Every time I work at Morgantown Market, I take a stroll around to see what my fellow vendors have in their spaces. (Well, to be more accurate, I should say that I take a stroll every time I go in, whether I’m working or not!) A few weeks ago, one of my fellow merchants was selling this sweet Martha Washington sewing table.
She was eager to move it out so she could bring in some other beautiful pieces and I was more than happy to help! Once I got it home, I didn’t do a whole lot to it in terms of prep work. I envisioned it being chippy and some shade of white, so I mixed up some of Miss Mustard Seed’s “Grain Sack” and got right to painting.
Grain Sack is one of my go-to paint choices if I want to do white. It has a faded gray quality to it that’s quite charming.
For a piece this size, I started with 1/4 cup of powder and the same amount of water. While I was painting, I experienced some bleed through and used a combination of Tough Coat and Kilz primer to wrestle the troublesome spots into submission.
In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, bleed through occurs when stains from the existing finish on a piece wiggle their way through your layers of paint and manifest themselves on your freshly finished surface. It can take on different looks including pink, tan, brown, and yellow stains. My bleed through took the form of pink stains in some spots and dark gray circles in others.
I worked my way through the issues that presented themselves and distressed the table to reveal lovely chippy spots. The last step was to seal everything with Tough Coat.
I’m often asked how I decide what type of topcoat I use for my pieces, which is a great question to ask! When it comes to chippy finishes, I almost always use Tough Coat. It does SUCH a great job at sealing in chippy paint so it doesn’t go anywhere. It’s also non-yellowing so if I use it over top of lighter colors, such as Grain Sack, it won’t amber over time. I use it over fresh Milk Paint as well as old original paint. It works great on both!
Tough Coat did a great job sealing the chippy bits on my sewing table, which I’m happy to report were numerous! I was hoping this piece would turn out chippy, and it didn’t disappoint.
The legs distressed beautifully as well. I used sandpaper on the vertical bits to draw the eye to their shape.
There are also some delightful patches of crazing around the drawers. Those made me extra happy. I feel like the table “owed” me because it bled through my Milk Paint.
The sides of the table flip open, revealing lovely chipping action under the lid!
It’s been a while since I did a chippy piece. They remind me of why I love Milk Paint so much. The random chipping is an aspect that I can’t seem to recreate with any other type of paint.
It gives me an authentically aged finish, oodles of character, and gorgeous color all in one. Even the back of the piece turned out cute!
The table came with ho-hum wooden knobs. I swapped them out with tiny crystal ones for a bit of sparkle and added vintage flair.
The drawers have some fun surprises inside! The top has a divider insert, which immediately made me think, “jewelry storage”. You could use it for whatever you wish! Everyone needs a place for little odds and ends.
The middle drawer has an interesting metal bar that can be moved forwards and backwards. I’m not sure what its original purpose was. One of my Instagram followers suggested that it held spools of thread or bobbins, which makes total sense to me!
This particular photo cracked me up when I was developing it.
My intent was to showcase the pretty slender legs of the table, but all I could think of were these things from Star Wars:
Please tell me you see it too…
Here’s a better shot of how the sides flip open, revealing more storage.
Again, I’m not 100% sure what you would have stored in there. Fabric perhaps? Clothing that needed to be darned? Yarn bundles?
I started thinking about how you could use those deep storage bins for modern needs. If you used it as an end table, it could hold magazines or remote controllers. I even thought a rolled up thin blanket could tuck away in there. What do you think?
My chippy Grain Sack sewing cabinet is happily situated in my booth atMorgantown Market and is available for $148.00. If you’re not local but still interested in having this item shipped, I can get you a quote. My fellow furniture painting buddy, Annie of Simply Chic Furniture, is helping me slowly enter into the world of furniture shipping. It can be expensive depending on where you live, but I can do it. So if you’re dying to have it, let’s talk!