Curbside Tilt Top Drop Leaf Table Makeover

If your husband came home and told you he picked something up from the side of the road, what would your reaction be? If you're a junk loving upcycling gal like me, it would be music to your ears. I was jumping for joy when Mr. Frugalista brought this curbside tilt top drop leaf table home - you don't come across these often.

Not only did the top tilt but it had drop leaf sides too and I was swooning over the scalloped edge and cloverleaf base. I believe these are considered wine tables and this one is staying with me.

Curbside Tilt Top Table Makeover

Curbside Tilt Top Drop Leaf Table Makeover

Curbside Tilt Top Drop Leaf Table

This is what the table looked like before - after I started some repairs.

Prepping the table for paint 

After giving the table a good scrub with warm soapy water, I gave it a scrub with a liquid deglosser to remove the glossy finish.  Next, I repaired the knicks and scratches with my favorite filler. You can find those products here in The Interior Frugalista Shop on Amazon.

Curbside Tilt Top Wine Table Before

Base coat of paint

For the base coat, I painted the entire table with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color pure white.

Curbside Tilt Top Table Base Coat

Painting the top red

Once the white was completely dry, I applied two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in luscious Emperor's Silk on both the top and feet.

Curbside Tilt Top Table Red Top

Changing the plan for the scalloped edge 

As often happens midway through a project, I changed my mind and decided to emphasize the scalloped edge by painting it white.

Curbside Tilt Top Table White Scalloped Edge

Stenciling the top

To add detail to the painted red top, I stenciled a damask pattern with the same pure white chalk paint.

Curbside Tilt Top Table Damask Stencil

Once the stencils were dry, I lightly distressed the table around the scalloped edges, base, and feet with 180 grit sandpaper to give the table an aged patina.

Curbside Tilt Top Table Upright

Protecting the finish

The entire table was protected with Miss Mustard Seed's Beeswax and buffed to a matte finish. To add to the distressed age patina, a light coat of dark wax was applied all over the table and the excess removed with a lint-free rag. The dark wax deepened the color of the pretty red too.

I love the versatility of this table. When not in use the top can be tilted and the table set against a wall and out of the way. With the drop leaf down, the table fits beside an armchair without taking much room. With one leaf down it becomes a demilune table and is perfect as a small entry or hall table. Fully extended comes in handy when entertaining and placed between two chairs for guests to use for setting drinks and food.

I had the pleasure of finding another scalloped tilt top table with a rectangular top. That one has metallic details with a pretty papered top and you can find it here in my post, Antique Tilt Top Tea Table.

UPDATE: I must admit I did tire of the damask stencil after a few years but not the bold red top. The tilt top table received a second makeover that I absolutely adore and you can see it here in my post Curbside Tilt Top Table AGAIN With Parisian Flair.

If you saw this table on the side of the road would you have picked it up? I'm sure glad Mr. Frugalista made that choice because it is one of my favorite tables in our home.

Curbside Tilt Top Drop Leaf Table

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Curbside Queen Anne Side Table Makeover With Milk Paint

You've got to love it when you arrive home after a long day and notice at the end of your neighbor's driveway is a table with lovely curvy legs in very good condition with a "Take Me" sign posted on it. No twisting my arm. Besides, I had some paint that I was itching to try and so I gave that curbside Queen Anne side table a makeover with milk paint.

Curbside Queen Anne Table With Milk Paint

Curbside Queen Anne Side Table Makeover With Milk Paint

Have you ever painted furniture with milk paint? It sometimes gets a bad rap because it can be unpredictable but that's what I love about it. It chips, it cracks and gives a lovely shabby chic aged patina.

Don't let that scare you because you can control the amount of crackling and chipping and I share how in a detailed tutorial here in my post How To Paint Furniture With Milk Paint.

You can see what I mean about the crackling on the skirt of the table in the picture below...

Curbside Queen Anne Table Crackled Milk Paint

To add to the aged patina, I applied dark wax over the paint so it would highlight that lovely crackled finish.

But let's take a look at the table before so you can see how milk paint completely changed the look from a dated high gloss cherry finish to a lovely matte antique aged patina.

I must apologize for the poor quality photo taken with an old point and shoot camera and a caffeine-induced shaky photographer.

The drawer on the front of the table has a false front. I replaced the original batwing pull with a pretty glass knob to dress it up.

Curbside Queen Anne Side Table Before

The base of the table was painted with Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in the colors Boxwood and Lucketts Green. The top of the table and base of the skirt were painted Ironstone white.

Inspired to paint a green ring around the perimeter of the top, I measured 4-inches from the edge and drew a pencil line around the table. With an art brush, the band was painted Lucketts green.

You can see in the difference in the paint colors from the photo below, without dark wax, to the photo earlier in this post, with dark wax. It deepens the color and gives the piece that aged patina. Again, I apologize for the poor quality photo.

Curbside Queen Anne Table Painted Lucketts Green

I thought long and hard about adding a lovely graphic to the white circle in the middle of the table and probably would have if I was planning on selling it. But it's a keeper and going in my living room where a large lamp will be placed in the center, covering the graphic.

I should mention that this is only the second piece of furniture I've painted with milk paint and I'm quite enjoying the process.


It's just paint and the beauty of painting furniture is that you can change your mind. With porous paint, you don't have to strip it if you are reapplying milk (or chalk) paint. Plus you can paint right over that beeswax finish like I did...ahem...a couple more times.

