Make laminate cabinets look high-end with Milk Paint

Hi there! I know it’s been quiet around here lately but that is because we’ve been working so hard on so many exciting projects! In fact I gave away a huge secret project we’ve been planning on Facebook and Instagram this week. But now I’m back with a half bath update that I am so excited about! The green vanity is done! Just a reminder of where this bathroom started:

paint over wallpaperAnd about two weeks ago I shared how we saved time and painted straight over the wallpaper.  Well now the walls have been stenciled, the vanity has been painted, a new counter top has been installed, and the mirrored has been framed.

Boxwood green vanityTaking pictures in a tiny bathroom makes for bad lighting and awkward angles so you’ll have to take my word for it that it looks amazing! As you can see we still need hardware, a faucet, new floors, lighting, and a toilet.

miss mustard seed's boxwoodAnd here’s a close-up of the finish on the cabinets:

antiquing wax on cabinetsI love how high-end the finish looks.  Its more of a matte finish and the antiquing wax gives the color so much more depth. It really has the feel of an old piece of furniture. You would never guess it was laminate!


Stay tuned to see how I pull the whole look together! Meanwhile, here’s a breakdown of how I painted the vanity!

How to paint laminate cabinets with milk paint

To start  with I gave the cabinet a quick sand with a sanding block, then cleaned it all down with a TSP Substitute. Next, I gave it all a quick prime.

prime bathroom vanityFinally, I was ready to mix up the milk paint. This was my first time using milk paint so I was a little nervous but it’s actually much easier to work with than latex paint.

milk paint on laminateMix 1 part warm water with 1 part of the paint powder. I found milk paint to be a little thinner than latex paint so you probably don’t need as big of a batch as you think. Since we’re painting over laminate you’re going to also have to mix in Miss Mustard Seed’s bonding agent.

milk paint on laminateNow start painting! Don’t freak out about the color! It will dry lighter then get brighter after adding the wax. The bonding agent will give the paint a milky look but it dries clear.  I gave the cabinet two coats with 6 hours between the first and second coat. The instructions say you can reapply after 30 minutes, but I was told to wait longer when using the bonding agent on the first coat.

miss mustard seed boxwoodThe last step is to add a layer of wax. I choose the antiquing wax because I love how it brings out the details and imperfections of the vanity.  Just rub on the wax with a clean cloth, wait 5 minutes, the buff out. You can see how the wax changed the color of the paint from the picture above to the one below.

boxwood with antique waxIf you’re not sure which wax to choose then check out this great chart from The Golden Sycamore which shows you how all the Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paints look with different waxes.

Miss mustrad seed's boxwood vanity

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xoxo Stephanie

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  1. I know you’ve probably said this before, but I can’t read your news every day. Can you explain the advantage of milkpaint?
    And how does paint adhere to laminate without priming first?

    • The real advantage of milk paint is in all the options you have with the finish. You can use white wax or antiquing wax to seal it and get completely different looks than if you use hemp oil. Milk paint also distresses beautifully unlike latex paints. A final benefit of it is that it’s non-toxic. To use it over laminate you have to add the bonding agent which acts like a primer and allows the paint to stick to non-porous surfaces.

  2. In the article, you say that after the TSP wash, you give the piece a quick prime. Do you add bonding agent to the primer? (I’m about to try this on my faux oak kitchen cabinets).