Refunk My Junk: An Adventure in Milk Painting

Hey friends! I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. James and I headed to Ada for the day, and while we were there we picked up some pieces of furniture that had been sitting in an old building for years. (My late grandmother was something of a hoarder, so this building used to be FULL of stuff.) I’ve actually been taking a few pieces from that building here and there over the past few years, and I’ve tried to paint a couple with mixed results. That’s why I was so excited to take a furniture painting class with Allison of Refunk My Junk! (Full disclosure: I was provided the opportunity to attend the class for free in exchange for a blog post/social media promotion, but all opinions are my own. Plus I spent my own money for paint and supplies at the end of the class because I was so impressed!)

The Paint Bar.jpg

I’d initially signed up to take a short chalk painting class with Allison, but something came up the night of that class and I had to reschedule. I’m glad I did, because the furniture painting class was fantastic. I showed up to her new location (in Edmond, OK) around 10 am with an old bench. There were only three other people taking the class. Two women had night stands, the third brought a dining table. I didn’t realize we could bring such big pieces, but I was happy with my little bench. I wanted to see how it turned out before I committed to something bigger.

The bench before the class || MrsRobbinsSparkles.com

Allison greeted everyone and showed us where everything was. She had our paint ready (we’d been asked to choose colors in advance) as well as a packet full of information about the paints and techniques she would be using.

Refunk My Junk furniture painting class || MrsRobbinsSparkles.com

Once we all settled in with our coffee, she explained the difference between chalk paint and milk paint, and went over some basic techniques.

Allison of Refunk My Junk demonstrating painting techniques || MrsRobbinsSparkles.com

I chose to use milk paint, which I’d never heard of before. This type of paint comes in reusable bags, and then you mix the powder with water to create the paint. Allison has a genius hack to make this easy! She uses mason jars to mix the paint, making clean up super easy. While everyone else started with their chalk paint, I set to work mixing up my paint.

Mixing milk paint || MrsRobbinsSparkles.com

With both milk and chalk paint there is little prep work. Since my piece had layers and layers of grime I had to clean that off, but there was no sanding or anything like that. As soon as the paint was ready I set to work!

After two coats of milk paint || MrsRobbinsSparkles.com

It took two layers of paint, but the bench was starting to look good. Unfortunately my piece was so dry it soaked in every last bit of the paint. Typically milk paint chips to leave a distressed look, but mine didn’t. So Allison gave me a sanding block and showed me how to sand in the right places to achieve the same look.

Once everyone had painted their pieces we settled in to learn about waxes. I had no idea how cool waxes are! You can use them to entirely change the look of your piece. For example, one of the women painted her piece white, and went over it with a dark brown wax. It gave the nightstand a totally different look, and I loved it! 

Applying the wax at Refunk My Junk furniture painting class || MrsRobbinsSparkles

I chose to go over my bench with white wax, and I really liked how it turned out.

Bench after white wax || MrsRobbinsSparkles.com

Since my piece was smaller I finished up before everyone. Allison offers discount packages to class members (I believe these are only available during the class), and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and pick up a few paintbrushes, plus some paint and wax. She helped me pick out the colors, explaining what she thought would be best and why.

Naval chalk paint || MrsRobbinsSparkles.com

Allison was so helpful throughout the process, even helping the woman who brought a dining room table paint the legs because she had started to fall behind the group. She clearly knew what she was talking about, and I would totally recommend taking any of her classes! If you’ve had any desire to learn more about chalk paint, milk paint, or furniture painting in general, sign up for a class. And if you live in the Oklahoma City area, head to her shop’s grand opening this weekend. She’ll be selling some really gorgeous pieces that she’s worked on, as well as opening up her shop to other sellers in the area. I’ll be in Vegas, otherwise I would totally be there!

Refunk My Junk Grand Opening

And if you’re wondering, I’ve already painted a small dresser with the chalk paint I bought from Allison. I’m not ready to share that project yet – the hardware still needs to be repainted, but it looks so much better than before! And that bench I painted? It isn’t quite finished. I have to buy fabric to reupholster the top, which is going to be another interesting project to tackle soon!

Thanks again for allowing me to attend the class, Allison. It was so much fun!

Previously on Mrs Robbins Sparkles...