Repainting A Piece of Furniture
Every now and then, I’ll paint a piece and it doesn’t sell. Sometimes it’s the color and I should have gone more neutral. Other times, I paint something and I need to take it back home because there are issues. I had to take a desk home once because a customer spilled something down the front of it. This Martha Washington sewing table needed to come home because it bled to high heaven about a week after I got it into my retail space at Morgantown Market!
If you look closely in the photo above, you can see the bleeding starting to form. It’s that darker pink patch on the bottom right ledge. If you can’t, it’s okay because after about a week, I had tons of dark pink blotches all over the sewing table!
Sometimes bleed through can be like that. Your piece will look fine and after a week, a month, even a year, dyes and tannins can work their way to the surface and ruin your paint job. I was pretty bummed but like I said, it happens and you just have to roll with the punches. Some pieces are stubborn and you have to hang in there to get them to behave.
Priming to Seal the Bleed-Through
I hauled this little guy home and let it cure for 20-30 days. You see, I had freshly painted it with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Arabesque and sealed it with Hemp Oil. Everything needed to cure for 20-30 days before I worked on it again, so it sat in my basement workshop until I could get to it.
Once I pulled it out, I started sealing in off of that nasty bleed through with 2 coats of BIN Shellac Based Primer.
The first coat of primer looked scary. The pink wiggled its way through again, and I was afraid that even primer wouldn’t keep it under control. But primer always requires 2 coats – the first draws out stains and the second covers them over and seals them in. That’s exactly what happened with my layers. By the 2nd coat, everything was looking okay!
Repainting the Martha Washington
I started to paint the sewing table in Coastal Blue by General Finishes, which is my default color I use when I’m dealing with bleed through. But I wanted to do something different. I paint with navy A LOT, so I decided to do some color mixing in my workshop. I used about 4 or 5 different colors in all sorts of ratios, adding and tweaking until I came up with a lovely gray/blue. It painted on in 2 coats like a champ, and as I stepped back, my sewing table looked a little boring. It needed a little something special.
The Redoute 4 Decor Transfer by Iron Orchid Designs
Enter the Redoute 4 Decor Transfer by Iron Orchid Designs.
I applied a flower from this decor transfer on the front and it added the pizazz I was looking for! If you want a more in-depth tutorial on how to apply a decor transfer, you can click here.
A Fresh New Look
My Martha Washington sewing table went from this…
The Redoute 4 IOD Decor Transfer was the perfect addition to the front. The pops of green and pink look so lovely against my bespoke General Finishes Milk Paint color!
The rose transfer has a shabby chic quality to it, so I distressed the edges of my piece gently to reveal the white primer underneath. I personally like using distressing to draw the eye to the lines of a piece.
The drawers were cleaned and hydrated using Hemp Oil by Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.
Just like any Martha Washington table, there’s plenty of storage!
These knobs were on the piece when I painted it in Arabesque. They’re not original, but I think they work well regardless.
This sewing table is tall enough and has plenty of storage to be a nightstand. You can easily place a lamp, alarm clock or your favorite book on the top with plenty of room. Wouldn’t this look darling in between two twin beds?
This piece is waiting for you in my booth at Morgantown Market.
It’s snuggled right up next to this Wildflower Dresser I created using General Finishes Milk Paint and (surprise, surprise) another fabulous Iron Orchid Decor Transfer.
It’s priced at $140 if you’re interested! (The sewing table, not the dresser.) You can also pick up General Finishes Milk Paint if you want to whip up a custom color for your next painting project.