Staked Stool – Finishing


For the finish, I’m using milk paint.  It’s the same packet of Federal Blue I used on the tool chest five years ago.  I’ve said it before, but as the first coat is drying, it looks like a streaky mistake.  But after the water evaporates, it is a powdery blue (or whatever color).

Most of the stool is yellow pine, just like the other painted projects.  But this is the first time I’ve tried milk paint on hardwood, specifically the cherry battens.  The density of the cherry seemed to resist the paint, so I had to mix up a thicker batch and really glom it on.

Back when I finished the tool chest, I applied a coat of polymerized tung oil over the milk paint.  This gave it a little extra protection, a little smoother touch, a little more even blend of color tone, and a couple shades darker.  The two boarded chests (one, two) I left with just the milk paint, so the oil is not absolutely necessary.

After the paint was dry on the stool, I sanded it to remove the fuzziness.  Then I wiped on some boiled linseed oil, since I no longer have any of the polymerized tung oil.

As it says right on the packet, exposure to air will slowly make the unmixed milk paint powder lose its adhesive qualities over time.  Both sanding and wiping on the BLO removed some of the milk paint, exposing the natural color of the yellow pine.  This has given the stool a more pronounced “distressed” look which is popular today, but not quite to my taste.

Admittedly, it’s a subtle difference, most obvious under the bright lighting at my workbench.  Now sitting in the relatively dim living room, the stool just reads “blue” unless closely inspected, so really, it’s ok.  Maybe someday I will sand it down and refinish with new milk paint.

In any event, an interesting little project which could serve as a rudimentary introduction to chairmaking, and a surprisingly sturdy stool.