Did you know that Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint features two gorgeous colors every month? April’s featured colors are Mustard Seed Yellow and Lucketts Green.
To celebrate these gorgeous colors, I decided to paint an empire dresser that recently came into my possession in Mustard Seed Yellow.
I was inspired by all of the gorgeous Mustard Seed Yellow pieces that Miss Mustard Seed has painted in the past, and I thought the color would suit the lines of my empire dresser.
It came to me wearing some delicious shade of mocha and it had original wooden knobs.
Despite the brown exterior, I knew this piece could look amazing with a fresh new color! The bones were in incredible condition and structurally, this piece was in great shape.
The drawers, however, had a LOT of gouges on the front.
The top drawer was definitely the worst. Look at all of those marks!
There was also a lot of chipping veneer, but that didn’t bother me.
My first step was to get the piece cleaned with a 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol and water. My Mom took care of that for me, and she gave it a good scrub with a Scotch Brite pad. Using this mixture gets rid of surface oils and dirt that have accumulated over the years. It’s inexpensive, easily found in the paint aisle of your local hardware store, and it does a great job of cleaning! I also use this particular product because I was going to follow up with water based products like primer and MMS Milk Paint. You can use Mineral Spirits to clean, but only if you’re following up with oil based products.
I also pulled out all of the drawers and spent a good solid 20 minutes de-cobwebbing the insides with the vacuum. There was a lot of dirt and dust on the drawer runners from being unused for so many years.
Once everything was spider-free, I set to work patching all of the gouges with wood putty.
I set the drawers off to the side and let them dry overnight.
All of this prep work allowed the piece to air out for a couple of days. It had that “old piece of furniture” smell. You know what I’m talking about! That musty smell of moth balls and mildew is a common odor in my world. I gave the inside a wash out with some of Murphy’s Wood Oil Soap too, which helped cut down on the musty smell.
My Dad helped me cut a new runner for the top drawer. It had broken off in the past, and I had the perfect sized piece of wood to replace it. I go to my Dad for help with table saws. I can handle drills and sanders, but saws intimidate me. Not going to lie.
So while Dad worked on that, I gave the wood putty a smooth sanding with my orbital sander and then wiped away all of the dust with an oil free tack cloth. I just purchased several packs from General Finishes, and you can grab your own from me at Morgantown Market! These cloths are fabulous for grabbing dust and giving you a clean surface to paint over.
After the piece was completely dust free, I set to work applying General Finishes Stain Blocker, which is my new favorite primer.
This stuff is amazing. I wasn’t going to take any chances on that mocha colored finish, so I applied two layers of Stain Blocker on the dresser. I actually did a Facebook Live video on this product, which you can catch here. I made sure to allow my layers to completely dry overnight, which is a huge tip in getting a stain-free finish!
Once my two layers of primer were dry (remember, I let each layer dry overnight), I mixed up a batch of Mustard Seed Yellow Milk Paint.
After two coats, I used 400 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface and went along the edges with a more aggressive grit to draw the eye to the shape of the piece. I didn’t shy away from bringing out the imperfect details of the chipped veneer.
I thought those spots added a lot of character to the dresser. After all, it’s a really old piece of furniture!
Just look at these skinny hand cut dovetails! Unfortunately, I couldn’t sand away the mocha paint from the sides, but at least it didn’t make its way to the dovetails! You know me…I never paint over joinery. That’s craftsmanship right there!
You can see some of the white primer poking out from underneath the Mustard Seed Yellow, and that’s just fine with me. It actually gives the piece a bit of a layered look.
I removed the original wooden knobs and replaced them with these gorgeousEmbossed Glass Drum Knobs from Rustic Brands. They were kind enough to send me a full set for this project, and I really love how they accentuate the empire feel of the dresser.
Empire pieces typically have very pronounced large details and drawers. The pieces themselves are usually big and chunky, so it’s only fitting that the hardware I chose to replace the boring wood knobs needed to have big personality too!
Glass knobs are my favorite. They add a bit of sparkle and class and you can see through them and still appreciate the color of the piece. These are definitely one of my favorite styles!
To stage the dresser, I used a gorgeous rooster wall art that I’ll be bringing with me to the Spring Barn Market. I thought the reds and blues would pop well against the yummy mustard color.
He’s just about the fluffiest rooster I’ve ever seen!
Doesn’t he look like he’s smiling too? Who doesn’t like happy smiling roosters?
To pair with the “smiling rooster”, I used one of my ironstone pitchers and a vintage fan to give some balance. These are all items that will be coming with me on the 28th.
The shape of this pitcher is so chiseled and intricate. And the little hotel bell has the prettiest ring when you hit the hammer.
If you come to the Spring Barn Market, you can ring it all you want!
To seal in all of the beautiful Mustard Seed Yellow Milk Paint, I used Hemp Oil. It didn’t soak in as quickly or as deeply as it typically does because I had two layers of primer under the Milk Paint. That tells me that the primer was doing its job – preventing anything from penetrating!
If you’re interested in this piece, you can see it in person at the Spring Barn Market. It will be available for $375 and it measures 41.25 in wide, 22 in at its deepest and 45 in tall. It’s a chunky solid piece, so if you’re planning to purchase it, bring a friend to help you lift! We’ll have a furniture hand truck you can use to get it to your vehicle.
I knew that this piece would look amazing with the right amount of TLC and a fresh new color. Just look at those drawers! No more gouge marks!
This piece feels like sunshine to me, which is so welcomed right now because we’re having a string of cloudy and rainy days in PA. Are you eager to add some sunshine to your home?