How To Seal Chippy Milk Paint Using Tough Coat

Today I am talking about how to seal chippy milk paint using Tough Coat which is a product from the Miss Mustard Seed line of milk paint products.

If the question is how to seal chippy milk paint, then Tough Coat is the answer. I used it for the first time just recently and I was pleasantly surprised with the matte finish.

I’m a the let the chips fall where they may kind of girl when it comes to using milk paint.

In fact, I secretly hope each time I use it there will be organic chipping and flaking.

Strangely enough, this is why many people shy away from using it.

When I started painting furniture four years ago, I honestly expected every piece I finished to have huge flakes of paint falling to the ground because this was the street rep milk paint has.

Do you know how many time this has happened to me?


I have only had one piece that had minimal chipping. Nothing like the horror stories of I woke up the next morning and my side table had no paint left on it. (I think these are rumors started by the chalk type paint industry) wink wink

Anyway, I have the same routine of prep for milk paint as you would for any other type furniture paint.

Clean, sand, wipe clean again, then paint. It works like a charm.

Until this honey pine side table entered my life.

She looks pretty innocent, doesn’t she?

Don’t be fooled.  Don’t judge a book by its cover, insert whatever cliche’ here you want to.

This is a not so great before shot of a honey pine end table I painted using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in Linen.

(the rest of this post contains Amazon affiliate links, should you order any products using the links I have provided, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

After the first coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Linen went on, I skipped off to do something else, and when I came back to check on it, I knew right away I had a problem.

Like someone needs to get Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed,  on the phone right now because this situation was out of control.

The paint was peeling off in some spots, and in other places it was fine.


I pressed on with the second coat and decided whatever happened after that; I would just live with.

Look closely, and you will see the areas where the first coat didn’t adhere at all.

This farmhouse style side table has two coats of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in Linen applied prior to using Tough Coat to seal the chipping.

I started sanding, and paint started chipping away like before, but I decided to roll with it.

Before we go any further.

Before I show you the big reveal.

I know this look is not for everyone.

Apparently, it’s not for anyone because I took this piece to my booth and I waited, and waited, then waited some more hoping some like minded sister in the paint would see it and say Oooooh, I have to have it.

Sadly, this did not happen. It’s currently sitting in my office mocking me.

If you are wondering how to seal chippy milk paint using Tough Coat from the Miss Mustard Seed line of milk paint products, then I've got a few tips for you based on my personal use.

Here are a few tips on how to seal chippy milk paint using Tough Coat

  • swirl the product in the bottle, don’t shake
  • pour into a separate container to use
  • use a natural bristle brush
  • make sure your paint is completely dry before applying
  • apply a thin coat using long even strokes, don’t over brush
  • the suggested dry time between coats is 2-4 hours
  • apply a second coat using the same technique

This was my first time using Tough Coat. I typically prefer hemp oil or wax over my milk painted pieces, but I knew neither one of those products would work to stop the paint from further chipping.

I was really surprised by the smooth matte finish, and it was easier to apply than I anticipated. It’s definitely easier than applying poly acrylic (which I dislike).

All of this information is good, right, but what you’re really wondering is did it stop the chipping.

The answer is yes!

It’s been lugged up and down stairs, in and out of my house and car and I don’t think I have seen a single chip of paint lying around.

Problem solved.

But stay tuned because she has an older coffee table sister who is just as much a rebel as she is.

I hope I haven’t scared you away from trying milk paint. Have I?

Don’t worry I have a whole series on how to mix, sand, and prep and so forth.

Of course, I’m always happy to answer any questions you may have based on my personal user experiences. 🙂

Here’s a handy reference list:

  1. How To Mix Milk Paint
  2. How To Prep For Milk Paint
  3. How To Finish Sand and Distress Milk Paint
  4. How To Use Dark Wax
  5. 5 Reasons Why I Love Hemp Oil
  6. 5 Furniture Painting Supplies I Can’t Live Without
  7. How To Create A Layered Finish Using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

Now it’s time to see what my friends painted this month.  I hope you will take the time to visit each of them and be inspired!

Join us the last day of each month for a different Inspired Makers Challenge
Follow with #InspiredMakers and #InspiredMakersChallenge to see more amazing projects each month!
August Challenge: Paint Changes Everything, with your hosts:

Lisa @ The Purple Hydrangea | Sarah @ 1915 House | Kim @ Farmhouse Made
Ann @ Duct Tape and Denim | Kimm @ Reinvented | Janice @ Sawdust Sisters
Denise @ My Thrifty House | Suzanne @ Shop at Blu | Susie @ The Chelsea Project | Susanne @ Pearl Street Designs



  1. Susie says:

    Love this tutorial for milk paint. Once you get just the right amount of chippy, sealing the paint is so smart. Love the little table, too. It’s fab for any space. Susie from The Chelsea Project

  2. Sarah says:

    Lisa, this little side table has my heart. I love her rebellious attitude for not hanging on to the paint. 😀 Her chippiness is perfection!!! I am confident that she will sell!

  3. Kim says:

    This is the ultimate chip. It’s stunning, and I love the sealer is matte! I’ll have to give this a go – I wish that table would sit in my house to mock me instead!!! lol

    • Lisa says:

      I was very skeptical about trying this because I don’t like a shiny look over milk paint. It really is a true matte finish. I am happy to ship this to you. LOL

  4. Toni | Small Home Soul says:

    She’s such a cute table in all her chippiness. This is how I felt when I used Milk Paint the very first time, with Sure Bond, and the drawers chipped. You are a free spirit and can accept the imperfectness of chipping paint. She’s in the right house to love on her until the perfect buyer falls in love 🙂

  5. Kim says:

    Gorgeous! I am shocked that no one scooped her up. She wouldn’t last a day in my neck of the woods. Well, I guess she’s where she needs to be, in the company of someone who loves and appreciates her patina!

  6. Mary says:

    Aww the rebel side table. She is a cutie though. At least you finally got a chance to see some chippiness action. I think it looks wonderful. And the contrast between the wood and the white paint is so fall like.

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