Get a Chippy Paint Finish with Milk Paint – Every time!

Old, worn, farmhouse, rustic and chippy. If you want to create these styles on furniture, you’re in the right place! I have a huge secret up my sleeve when it comes to getting a chippy paint finish with milk paint every time!

Get all the milk paint tips and tricks! Including how to mix milk paint, how to paint with milk paint, how to distress milk paint, how to seal milk paint, and milk paint furniture makeovers!

Get a chippy milk paint finish

If you’ve used or read much about milk paint (the powdered kind, not General Finishes milk paint) then you know that it has a mind of its own.

Sometimes it will chip like crazy, other times it won’t chip at all. Even though you have done everything exactly the same!

Some furniture finishes are more prone to chipping, while others will suck up that milk paint and leave behind no chipping.

**You certainly don’t want to put milk paint on a factory finish like Ikea furniture though. All of the milk paint will chip away and you’ll be left with a mess.

Milk paint needs a wood finish that it can soak into a little bit, but not too much if you want to make a chippy paint finish!

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Chippy Paint Technique

Milk paint is known for it’s chippy old looking paint finish. It’s my personal favorite! But you never know if it will go crazy and chip all over, or if it won’t chip at all!

But I’m happy to say, that after testing it, I have cracked the code on how to always get the perfect chippy finish!

The secret is in this product! BOSS by Dixie Belle Paint.

Dixie Belle Primer BOSS on Furniture

BOSS is a primer that prevents bleedthrough and is also really good to stop musty smells. BOSS actually stands for Blocks Odors, Stains, Stops bleedthrough.

It’s also water based so its a really nice (no stinky) primer to prevent bleedthrough when you are indoors!

The First Time Was an Accident

I accidentally came across a product that you can use before milk paint, which will help the milk paint chip off in the most perfect way.

It first happened on this chippy mustard yellow dresser.

chippy mustard yellow milk painted dresser
Click here to see this Chippy Mustard Yellow Dresser Makeover.

I honestly was prepping the dresser for chalk paint, making sure there wouldn’t be any bleedthrough in my paint finish.

So I scuff sanded the whole dresser, and painted a coat or two of Dixie Belle Boss to help prevent bleedthrough.

Then I let the dresser sit for a few weeks until I finally decided that I wanted to go in a different direction with milk paint.

I was still pretty new to using milk paint, and so I hoped that the milk paint would react well to how I prepped it.

Thankfully it reacted perfectly to it!

(I sprayed on two coats of Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint in Dusty Yellow and used a hair drier to help the paint dry quicker.)

The Second Test

A few months later another refinisher (the amazing Sarah at Sitting Pretty Home Decor) asked me if I knew of any product that would help prevent bleedthrough but would also help milk paint to chip.

Sarah needed to paint a piece white, and she needed it to chip.

She thought about using shellac to block bleedthrough, but she knew that the shellac would help the milk paint crackle. And she didn’t want the milk paint to crackle. She wanted it to chip!

But Wait, Did You Know that Shellac Makes Milk Paint Crackle??

Did you notice that tiny little tip I just shared about how to make milk paint crackle?

If you’re looking to create crackle painted furniture, shellac is your best friend! Soon after the shellac is dry, paint on your milk paint to help it crackle!

I did that with this teal floral dresser and ended up with small crackling all over the dresser! (Which was perfect because I didn’t love the color of the original finish, so I didn’t want the paint to chip.)

crackle painted furniture with milk paint and shellac
Notice the crackled paint at the top and on the sides. The floral transfer hides it in this photo, but it was definitely crackled! Check out this floral dresser makeover here!

Okay, back to chippy paint!

I told my refinisher friend about BOSS, and she tried it.

This is how chippy her piece turned out!

So I Wondered, Will it Give Me a Chippy Finish Again?

Fast forward a few months later, and I was in the same predicament as Sarah was.

I had a piece that I was worried would bleed through. But I really wanted a chippy paint finish.

So, I decided that it was time to test out my theory and see if it worked.

I sprayed a coat of BOSS on, and a day or so later, I painted it with a custom color of Shackteau Interiors milk paint.

Since I really wanted a chippy finish, (and it was pretty chilly in my garage that day) I turned a space heater on near the drying paint, and I used a hairdryer on the hottest setting to help the paint dry fast.

Before I knew it, I started to see paint chipping!

Then I painted a second coat, and even more paint chipped off!!


This is that buffet, in all of it’s chippy goodness!

chippy green milk painted furniture

That makes 3 out of 3 times that this product has created a chippy painted finish with Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint! 3 out of 3!!!

The Last Test

Now, my latest attempt. It’s time to actually show you how to do it. How to do a chippy painted finish on furniture, even when you have scuff-sanded or if you just think that the milk paint won’t chip on that piece.

This time I brushed one coat of BOSS on and let it dry. Then I brushed on 2 coats of Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint in Black Beach.

Dixie Belle Clear Primer Blocks Stains and Makes Milk Paint Chip
chippy paint finish on dresser with hair dryer

At first, it wasn’t really chipping off like I expected it would. Even when I used a hairdryer to help dry the paint faster in some areas.

After 2 coats of paint, I distressed the milk paint, sealed it with water-based poly.

distressing milk paint
distressing milk paint
sealing milk paint

When it was dry (and brought into better light) I could see the perfect amount of chipping!!

chippy black milk paint dresser

It worked!!

The Secret to Getting a Chippy Finish Every Time!

  1. Clean the furniture with a degreaser / cleaner to remove residue, oils, waxes and grime. ( I like to use Krud Kutter!)
  2. Brush or spray 1-2 coats of Dixie Belle BOSS in CLEAR. Let it dry.
  3. Brush or spray 2 coats of Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint.
  4. Use a hair dryer or heater to make the paint dry faster.
  5. After the second coat of paint, distress with 220 grit sandpaper.
  6. Clean off the dust with a vacuum and a tack cloth (the tack cloth can get even more chipping paint off)
  7. Seal with this water-based poly for an even more chippy finish!

4 out of 4 times Dixie Belle BOSS in clear has made Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint chip!

That’s enough for me to say that you’re going to have great results with it too!!

*Note: I have not used the Dixie Belle BOSS with any other brand of milk paint, so I don’t know how it would react. I only know how it has reacted with Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint.

chippy black milk paint furniture

Learn all the things about painting with milk paint here!

Happy painting your chippy furniture!!!


chippy paint finish with milk paint

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  1. jasa Backlink says:

    Ꭲhere’s certainly a great deal to learn aƄօut getting a chippy finish. Thank you!

  2. It’s truly a nice and useful piece. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What can be done to get “chippy” if you’ve already coated with milk paint?

    1. You can try painting more coats of milk paint and heating up areas to get it to chip. Other than that I’m not sure.

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