Authentic Vintage Distressed Finish with Minwax Stain

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Author Notes: 
<p>Thank you for the plan love on the<a href="" target="_blank"> vintage step stool/side table</a>.&nbsp; So many of you requested finishing instruction, and I’m delighted to get the chance to team up with our good friends at <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax </a>to deliver you my tutorial on an authentic antique milk paint finish.</p><p></p> <p>I built this end table/vintage step stool a bit back (<a href="" target="_blank">plans here</a>) inspired by an antique step stool.&nbsp; I wanted to keep the finish as authentic to the antique design as possible, with a finish that could have been organically achieved over years of use, with layers of finishes telling a story.&nbsp; This finish was really quite easy to do, and I love how it took on it’s own personality, guaranteeing no two finishes will every be the same.&nbsp; </p>
Shopping List: 
<p><strong>Supplies I Used</strong></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p>You’ll just need the basics to get a good stain, and then the milk paint for adding the color.&nbsp; </p><p></p> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax Wood Finish Stain</a> in desired color (I used Gunstock)</p> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax Natural Bristle Brush</a></p> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax Paste Finishing Wax</a></p> <p>- Milk Paint in desired color</p> <p>- Staining rags</p> <p>- Paint Scraper</p> <p>- Sand paper in medium and fine grits</p>
Step 1: 
<p><strong>Preparation</strong></p><p><strong><br /></strong></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <br /> <p>After building the vintage step ladder end table, I gave it a good sanding with medium grit sand paper.&nbsp; I actually used a palm sander for that.&nbsp; Then I followed up with fine grit sanding block.</p> <br /> <p><img src="" /></p> <p></p><p>There was quite a bit of sanding residue leftover on the project, so I brushed it off.&nbsp; I then wiped the step stool/end table down with a slightly damp lint free cloth to make sure I got all the sanding residue.&nbsp; There’s nothing worse than patches of paint coming off because sanding residue got in the way of a good bond.&nbsp; It’s crucial to start with a nice, clean, sanded project.</p>
Step 2 Instructions: 
<p>Stain Application</p><p></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <br /> <p>I always have to restrain myself from starting on the outside, but it’s much easier to start in the hardest to reach place first, and then work your way outward.&nbsp; That way I don’t get too much stain on my clothes.&nbsp; </p> <br /> <p>NOTE: I’d normally use <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax Pre-Conditioner</a>, but because I only expect a little bit of the stain to show though on distressed areas, I’m not super concerned about blotchiness.&nbsp; If you were planning for lots of stained areas to show through, <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax Pre-Conditioner</a> can really help minimize stain blotchiness.</p> <br /> <p><img src="" /></p> <br /> <p>See what I mean about staining inside first?&nbsp; Get the insides first, then work outward.&nbsp; Tell me <em>told you so.</em>&nbsp; </p> <br /> <p><img src="" /></p> <br /> <p>After about 5-15 minutes of letting the stain site on the project, I wiped off excess <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax Wood Finish Stain</a> that hasn’t soaked in.&nbsp; It’s important to not allow excess stain to dry on the project.&nbsp; I just wipe in the direction of the grain, working more stain into lighter areas for a more even stain application.</p><p></p> <p>Because I will add paint over top, I’m only doing a single stain coat.&nbsp; I let the stain coat dry overnight.</p>
Step 3 Instructions: 
<p><strong>Milk Paint Application</strong></p><p><strong><br /></strong></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p></p><p>Next, it’s milk paint time!&nbsp; I mixed the milk paint up according to the manufacture’s instructions, and then began painting over the stained surface.&nbsp; </p><p></p> <br /> <p><img src="" /></p> <br /> <p>Milk paint dries so fast and goes on so quickly and evenly!</p> <br /> <p>But one problem, I wasn’t so sure about the color.&nbsp; </p> <br /> <p><img src="" /></p> <br /> <p>As I started distressing it with the paint scraper, I felt like the project needed a more vibrant color.&nbsp; The slate blue just wasn’t doing it for me.</p> <br /> <p><img src="" /></p> <br /> <p>So I mixed in a green milk paint with the leftover blue milk paint to get this pretty turquoise color.&nbsp; </p> <br /> <p><img src="" /></p> <br /> <p>And painted over the slate blue.</p> <br /> <p><img src="" /></p> <br /> <p>And then scraped off more milk paint.&nbsp; The milk paint scrapes off easily, and allows for a more chippy, authentic distressed look.&nbsp; </p> <br /> <p><img src="" /></p> <br /> <p>And you can distress hard to reach areas easily too!&nbsp; </p> <br /> <p><img src="" width="467" height="700" /></p> <p>The results are authentic and unique.&nbsp; I love the stain wood contrasting against the color!</p> <br /> <br />
Step 4 Instructions: 
<p><strong>Protective Top Coat Application</strong></p><p><strong><br /></strong></p> <p>Once I was happy with the distressing, it’s time to seal the deal.&nbsp; </p><p></p> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <br /> <p>I love this stuff.&nbsp; <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax Paste Finishing Wax</a> is so easy to apply, and it dries almost invisible.&nbsp; The finish is matte, authentic for a vintage finish like this one.</p><p></p><img src="" /> <br /> <p>I just dug in with a rag and applied the wax.&nbsp; After the wax dries about 15 minutes, I polished it with the cloth for a super smooth and beautiful finish.</p><p></p><img src="" width="470" /> <p>How pretty – and pretty simple – is that?&nbsp; </p> <br /> <p>Thanks <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax</a>!</p>