Finishing the Antique Dresser

Jan 17, 2017 | Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint | 0 comments

Work on my antique dresser is all finished!  It was delivered this evening to Rootedin New London and you are more than welcome to swing by and check it out if you’re interested.  Rooted has such a fun vibe to it.  Even if you’re not in the market for anything, you should still go visit.  I immediately feel happy when I’m inside.

To recap, here’s what the dresser looked like when I got it.

When we last visited this piece, it was in the middle of a Mustard Seed Yellow Milk Paint makeover. 

Everything was going fine, but towards the end, I ran into some unexpected chipping.  I had painted the first two coats of Milk Paint with Bonding Agent mixed in.

Bonding Agent is an additive that can be mixed into Milk Paint.  It’s milky white in appearance and helps MMSMP adhere to surfaces that are smooth, oily, or otherwise resisting Milk Paint.  I chose this picture to use because this is the size that I actually have.  Because I churn out roughly 1-2 furniture pieces a week, I go through product quickly.  It’s much more cost effective for me to buy in bulk, butBonding Agent does come in smaller sizes.  Have no fear!  You don’t have to buy the giant size like me.

My last coat of Milk Paint didn’t have any Bonding Agent in it and I paid for it.


My Milk Paint was chipping off everywhere!

I was so frustrated, so I reached out to a few retailers and asked for their expert opinions.  They suggested sanding my chippy spots back so they are smooth, applying Bonding Agent directly to the spots, and reapplying Milk Paint with BA mixed in.

So, that’s what I did.  It wasn’t pretty at first.

My poor beautiful dresser looked like it was going bald.

I felt completely disheartened.  I had worked so hard up until this point and my heart sank.  Even my husband knew that I was smad.  (That’s sad and mad mixed together at the same time.)

Despite my “smad” setback, I pushed through and things started to perk up. The more I use Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, the more I learn that you really do have to push through the ugly stages. The first coat always looks dreadful, and you never really know when a piece will chip. You have to stay flexible and committed to your vision. I’ve never been challenged by a paint product quite like this one (in a good way). It almost asks me, “Do you really want this? Are you really committed when things go bad?” I know this may sound crazy to some of you non-furniture people, and others might be thinking, “This is exactly why I don’t use Milk Paint”. To the naysayers, let me share that I feel more connected to the painting process when I use MMSMP. You really do have to think, respond, react, problem solve, and thoughtfully transform your piece. This is not an “open the can and go” type of paint. It offers a more personal, almost organic experience that simply can’t be replicated with any other product. Back in the day, you didn’t have the option to “open the can and go”. You had to mix and work with the paint. You had to feel it. I love connecting to that old world feeling in furniture and I love it even more when I can get it from my paint product too.

Now with all of that said, if you can make hot cocoa, you can mix Milk Paint! It’s really not that difficult.

I digress…

Back to the dresser! Once my Mustard Seed Yellow layers dried and were looking normal again, I began painting the trim with Pure White Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan. (Yes, it’s OK to mix paint brands!)

I did the trim on the sides, the knobs, and the trim on the drawer fronts.

I didn’t want this piece to look brand new, so I used varying grits of sandpaper to distress.  Here’s a video of the process as well as some tips and info on distressing. 

After distressing, things were looking pretty good! I decided to use Hemp Oil as my topcoat because I love how it darkens and deepens the color of Milk Paint on wood pieces, like this dresser. Here’s another video of that process as well as tips on dry time versus cure time.

Can I just say that it’s so much fun to do these videos? I’m a certified teacher and I do miss the classroom from time to time. Instructing and “brain dumping” while I’m doing a furniture makeover makes me feel like I’m still using my gift of teaching in a new capacity. Hopefully you find them helpful too! If not, just skip over them. No hard feelings!

After some staging, the antique dresser was all finished.


Isn’t this cow print just adorable?  His name is Shiloh and I purchased this print from @downshilohroad on Instagram.  You can message Jennifer and she will hook you up with prices and ordering information.  This print will be coming to my booth at Morgantown Market in February.  If you’re interested in purchasing him now, just email me at

The distressing took on a mind of its own in some spots, but overall, I’m happy with how it turned out.

Here’s that “gatoring” I told you about.  Isn’t it just gorgeous?

Some spots distressed in chunks while others were more subtle.  In the end, I just went with it and let the dresser do what it was going to do.

Overall, things looked pretty good!

I think the bits of white, wood, and yellow keep your eye moving over the piece.  There are a lot of details to take in.

I just want to eat this texture with a spoon!

Here’s one last shot at that cutie pie cow.  Don’t you want to take him home with you?  I’m sure Jennifer won’t notice if he’s missing…


Welcome to my happy place!
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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