This is currently the best only decorated part of my master bedroom:
For some time now, I’ve been obsessed with this dresser by Miss Mustard Seed:
Isn’t its raw combination of bright energy (with the red) and deep age (with the distressing) simply luscious? I love this kind of juxtaposition… And I knew when I saw it that Mr. Pax needed something similar (because it’s gorgeously masculine and he’s outrageously difficult to shop for!). So I scoured Craigslist until I found this beauty:
Milk paint was an entirely new experience for me, and I must say that it was a rewarding one. Highlights for me:
- easy application
- silky smooth finish (truly… zero brushstrokes and not a lick of sanding!)
- authentic distressed look
The only negatives for me would be price and coverage. While I like the chipped, distressed look, I felt the paint was actually a little transparent in the end. Fortunately, the dresser I found (though its finish was peeling) was not so bad that I needed to fill major holes. Had I filled, I think I might have had trouble covering the difference between filler and original finish. Anyway, here are a few process pictures… The painting was a snap:
But, as you can see on the top (where the wood grain is showing through), it almost went on as stain rather than paint. Maybe I could have thickened it by adding less water, but I actually had already added less than the instructions suggested.
All the milk paint tutorials say to wait overnight after the second coat and then return to see your chippy goodness… It was pretty nice, I must say:
As you can see above, though, it dries almost chalky. While I believe in a top coat for pretty much all paints or stains, you really don’t have the option to skip one with milk paint. Though I have refinished a lot of furniture over the years, this was my first soft wax finish, and I loved it. Notice how the paint takes a richer hue as the wax is applied (top left corner is unwaxed):
As I went, I began incorporating some antiquing wax into my clear in places where I wanted the details to gain more definition:
And I ultimately loved the result! The texture and interest it provides without being too dull or too stark is just what I wanted.
I decided to use the original hardware because it seemed to fit the piece and was particularly masculine for my husband, but I had to replace two of the larger handles that were damaged. I simply rearranged so that I could use something different on the lone fake-double drawer, and I couldn’t resist the mercury glass ones from Anthropologie.
I love the way they give a feminine touch and modern bling to a generally rustic and bulky piece. In all, I think I spent about $175 on this piece (including quite a few supplies, like paint and waxes, that I was able to use on several other pieces before they ran out, and the splurge on the Anthropologie knobs). I’d say that in the end, I made out like a bandit. And, even better, I got to pour my energy into a surprise for my man… that’s one way to make your home a place of love. 🙂
Do you have any pieces you refinished for a loved one?