Refinishing a Martha Washington Sewing Table in a Custom Blend of General Finishes Milk Paint
Martha Washington sewing tables are the most darling pieces of furniture to refinish. They have oodles of storage, little pull-out drawers for small treasures and are an easy-to-manage size!
I’ve refinished quite a few Martha Washington’s in my furniture painting career. This is the next addition to the portfolio.
Mixing a Custom Color with General Finishes Milk Paint
It took me some time to determine what color I wanted to use for this refinishing project. Ultimately, I wanted to choose a color I had not used before from the General Finishes Milk Paint line.
Westminster Green fit the bill perfectly.
This color is very pretty straight out of the can, but the color needed to be a bit darker and richer.
I squirted some into a small container and added about 1/4 part Lamp Black for darkness, and 1/8 part Emerald to brighten the green tones.
After stirring very well, the resulting color was exactly what I had in mind!
Is General Finishes Milk Paint a True Milk Paint?
I’m often asked what the difference is between General Finishes Milk Paint and the other Milk Paint line I carry, Miss Mustard Seed’s. The short answer is that one is a liquid and the other is a powder.
Technically, General Finishes isn’t a true Milk Paint. It’s actually an acrylic-based paint that mimics the low-luster sheen of traditional casein-based powdered Milk Paint (like Miss Mustard Seed’s). GF’s Milk Paint is named after that old world tradition, but in the end, is not a true powdered Milk Paint product.
General Finishes Milk Paint is incredibly durable. It’s suitable for use on cabinetry (including kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities) and millwork. Best of all, it can go outside or inside. Its self-leveling properties provide no brushstrokes and its low VOC properties result in no harsh fumes.
Naturally Beautiful Drawers
The drawers on this Martha Washington sewing table held a few pleasant surprises! First, there was a pull-out storage tray in the middle drawer.
Second, the wood of the drawers was absolutely beautiful! All that was required was to sand the original finish off with my Festool ETS 125 REQ Random Orbit Sander.
When I refinish wood surfaces, I follow what’s called a “sanding schedule”. A sanding schedule is a gradual progression of decreasing the grit from aggressive to fine. My first pass is the removal, where I use anywhere from 80 to 150 grit. The second pass is fine-tuning with 150-180 grit. Lastly, the final pass is with a finishing grit of 180-220.
The natural color of the wood was beautiful as-is, so I simply sealed it with General Finishes Arm-R-Seal oil based polyurethane in Semi Gloss.
The last step was to finish the drawers with a Semi Gloss sheen, because I a more stately and handsome finish. I thought it matched the custom green Milk Paint and new hardware nicely.
Staging the Martha Washington Sewing Table for Christmas
As I’m writing this blog post, it’s mid-November. I thought it would be appropriate to stage this piece for the holidays.
Using some greenery, bright brass accents and a gilded frame, the staging evokes all of the holiday feels!
For More Inspiration…
If you’d like to replicate this look on a piece of your own at home, you can easily purchase all of the General Finishes products needed from my online shop.
Here are a few other Martha Washington sewing table projects to inspire you!
What about you? Are you ready to start your own Martha Washington Sewing Table project?