Turning a bookcase into a bench - Using Old Fashioned Milk Paint

Hello my fabulous friends..

Today I am sharing one of my all time favorite things to do.  But, before I begin, I'd like to let you know that while I was provided product for this post by The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co, all of the opinions belong to me & are absolutely 100% honest.  I get to come here, show you my fabulous custom mixes for Old Fashioned Milk Paint, and hope to inspire you!

I love playing with color, mixing them to see what I can do with the colors that have already been established by Old Fashioned Milk Paint.  By doing this, I will take colors that I think will create something gorgeous & I start mixing....experimenting!

Before I start showing you the colors I mixed, let me show you what we are going to be working with.  I have a bookcase that sat in the girls playroom before we split their rooms up.  It originally was a pine bookcase that we painted white & added some colorful paper to match the playroom theme.


We were no longer going to be using it, and so I decided I would make it into a smaller bookcase (I have plans for this that I will show you another day) and a bench!  I know I am always manipulating furniture..flipping it, it's the ideas that float around in my head.  They wake me in the middle of the night, and seriously guys they don't stop!  

Anyway...   We cut the bookcase down to the size I wanted for the bench, and what would work for the future bookcase.  It was exactly the two sizes I needed for each "new" piece.  It was meant to be, otherwise the bookcase would've probably sat in the garage or basement for who knows how long.


You can see I had a few other ideas with this by the markings on the side, I seriously did NOT want to take it downstairs only to be bringing it back up again, I needed to find it's home UPSTAIRS. Really so many things I could be using it for... Ultimately I decided on a smaller size bookshelf & bench..


Once I had the bookcase cut down to size, I used my sander & went over the bench, smoothing out where the back area had been cut, and to scuff up the white painted area.  To make this cut, we used my circular saw.  I then cleaned up the bench by wiping it clean with some Simple Green.

And, then I got my mix on..  Have you tried Old Fashioned Milk Paint?  Are you worried about mixing it?  Don't be, it's actually way easier than you think, and you can mix the amount you need so there's no waste.  I use a plastic cup so it's wide enough, with either a plastic fork or a whisk so I can make sure all of the lumps are out.  I transfer my paint into a glass jar that has a lid.  OFMP is also naturally green and contains no VOC, toxins or chemicals...so it's a win win!

When using OFMP, let go of the control, and just watch how the paint comes alive.  Control was something I had to let go of when I first started using it.  But, play with it, practice on scrap wood. Once you do, you will love it.

I grabbed my Old Fashioned Milk Paint colors, this time I used Federal Blue, Tavern Green & Snow White.  I don't always remember to write down my mix recipe, this time I did, and I am happy since I loved this color so much I will be using it again.  Most times I mix until I get my desired color.

My mix recipe is -

3.5 parts tavern green
4 parts federal blue
2 parts snow white


This mix turned out to be a stunning greenish teal color....if you know me, it's one of my favorite colors!  I always let my paint sit for about 10 - 15 minutes once I have it mixed.

I wanted to show you something fun you can also do with the milk paint...  I transferred some of my paint into a jar, added a little extra water, & used it to stain...yup stain these brand new boards.  Look at that color.  It's the same paint as I mixed with just a bit more water to become this gorgeous green stain.


Ok...sorry I get excited about all of the options you have in using Old Fashioned Milk Paint.  Moving on to my newly cut down bench!  Once my paint had sat for a bit, I painted light coats onto my bench.

Here is a sample of one of the drawers with the first light coat of paint on it.  Isn't it a beautiful color. Currently OFMP doesn't have a teal color, but you can see that you can mix colors to get pretty close to a teal.  You can also use the milk paint base which does not have any color pigment added.  You can add your own pigment to get desired colors.  I will be doing this soon & will write about it soon.

old-fashioned-milk-paint-custom-mixed-color-to create-a-teal


I ended up doing TWO more light coats of the milk paint on the bench & drawers.  Once it started drying you could see the chipping to start taking place.

The drawers in this bottom picture were still slightly wet, but I had to see what the handles were going to look like in place.  I love them!

Once I was satisfied with how the bench was drying, I distressed in a few areas where I wanted to see some of the white come through.

I used Tung Oil over the entire bench, and then went over it with black wax to give it that extra aged look.


Can you believe this bench came from the bottom of a bookcase?  Oh & by the way, the bookcase was an auction find for...$5!

So now this is my $2.50 bench!  SCORE!


What do you think?  Are you ready to try your hand at mixing a few colors to get something new?  Or do you already have a favorite Old Fashioned Milk Paint color?


Did you know that with Old Fashioned Milk Paint the color possibilities are truly endless!?!  With this amazing color card, it shows you just by adding snow white the colors you can achieve.


I hope you enjoyed seeing this makeover using a $5 bookcase and beautiful colors from The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co to create one of my all time favorite greenish-teal color.

If you don't already, come follow me on facebook to see more of my transformation progress...it's always an adventure.  You will see many OFMP pieces and sneak peeks into projects that are in the current stage.



  1. Wow, that color is gorgeous!!! Thank you for sharing your recipe! And your creative way of reimagining furniture is an awesome talent, Lynn!!

  2. What a great idea! Love the color. Great job!

  3. Love this color so much. Will pin si the recipe is ready for a project I'm thinking about. Great job.

  4. Wow! What a super creative upcycle! You did an amazing job. Sharing on my Pinterest page. <3 :)

  5. Lynn,
    That is brilliant. I love what you did with this bookcase. I would not have thought to cut this piece to a bench, but what did you do with the top half? I am sure it will not go to waste. LOL

  6. Never heard of Milk Paint before today. You did a great job upcycling the book case! Looks great.

  7. Lynn this is an amazing tratransformation and the color turn out great. I love teal. Thank you for sharing I learned a lot more about OFMP.

  8. Love your $2.50 bench, Lynn ! :D So creative, and your custom color is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing it's "recipe"! Cynthia

  9. That's actually pretty awesome, your finished bench is almost unrecognisable. Those new handles are just perfect.


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