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My Milk Paint Cabinets – 6 Month Follow-up

My Milk Paint Cabinets – 6 Month Follow-up

Back in October, I decided to paint my kitchen island with milk paint, and it truly was the easiest experience I have ever had painting cabinets. I am sure some of you are curious to see how they are holding up, so I wanted to give you a follow-up report.

For a little refresher, here was my kitchen before I decided to paint the island with a bolder hue of grey…..


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When my husband and I  moved into our fixer upper three years ago, we  hired an expert to professionally paint our 1980’s wood cabinets. While we are typically hardcore DIY-ers,  we had tried our hand at painting kitchen cabinets with traditional oil-based paint in the past, and knew what a pain in the a$$ it could be. We didn’t feel like fooling with all of the prep, sanding, priming and the layers upon layers of paint (not to mention dry time between each coat) involved.

According to my original design plan, the island was intended to be dark grey, but the paint store messed up our order and gave our contractor a light grey color.  By the time I returned home to check on the progress of our kitchen, the painter had already finished the island with the wrong color, and I simply didn’t have the balls to make him re-paint it. So, I lived with this light grey color for as long as I possibly could stand. Don’t get me wrong….it is actually a pretty color, but it didn’t give the pop of contrast I was looking for.

As time passed, I began to resent my kitchen island and my inability to speak up for myself. That is ….until I decided to take action using this miraculous product many bloggers had been posting about called Milk Paint (here is what I used).

For your shopping convenience, this post may contain affiliate links. 

the easiest way to paint cabinets

I was a little apprehensive about using the product, but once I began applying the paint (this is what kind I used) I knew the process was going to be super fast and painless. To read the detailed tutorial on how I painted my kitchen cabinets with milk paint, click here.

Here is what my kitchen looked like after I painted my island….

the fastest way to paint kitchen cabinets

The entire process took less than an hour, and made such an impact on the space. The island only required two coats of paint! How awesome is that?!

So now that almost six months have passed, I can now confidently say that milk paint truly is durable.

About a month after painting the island, I began to notice just how rough my children can be on my kitchen cabinets (especially with that stool photographed above). While the paint was holding up just fine, I felt a little paranoid about the whole situation (after all, my one-year-old’s favorite pastime included banging a wooden hammer against the cabinets). So, I decided to apply a protective top coat over the milk paint. The manufacturer of the milk paint  makes a top coat specific for this application, so I applied 2 coats of it to the island (here is the top coat I used).

After six months of heavy use and lots of abuse by my two small children, I only have one small chip in the milk paint….

Milk Painted Cabinets After 6 Months:

how my milk painted cabinets are holding up

The chip is located at the bottom of the island and behind the stool…so I am sure my children had something to do with it.

The abuse inflicted on this island was so hard that it actually chipped through the oil-based paint below which leads me to believe this would have happened regardless of the type of paint I used.

***Updated 10-2-2018: See how my cabinets are doing after one full year in this review by clicking here***

Just to give this a little more perspective, below is a photograph of my professionally painted cabinets after three years.

Oil-Based Painted Cabinets After 3 Years:

This area of my kitchen endures the most abuse, and you can definitely see where the edges of this drawer are chipping. This leads me to believe that even the most carefully painted cabinets will begin to show some signs of wear and tear, and I know for a fact these cabinets were painted properly (sanding, priming, carefully applied layers of paint, more sanding, etc).  Luckily,  I have some spare paint on hand for the occasional touch-up which I should probably do as soon as I hit “publish” on this post.

While I realize everyone’s situation may differ (perhaps the process was easier for me given I was applying the milk paint to an already painted and primed surface), my experience with milk paint has been extremely satisfactory. In fact, I would highly recommend this product and no one is paying me to say so.

an honest review of milk painted cabinets


So if any of you are on the fence about milk paint, I hope this gives you a little more clarity and confidence. I wouldn’t hesitate to paint an entire kitchen with this miracle product.

** Update 10-25-18** Be sure to check out the one year review of my cabinets which I just published by clicking here. You can also watch my video review directly below….

My Milk Paint Cabinets Video Review

Now get out there and design some good vibes!



My journey in interior design and home improvement began with transforming my first fixer-upper home, all while managing a budget and raising two young boys. My work, a reflection of my passion for creating beautiful, uplifting spaces, has been recognized by top publications like Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, HGTV, and more. I invite you to explore my site and witness the transformation of my home and the vibes we've designed.Read more...

Jess M

Wednesday 28th of February 2018

I recently discovered Varathane floor sealer that is fast drying and no I want to chalk paint everything. Did my kitchen cabinets with chalk paint and a couple coats of varathane and hoping to stencil a tile floor next since I have over half a gallon left- it goes far. It's great stuff...just a little expensive at $50/gallon.

Designing Vibes

Thursday 1st of March 2018

I have thought about painting some of my ugly tile floors as well. I freaking love milk paint! The only experience I have with chalk paint is painting old upholstery...apparently you can use it on anything. haha!

Mary-The Boondocks Blog

Wednesday 28th of February 2018

Erica I too have been on a journey with milk paint. When I first tried it I had no idea what I was doing but gradually I learned how to mix and apply it properly. It is a totally different beast when applied to raw wood. And if you sand it a bit you get the smoothest finish ever! And I hear ya on those oil based paints. I have horror stories with those things dripping all over the place. Your island looks great and one small chip in the face of two rambunctious boys is nothing!

Designing Vibes

Wednesday 28th of February 2018

Don't you just love advances in technology?I absolutely despise working with the old-school oil paint (not to mention the fumes). I am so happy that I found a viable alternative.