I’ve been using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint for about 4-5 years now. Most of the pieces that I finish have light distressing and minor chipping.
If possible, most of my pieces also have restored wood tops too.
My oak washstand is the first piece that has really chipped on me. Here’s how it began:
I decided to remove the backsplash on this washstand just in case someone wanted to use it as a nightstand. I fend that these types of pieces work well next to a bed. They’re a good height and they have drawer and cabinet storage. It might be a bit difficult to use it as a proper nightstand if the backsplash was attached, so off it went!
The next step was to strip the original finish off of the top and restore the wood. I used my old reliable chemical stripper, CitriStrip.
After removing the goop and washing it down with mineral spirits, it got a proper sanding during my last “sanding day“. I brought it up to 220 grit so it was super smooth and wonderful. I even hit the fronts of the drawers where the old chippendale handles gouged a pattern in the wood.
I went back and forth on the look I wanted the wood top to have, but in the end, I went with an Antique Walnut stain by Minwax. Walnut is a good color to use if you want a brown without any red-orange hues. It’s rich and handsome, especially on oak!
Here’s a shot about half-way through. See the difference?
When I refinish a wood top, I always do it before I paint. That way, if I dribble stain on the body of my piece, I’m not ruining my paint job. I can always sand away stain, but it’s hard to repair a paint job, you know?
(If you want to read my full post on how I refinish wood surfaces, click here.)
After the top was all set, I grabbed my pouch of Miss Mustard Seed’s Mora and mixed up a batch. Mora is a soft, muted blue/gray that harkens to the curvy clocks made in Mora, Sweden.
I aspire to own a Mora clock one day.
That will be after I win the Pennsylvania lottery and after I replace the “Fiiiive, cash fiiiiive” woman on the Christmas lottery commercials because of my winnings.
But I digress…
If you’ve never used MMSMP before, be encouraged to push through the first coat. It always looks streaky and uneven at first. That’s totally normal and you’re doing just fine. Keep going!
See what I mean? Here’s my first coat.
Here’s the second:
Now this is where things got interesting. I started to get chipping, which is a risk you run when you paint without bonding agent or any prep.
See where the paint is lifting up? That’s what chipping looks like when it first starts.
Now this is an aspect of painting with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint that some folks don’t care for. The unpredictability and need to mix with water is just enough to push some to choose another paint. Oddly enough, these are the exact reasons why I prefer it over other products.
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint allows me to be more involved in every step of painting process than any other line. When I mix it, I can feel the consistency through my whisk and tell if I need more water or powder. Milk Paint forces me to consider and evaluate my piece to determine what it needs. What is the finish like – glossy, rough, crackled, or gatored? Do I need Bonding Agent? Do I want it chippy? Will I get bleed through? All of these considerations cause me to slow down and create a connection with my project that can’t be replicated with any other paint line. This may sound hokey to you, but to me, it’s my jam.
After a third coat of Mora, the chipping had spread and I wanted to see what it would look like when I sanded it down. I’ll admit, I was a little nervous that it might be too much, but everything turned out OK!
I don’t usually produce pieces that are this chippy, but for this washstand, it worked. Even Marc said he liked it.
To seal in the chipping paint, I applied three layers of Tough Coat.
Tough Coat is right up there with Hemp Oil in my book. It has just as many uses and is an essential part of my MMSMP bag of tricks. It’s a non-yellowing, water-based, matte topcoat that provides extra durability against general wear and tear, water damage and food stains. It’s perfect for high-traffic surfaces like table tops, seating, doors and floors. You can apply with a regular paint brush, but my favorite way is using a foam applicator because it reduces the appearance of brush strokes.
After the Tough Coat dried, I screwed on new handles and a knob that I picked up at my local Ace Hardware.
I used these on my Shutter Gray dresser and I’m a huge fan. I’m a sucker for the leaf design and the finish seems to work well against colors that have a gray/blue hue to them.
The last step was to rub my Wax Puck up and down the runners of the drawer.
This step truly makes a difference in the ease of drawers sliding in and out. It’s common for “well loved” pieces of furniture to have drawers that stick and doors that don’t close easily. Using a Wax Puck or a candle is a quick way to fix that.
Once I was ready to stage, I scoured the apartment for staging supplies. I recently took most of my smalls over to Morgantown Market, so my pickings were thinner than usual, but I still found some winners.
The ridiculously adorable curly-headed cow is Shiloh the Cow. I discovered him in Jennifer Choate’s Instagram feed. Her handle is “downshilohroad” and you can direct message her to see her rates for her prints. I’m a sucker for cows so I ordered two!
The chippy finish steals the show though.
Or maybe the beautiful walnut-stained top does.
Or perhaps it’s the handles?
How can you possibly pick your favorite part? It’s like choosing your favorite cow.
And who can do that?