A Custom Milk Painted Martha Washington Sewing Table

Nov 11, 2020 | Antiques, Arm R Seal, General Finishes, General Finishes Milk Paint, High Performance Topcoat | 0 comments

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.

Martha Washington Sewing Table, General Finishes Milk Paint, Arm-R-Seal, Westminster Green, Emerald, Lamp Black, Eight Hundred Furniture

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.

Westminster Green Milk Paint Color Chip
Westminster Green is a gorgeous color in the General Finishes line!

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.

Lamp Black Milk Paint Color Chip
Emerald Milk Paint Color Chip

After stirring very well, the resulting color was exactly what I had in mind!

Gold frame with Christmas Wreath above green Martha Washington Sewing Table painted in custom mix of General Finishes Milk Paint

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.

General Finishes Milk Paint comes in liquid form, is pre-mixed and is sold in cans
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint comes in powdered form that is mixed with water

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.

Painting Dark Chocolate on the top of the dresser

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.

Tray inside drawer of Martha Washington Sewing Table

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.

ETS 125 REQ Random Orbital Sander by Festool

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.

General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil Based Polyurethane Semi-Gloss Pint

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.

Martha Washington Sewing Table painted in custom mix of General Finishes Milk Paint

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.

Christmas wreath in gold frame with brass candelabra

Using some greenery, bright brass accents and a gilded frame, the staging evokes all of the holiday feels!

Martha Washington Sewing Table, General Finishes Milk Paint, Arm-R-Seal, Westminster Green, Emerald, Lamp Black, Eight Hundred Furniture

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?

General Finishes Milk Paint, Martha Washington Sewing Table, Eight Hundred Furniture, Arm-R-Seal

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I'm Jenn Baker - Milk Paint lover, photographer, blogger, and QVC Guest Host. Click below to learn more about me and my creative business.  LEARN MORE ABOUT JENN

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