Milk Painted Blanket Chest

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Project by tinnman65 posted 12-02-2021 02:22 PM 451 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been looking for a project to try this technique on and I finally found the time to do it. If you have ever seen the work of Michael Cullen this may seem familiar. I love the look of a textured finish on a piece of furniture so hear it is. This is a blanket chest made from maple with walnut used on the top and base. Before assembling the box the parts were carved to give it some movement. After assembly it was painted with two coats of dark gray milk paint and then two coats of light gray. A light sanding with 320 grit brings the dark color out on the high spots. I buffed it with 4x steel wool and sprayed it with lacquer including the inside. All the walnut was finished with shellac. I added some red cedar to cover the plywood bottom on the inside. As a little side note the maple used for this was destined for firewood. My neighbor had a tree cut down and she gave the logs to her son in-law for fire wood. The logs were so large he gave up on them and they asked if I wanted them. Well as it so happens a 36” chainsaw and a friend with a saw mill and I got a few hundred board feet of maple lumber. The tree was dying so as you see there is some spalting in some of the wood.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

5 comments so far

View oldrivers's profile


2919 posts in 2899 days

#1 posted 12-02-2021 02:30 PM

That is a splendid build on a beautiful Blanket chest, Good job.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View savannah505's profile


1886 posts in 4919 days

#2 posted 12-02-2021 03:00 PM

I’ve never seen this done before, and never heard of Michael Cullen, of course he may not have heard of me also. lol but you did a great job on it.

-- Dan Wiggins

View therealSteveN's profile


9383 posts in 1907 days

#3 posted 12-02-2021 05:52 PM

I love what Michael Cullen does to wood, his patterns and distressed pieces are very warm and you want to touch them, Case in point for those not familiar with the name.

This chest has a similar look, and I’m sure it is even better being in the same room. That sand through painting just makes it more visible. Nice work.

What tool/tools did you use to do the texture?

-- Think safe, be safe

View tinnman65's profile


1426 posts in 4747 days

#4 posted 12-03-2021 01:19 AM

Dan, I can’t believe there is anyone who hasn’t heard of you! LOL. theralSteveN I used a 7/18 and an a 8/18 carving gouge. No particular reason for using two different sizes other than I was switching back and forth between the two hoping to get done before they got too dull and I could get the look pretty similar with either one. As I mentioned some of the wood was spalted and if the gouge wasn’t really sharp it wouldn’t leave a clean cut. Thanks for the kind words guys!

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Peteybadboy's profile


4323 posts in 3282 days

#5 posted 12-03-2021 10:50 AM

Very nice.

-- Petey

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