Milk Painted Ikea Stool in MMS Tricycle Red

September 23rd, 2014

*Paint for this post is provided by Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. All opinions and projects are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.



Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint – Artissimo

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint – Tricycle

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint – Grain Sack

Milk Paint Mixer

Furniture Wax

Wax Brush

Paint Brush

Hazel & Ruby Stencil Mask

Cricut Explore

220 Grit Sand Paper

I painted furniture!!! I know probably every DIY blogger you follow paints like it’s going out of style, but painting is definitely not my thing. I like quick projects that yield instant gratification. Luckily I have Mr. Project to do all the heavy lifting and painting.

So lets start at the beginning. I’ve been wanting to buy these BEKVAM stools from ikea for my boys’ bathroom. But I wanted them painted red… I don’t paint, so I asked Mr. Project how I should go about painting. After zoning out during one of his many speeches about the properties of paint and wood, and probably sanding. I kind of just gave up.


Fast forward to when I attended SNAP blogging conference this past spring. I attended the Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint class and got my paint on. It wasn’t so bad this painting thing, and I was really intrigued by how the paint worked. It is a lot like tempura paint.


So I decided to just go for it and see what happened. One of my favorite parts about MMS paint is that the colors are divine. I already knew I wanted red, and this “Tricycle” red does not disappoint. The pigments in milk paint are pretty amazing. 


I wanted to make sure I had some depth of color and a good base to begin with. So I created a “stain” using the artissimo color and a lot of water. The color of that navy stain was so pretty I didn’t know if I wanted to cover it up!


I wanted to use a stencil mask to create a number “3” on the top of the stool. So the first step of that process is to paint the color that you want the number to be. I used MMS Grain Sack. Knowing what I know now about milk paint, I should have painted the entire top of the stool in the Grain Sack color. But it all worked out anyway.


On my Cricut, I cut a “3” and a “1” out of the Hazel & Ruby DIY Stencil Mask material. This is my favorite thing to use in crafting right now.


I peeled off the plastic backing and placed the 3 onto my white paint. The mask has it’s own temporary sticky.


Then I prepped the Tricycle paint. So Milk paint is a pigmented powder that has to be mixed with water to become spreadable paint. This is like old school painting… like back in the days of frescos and egg tempura. So give yourself some time to figure out consistency and how exactly to use it. The best part of this paint is the strength. This paint will bond with your wood and is incredibly durable (and Mr. Project approved!)


Follow the instructions for ratios, and then I highly recommend an agitator like this one to mix it with. It was pretty incredible for getting it all mixed up. Watch for bubbles and granules as it will cause some issues in your finish later. Sanding is your friend.


Once you’re all mixed, then just paint away. The paint dries pretty fast so once I finished the first coat on everything, I could go back and start the second. MMS recommends 2-3 coats max. Go slow and get good coverage for best results.


The best advice I can give when painting with Milk paint is to just go with the flow. With modern paint technology we’re all used to perfection and paint always being the same. But milk paint is kind of like it’s own unique creature. You have to get to know the temperament of it, and I’m sure even then, it will surprise you. But that’s not a bad thing. It’s actually a really cool thing. It’s more artistic than painting with latex paint. The colors are gorgeous and have an incredible depth. And my favorite part about milk paint, the final product feels rich and alive. The other piece of advice I’ll give, is Mr. Project’s, SAND between coats. ALWAYS SAND! With water based paint, your grain will lift. Let it dry and then do just a quick gentle sand with 220 grit sandpaper. It won’t take very long and you’ll have a much better product in the end.


Back to the project at hand… the Stencil mask worked awesomely even though my paint was a tad runny at times. Don’t let the paint dry all the way – you might not be able to get it off! Just let it dry enough so that it’s not going to run the minute you peel it off.


Then to get an aged effect, gently dry brush some red paint over the white paint. If you paint too much over it, you can always sand back down to the white.


Okay once all your pieces are dry and happy then do one final sand. For this sand I used a 220 grit sandpaper, and lightly sanded the entire piece. On a few places, I sanded deeper to let that blue stain show through. Mostly on the top and on the step where natural wearing would occur. milk-paint-tricycle-stool-sanded

Once it was all sanded and wiped down to remove excess dust, I pulled out a wax brush and the MMS furniture wax, and I just simply followed the instructions.


You can see in this picture, the lower part of the top of the stool has wax and the upper part does not. This shows you how much the wax interacts with the color and provides a depth and age you won’t get from a simple clear coat.


Here you can see on the step where I sanded deeper, the dark stain is really picked up by the wax and now it looks like a worn spot from years of climbing. I do wish that I had used an electric sander to sand big worn-down spots in the step and the top, but I would have had to do that before painting and no way was I repainting anything!


Once it was all waxed up (2 light coats and lots of rubbing), I brought it inside for a photo shoot. The color turned out gorgeous and I love the detail of the “3” which was so simple to create.


And of course I had to share with you my little photo-shoot interrupters. I can usually get about 3 shots before I get a little visitor. But I don’t mind too much.


I just had to keep band-aids from being stuck to the stool. milk-paint-tricycle-stool-outtake1

I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. And Ollie just loves his “3” because it’s kind of his favorite number right now.

And the final resting spot, In the boy’s Jack & Jack bathroom that already has red barn lights.


And now the boys are models showing you how excited they are to finally be able to reach the sink without help.


And the wax finish on the stool is great for a water area like a sink. It just beads right up on the surface.


Even Leo can reach the sink… I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but it’s nice to know that he can do things himself. He just LOVES to wash his hands now.  Of course I still need to paint the second stool to match so that there is one at each sink (how cute will that be?).


So there you have it! My first real paint project! I love how it turned out and I can’t wait to try milk paint on metal next!


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