you may get more chippy than you bargained for. But in the meantime, try the beeswax method (see this post), you’ll definitely get some chipping if you add a little beeswax to your piece first.


    1. I’m not sure if I’m reading your comment right or not … are you saying I should NOT have painted this one? Maybe it looks better in the ‘before’ photo than it did in real life??


  5. WOW that is really chippy. I love the table but the chippies…well I am still holding my hat. Our friends that went on that trip are home sometime today too. I am sure they were on the same trip. What a coincidence if it was. Glad you are safely home and I bet you can hardly wait to start on your sister,s new home. Have a good rest first. Betty from Ontario.


    1. I met a couple from Ontario … now that I think about it … ask your friends if they went on a really bad tour on the Isle of Skye with an Italian guide. Wouldn’t that be an amazing coincidence?


  6. I love it!!! It’s absolutely beautiful! Your mother and my father could be siblings as my father continuously prods me to repaint my chippy fireplace surround. I don’t want perfection. I want the imperfection as that is what tells a story. Keep your table just as is!


    1. LOL, yes, sounds like our respective parents are two peas in a pod! Actually my handyman neighbor Ken is from that same school of thought as well, but he’s just learned to keep his opinions to himself when it comes to chippy paint!


  7. Ok, I ALWAYS LOVE your pieces, but this piece is too chippy for me. It is such a beautiful piece of furniture, but not the style for so much chippyness. I think it would have loved some fusion paint with a tad of chippy. I am looking forward to hearing about your trip. My husband hates to travel and I love it.


    1. This one is definitely on the chippier end of the spectrum for me, and I know not everyone’s cup of tea. While I totally get that it’s too chippy for you, I have to respectfully disagree about the style. Somehow I think this frilly, feminine style with all of its detail and curvy-ness is perfect for a chippy look. But it’s all a matter of opinion and personal preference and if we all loved the same thing, it would be a boring world indeed. So I’m glad you shared your thoughts on this one! And be sure to stay tuned to hear more about my trip 🙂


    1. I have to re-work the top of the piece where the paint got streaky from the flat finish, but once that’s done it will be for sale. I’ll keep you posted.


  8. This is chippy perfection, looks like it’s been that way for years, love it! Hope you had a great time on your trip, get some rest!


  9. When I first saw the piece, I was screaming “Don’t touch that!!!”, but upon seeing it finished, I didn’t think it looked so bad. I haven’t painted anything in this manner yet, so I’m not sure where I stand on this chippiness. I think on this particular piece, I would have been afraid to touch it because it looked so nice as-is. In this case, even when it got away from you, it turned out well. Good for you!


    1. Thanks Fonda! I mentioned this in response to another comment, but I think this is one of those cases where the ‘before’ picture looked better than the piece did in real life. Funny enough, the seller of this furniture literally said “these pieces would be great painted with milk paint” right in her craigslist ad! So, it really was a good candidate for a paint job.


  10. I had the exact same issue with the flat out flat. And milk paint is what I purchased it for. I think the milk paint absorbed it or something. Mine crackles, which I liked, but then continued to chip everywhere. Almost all off in parts of it. Somewhat glad to know you had the same problem. But I had to decide whether to leave it or sand off and start over. I waxed it and that seemed to stop the chipping anyway.


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