This bistro table was refurbished with bright red milk paint. I like to experiment with different types of paint and wanted to try a powder milk paint that you mix on your own by addeding water so I ordered some Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Tricycle Red for an old bamboo kitchen table that had only two chairs left. I now refer to it as the “Bistro Table.” This table was in out in the deer skinning shed for years and was looking shabby but was still a decent shape structurally. I replaced a few rusted screws, made new seat bottoms which included new cushions and upholstery, and added a new paint job which gave this set a whole new look. I was craving a bright red project and felt this might be the perfect piece to try out a bit of color. The existing top coat (which was a clear coat of some sort) was about 50% worn off and the other half came off very easily with a very light sanding. The only difficult part was that this piece has a lot of different angles and crevices to get into but other than that, the prep was easy. Cutting new boards for the seat bottoms was easy enough with a jig saw. The hard part was lining the boards up with the old screw holes so I wouldn’t have to drill new ones in the chairs. As you can see, I had no choice but to replace the old particle board seats that were falling apart. Here are some of the before pictures.
So now for the paint. What I liked about the idea of mixing your own milk paint was that I could water it down. I was looking for a “stained” or translucent look versus a solid painted look. I thought if some of the natural bamboo detail could show through it might be nice. I was hoping to put one slightly watered down coat of the milk paint on and then add a top coat. As usual, you never know what you’re going to get until you do it. I liked the lightly “stained” look of the first coat but it was almost too light and looked like the piece was unfinished. I also wanted a deeper red color so I ended up using two coats. The one thing I did’t like about the mix it yourself powder milk paint is that it’s messy. And when you’re working with a bright color like red, just know that the powder gets everywhere. It also has a very watery texture (you can make it thicker but if you follow the directions, it’s a naturally watery type of paint) and it will drip everywhere if you’re not careful. But I loved the color and it’s water clean-up so that’s half the battle. I blended mine with a spoon and did it outside so I wouldn’t coat the house with red dust. I could have used my nice immersion blender but mine is white and the thought of it possibly turning pink was enough for me to avoid it and just keep mixing with a regular old spoon. You can use a blender but I had enough powder going everywhere with just a spoon so I couldn’t imagine what a blender would do. Ultimately, the spoon worked just fine. Here’s the before and after the mixing.
This paint was unusual to say the least. It’s not your typical creamy paint and as I mentioned it does tend to drip a lot. It also had a slight sparkle to it after it dried. It was almost as if there were crystals in the paint. I tried to capture a good picture in the sunlight but I don’t think I did it justice. In this picture you can see where the top coat was applied and how it changed the color quite a bit. The paint dries with a chalky look and fee. The top coat deepened the color and gave it a nice polished look. I also used a Miss Mustard Seed brand of top coat called Tough Coat Sealer in clear. Although it did bubble a bit in places, overall I really liked the feel and durability of this product. Easy application, dried quickly to a matte finish, and…water clean up!
I hope you can see it in this picture but this is a close up of the table top which shows the grain of the bamboo. Two coats provided enough color and yet was translucent enough to let the natural grain show through which is exactly what I wanted.
This picture shows how the Tough Coat Sealer bubbled up a bit. I had to be careful to not to put it on too heavy or let it drip which wasn’t that easy with all the curves I had to cover.
Almost to the full reveal. Here’s a look at the base of the table.
Here’s the new seat cushion fabric. It’s an outdoor fabric that can withstand sunlight and won’t fade for over 500 hours – or something like that. And it’s more durable for clean up. I primarily chose it for the color and design but it was a nice bonus that it was also outdoor fabric.
Here’s the finished bistro table! It’s a lot different from where it started. I satisfied my craving for something bright and colorful.