Makeover Two

As sometimes happens, after living with this table for several months I wasn't 100% happy with the makeover because it reminded me of a frog. 🐸 I gave the table a second Curbside Table Makeover With Parisian Flair here.

Makeover Three

Ahem, guess what? I changed my mind AGAIN. Yup, the third and final Queen Anne Clock Face Table With An Identity Crisis makeover and this time I sold it.

Curious minds need to know, was the last makeover your favorite? I'd love to hear what you think in the comment section below.
Curbside Queen Anne Milk Paint Table

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How To Paint Furniture With Milk Paint

To distress or not to distress, that is the question? In this post, I'm sharing tips on how to paint furniture with milk paint and control the chippy goodness known for this non-toxic water-based paint.

I love the unpredictability of milk paint. It's like opening presents on Christmas morning because you never know what you're going to get. Will the paint crackle and chip a little or a lot? But if the chippy shabby chic look isn't your thing, you can control the finish and I'm going to show you how.

How To Paint Furniture With Milk Paint

How To Paint Furniture With Milk Paint

Milk paint has been around since the 1800's where it was made with a combination of milk, lime and natural pigments from plants and berries. Today's milk paint comes in a powder form with multiple color choices where you simply add water to a milk-like consistency.

To give you a visual of the process we're going to paint a 3-drawer cherry sofa table that has been in my home for over a decade. We're taking it out of the 90's and giving it an aged distressed patina.

Milk Painted Sofa Table Before

So it looks like this...

Sofa Table With Aged Milk Paint Patina

Disclosure: I've included affiliate links in this post so you can find the products I used or similar products to complete this project. See my disclosure policy.

The table was painted with two coats of Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Boxwood Green and this is what it looked like after one coat.

Milk Paint Boxwood Green Sofa Table

The top of the table and the drawer fronts are also painted with Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in the color Ironstone White.

Sofa table painted with Ironstone White and Boxwood Green milk paint

Here is an example of the unpredictability of milk paint and instead of repainting the drawer fronts I embraced the chippy finish by ageing the white with dark wax.

Sofa table with chippy drawer fronts in Ironstone white milk paint


Prepping cherry or mahogany before applying milk paint

Dark or redwoods like mahogany and cherry are guaranteed to cause paint bleed (when the natural tannins in the wood seep through the paint). To avoid this, seal the wood with a coat of shellac applied with an inexpensive chip brush.

How to mix milk paint

As I mentioned earlier in this post, milk paint comes in a powder form.
  • Mix 1 part milk paint powder to 1 part warm water.
  • Mix them together with either a fork, small kitchen whisk, or handheld milk frother
  • Stir out any lumps, adding a little more water if need be.
  • If it is still quite lumpy you may have to strain the paint with either an old nylon, cheesecloth or my preference - a small kitchen strainer with handle
  • Milk paint has a shelf life of two weeks to a month maximum. I prefer storing mine in recycled plastic soup or yogurt containers with a lid or glass mason jars.

The natural crackle of milk paint

The beauty of milk paint is that as the paint dries it will crack and expose the layer underneath. It can provide a beautiful distressed finish, especially when painting each layer a different color. But it also looks beautiful painted the same color with dark wax nestled into all the crackles. We'll talk more about finishes later in this post.

Control the crackle and chipping of milk paint

You can increase the amount of crackling with a hair dryer or heat gun while it's drying.

You can decrease the amount of crackle or chipping by adding a bonding agent to the paint. Bonding agent is a water-based acrylic emulsion that allows the paint to bond with metal, glass, varnished or lacquered finishes.

You control how much crackle and chipping you want by the amount of bonding agent added to the paint. A 2 part paint to 1 part bonding agent ratio is recommended.

Dry time between coats of milk paint

The recommended drying time between coats of milk paint is 2-4 hours. You will get full coverage with 2-3 coats of milk paint.

Protective top coat finishes for milk paint

Let the milk paint dry for at least 24 hours before applying a top coat. There are several types of top coats that work beautifully with milk paint.


The most common is beeswax applied in a thin layer over the milk paint with a lint-free rag or brush. Be sure to get the wax into the ridges, cracks and details of the piece and buff to a beautiful matte old charm finish.

Color Beeswax

Once the clear beeswax has been applied, bring out all those lovely crackled or chippy details with colored wax. Apply it the same way you apply the clear beeswax but instead wipe off the excess. My preference is dark wax for an aged antique finish but white wax over blue or green is quite lovely too.

Hemp Oil

Hemp Oil is an all natural solvent free oil that penetrates into porous milk paint and provides a beautiful matte finish. It also works beautifully to revive bare wood and provides a food-safe alternative for butcher block counters, cutting boards, wooden spoons, etc.

Apply a small amount with a lint-free rag or inexpensive chip brush and let it soak into the paint for 2 hours between coats and wipe away excess after 12 hours.

Tough Coat

Tough coat is a non-yellowing clear finish that is perfect for things like tabletops and chairs that receive a lot of wear and tear. It can be applied with a brush, applicator sponge, or a paint sprayer for a factory finish.

It is recommended you wait at least 24 hours before applying the tough coat on fresh paint. You should apply two coats, waiting 2-4 hours between coats.

So what do you think, would you give milk paint a try? I hope these tips answered any questions you may have about painting furniture with milk paint. If not, please ask away in the comment section below or drop me an email by pressing the Contact Me button at the top of the blog. I'd be happy to answer them.

For more painted furniture inspiration press HERE.

How To Paint Furniture With Milk Paint

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