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 as I began to apply it, I decided I wanted the color 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). It’s 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. It can go outside or inside. It comes with an extensive line of oil and water based stains and topcoats and is made in the USA. 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”. It’s essentially the grits I start and end with to gently remove the existing finish and gently bring it back up to a finish-grade grit.
For these drawers, I began with 100, then used 150 and finished with 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.
I opted for a Semi Gloss sheen because I wanted more of a handsome finish on this piece. I thought it matched the stately green paint color 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!