A Dresser Inspired by a Sweater
On my last trip to Walmart, I found a sweater in a brilliant reddish orange shade called “Orange Harvest”. It fits great and I’ve received a lot of compliments on it.
I love the color so much that I was determined to recreate it using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.
This empire dresser had the right presence and shape to handle such a vibrant color choice, so the decision was made!
After some trial and error, I’m happy to say that I nailed the color, and my dresser is absolutely stunning!
Prepping Without Sanding
My empire dresser had a relatively shiny existing finish. Typically, I would have prep-sanded this to help Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint adhere. Unfortunately, the ornate curves on the front of this dresser made it tough to get in there to sand.
To give myself a break from sanding, I applied an even layer of Miss Mustard Seed’s Tough Coat.
This water-based polyurethane provides a surface that Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint can adhere to without the need to sand! My ClingOn! F40 made short work of the flat parts and my Bent P20 brush got into those hard-to-reach curves like a champ.
Mixing My Custom Red/Orange Paint Color
Once the Tough Coat had dried, I mixed up a custom blend of Tricycle and Mustard Seed Yellow by Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.
It took me a few tries to get the right blend of colors. In the end, the closest mix was about 3/4 parts Tricycle and 1/4 part Mustard Seed Yellow. To be completely honest, I was nervous all throughout the painting process.
Miss Mustard Seed herself once described the Milk Painting process to me like getting your hair highlighted. It looks scary when your hair is in foils and when they’re removed, the color doesn’t look quite right. That’s because it’s raw, just like Milk Paint. It’s not until the finish is applied and your hair is washed and styled that the highlights look just right. Painting furniture is a lot like that, and I had that uncertainty in my gut until the moment that I applied Hemp Oil Wood Finish to the color, and it came to life!
It Was Worth It To Hang In There!
In the end, my intuition paid off big time, and the dresser turned out AMAZING!
Distressing this piece was pure joy. As the sandpaper wore away the edges and bits of chipped veneer, the charm of the dresser grew exponentially.
Don’t let chipped and imperfect bits like this turn you off from a project piece.
The hardware isn’t original to the piece, but the knobs are old. I pulled them from my stash and they add a nice sparkle as opposed to the boring round knobs.
Staging this dresser took me a lot longer than I care to admit because I wanted to get it just right. My goal was a pure Autumnal vibe, so I took to the yard and found this beautiful branch from an obliging Dogwood tree.
The pumpkins are from a local farm and the red bush clippings were gathered from the bushes in my backyard.
Inspiration Is Everywhere
Not to sound cliche, but inspiration truly is everywhere, dear friends. If you see a color you’re drawn to – whether it be in a sunrise, on a leaf, the pattern on a dress or the color of a sweater – bring that color to life on your next furniture project!
This piece will be traveling with me to Miss Morgan’s Milkweed Antique & Artisan Show this coming Friday and Saturday (October 2-3). If you’re able to come, I’d love to see you!