Old Fashioned Milk Paint
was Perfect for These
Wooden Bench Plans!

This Was a Fun Project!

Because I loved the lines on these wooden bench plans, I decided to paint this bench for my entryway. My living room is done in cranberry and French ivory, so the barn red milk paint would tie the entry and living room together.

To Build These Wooden Bench Plans, Go to Page 1.

Click on this link, or on the photo to start with Page 1. of these wooden bench plans.  That page will show you how to cut and shape the pieces of your bench.

Page 2. will show you how to drill the pocket holes, and how to assemble this Shaker style arched bench.

Tested the Best Way for Distressing Edges.

Having learned my lesson about testing on scraps of wood [See page about blue milk paint on step stool.]  I started with 2 pieces of scrap wood from this bench.

I distressed one edge on each, because I planned to distress the bench, too. And I learned an easy way to distress the edges - scrap the whole side of the board along a sidewalk. Hold the board at an angle to get more "wear" on the corners.

Next Step in Testing was the Base Dye.

The first step was to "dye" the scraps using a

water-based, medium brown dye.

When a portion of the barn red milk paint is wiped off, this darker color will show through.

Mix the Barn Red Milk Paint.

The next step was to mix up the milk paint, which comes in a powder form. I mixed up too much! All you need for the test is about 1/2 teaspoon of powder with approximately the same amount of water.

As I was doing the test, I wrote each step on the back of the test piece, so I would know how to duplicate the look years from now.

The Test Gave Me the Look I Wanted.

After I painted the barn red milk paint, I used a moist, soft rag to unevenly remove some of the paint on the distressed edge.

I liked the look, so I started work on the bench itself.

OH, OH!  Is the Dye Too Dark?

When I put the medium brown dye on the bench, it was much darker than on the test piece. No amount of wiping would lighten it!

A little bit scary. . . .

Nope.  It is Just Fine.

Once I had dyed the whole bench, though, it looked great!

And I wondered if I should just apply the varnish to complete the finishing process.

Milk Paint for the Whole Bench!

But I took the plunge and decided to live wild with the barn red, old fashioned milk paint!

Only a little cup of paint was needed for the complete wooden bench plans.

Yes! It was Turning Out Just Like I Wanted.

I made the paint thinner than the directions called for. With the thinner paint, it went on in streaks, which were very noticeable when it was wet.  The streaks were much more subtle when dried.

But it dried in minutes, and I had to hurry to wipe off the corners and edges I had distressed.

Even After Drying, You Can Sometimes Modify.

Even after the milk paint is dry, you can moisten a soft rag with water, and wash off most of the color.

I tested removing the paint on the underside of this wooden bench plan.

The Goal Was a Well-Used,
but Vibrant Look.

In the process I somehow gained several dark water spots on the top. I thought about cleaning them up, but decided the spots contributed to the "old and well-used" look.

Protect the Milk Paint With Clear Coat.

After a final sanding, I applied the clear coat that is specifically made for milk paint.

Before I was done, I put on several coats.

Our Guests Want to Touch It!

Needless to say, I was very pleased with the result!

When completely done, there was a depth to finish that just made people touch it.  We have been using it for five years, and it is still as beautiful today, as when the finish was new.


Shaker Plans Designed for the Beginner Woodworker.

Click on this link, or on the photo, to check out Shaker style blanker chest, step stools, onion bin, end tables and more!

We Have Even More Shaker Plans!

This Shaker style wall shelf is a DIYer favorite!

Click here to see that plan, more step stool plans, and a hamper plan.

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