The subject for the live demonstration was this chest of drawers.
As you can see, it started off with a high gloss factory finish and it had shiny brass hardware.
Prior to bringing this piece to Morgantown Market, I did quite a bit of prep work including removing all of the outdated Chippendale bail pulls (especially the extras on the sides), filled in the holes that were left from the side handles and sanded the entire piece down using 120 and 80 grit sandpaper. To make things easier on myself, I used my orbital sander on the flat parts like the top, sides, and the fronts of the drawers. I sanded the remaining spots by hand and gave the piece a good vacuum. My goal was to completely remove the super thick and glossy topcoat, leaving myself a thoroughly scuffed up surface.
You can see how scuffed up the piece was in the photo below. There wasn’t a shiny spot left when I was done with it!
The live painting demonstration started at 10:30 AM and there were several people who came a bit early to get a good spot. Good thing they did because before too long, there was a good sized crowd that had developed!
I snugged myself up in a corner of my booth and worked on the floor while people watched from up above. Ideally, I would have worked on a table, but space was tight, as you can see! I didn’t mind though, because this is how my business started – crawling around on the floor in my first 800 square foot apartment. It felt good to get back to my roots!
The live demonstration was as hands-on as I could make it. I let everyone stir the Milk Paint in the cup to get an idea of what an ideal consistency should feel like. I also let folks take a spin at painting a few strokes too! A few brave participants stepped up to the challenge. The color I was using was a 50-50 mix of Grain Sack and Bergere. It makes the most gorgeous faded blue/gray.
The way I see it, the best way to learn how to use Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint is to actually use Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint! More doing and less talking!
As I worked my way through the mixing process and the first coat, folks fired off great questions and we discussed everything ranging from ingredients to finishes and everything in between. As you can see, we had a great time!
There is something incredibly powerful about watching a piece of furniture being transformed right in front of your eyes. It unlocks the mystery of furniture painting and it makes the whole process feel more doable (which it totally is). It also helps to have someone right there to answer your questions, give advice, and show you everything from start to finish. All it costs you is some time to come out and watch!
I did a lot of talking during the demo, especially with my hands. Poor Ashley of A Pride Designs had her work cut out for her keeping up with me from behind the camera lens!
In between coats and conversations, folks explored Look Books and the other goodies I had in my space.
We talked about the gorgeous available colors and how they were different from one another.
And there were plenty of products on hand to look at and explore.
We also talked about how I achieved the different looks that were on my pieces, such as the whitewash technique on this nightstand.
We looked at why some were chippy while others were full coverage.
And we talked about how to layer one color over another.
I was truly incredibly touched by everyone who came to visit. Some found out about me through Instagram and others were friends I’ve known for years. This sweet couple drove from almost 40 minutes away to come watch me work!
Some people may be intimidated having people stand over them and watch them work, but it didn’t bother me at all. Prior to owning my own furniture painting business, I taught 7th grade science. The way I see it, if I could handle thirty pubescent adolescents, then a crowd of eager-to-learn adults is a total cake walk!
As time went by, the crowds thinned out and I finished off the second coat alone.
It is a little strange being on the other side of the camera. Ashley did a great job capturing the events of the day, and it was one less thing that was on my mind. She did me a huge favor that day, and I was grateful for her services.
After my two coats of Milk Paint dried, I smooth-sanded the piece with 400 grit sandpaper and went back with 120 grit to distress it. That’s my secret for getting a buttery smooth finish. Using fine grit sandpaper smooths the surface of your piece and knocks down some of the gritty feel. When you use such a natural product like Milk Paint, a bit of grit is to be expected. Fine grit sandpaper takes care of it easily.
Once the piece was wiped clean, I sealed it with Tough Coat and swapped out the hardware for antique pewter cup pulls.
I had to come back a few days later and install the tiny knobs on the pull out drawer. They needed to be spray painted to match the pretty pewter cup pulls. I also needed to remove the contact paper from the insides of the drawers.
It now happily sits in my booth and is available for $215 plus tax. It measures 24″ long, 16″ deep, and 30.5″ tall.
If you’re interested in attending one of my live painting sessions, keep your eyes open on my social media feeds and here on my website for my next event. I try to have one scheduled every month, so keep your eyes open. I’d love to see you and talk all-things Milk Paint!