Dressing it Up!

Well, I fffi-iii-iiiinnneeely finished off that dresser and here it is!

DresserI actually am really pleased with how it came out!  I’m normally not one for such an antiquey looking antique, but in this one instance this is what the vision in my head was grabbing at and I went with it for our mudroom / entry room.  We’ve yet to put it in it’s final resting place because we have some work coming in that room (more on that later), but it’s all done and ready to move in when the time comes!

To finish the dresser off and get the chippy look,  I used a product that is actually very old, just new to me: Milk Paint.  I read Miss Mustard Seed‘s blog quite a bit and purchased one of her signature paints in Mustard Seed Yellow.  Milk paint is a powder that you mix with equal parts water to break it all up and get the consistence and color your looking for.  Marian has all sorts of tutorials on her blog, so check her out to learn more.

Milk Paint Milk Paint Milk Paint

I had a little trouble getting it to be a good consistency, but in the end it all worked out ok.  Milk paint will naturally chip away from your surface wherever it’s little heart desires, so you don’t always know how it’s going to look.  This is after the first coat:


And after a few more, you can start to see how it’s chipping off. Dresser Dresser

To get the look you want you can just rub at it lightly with a putty knife and it’s just rain little flakes on you.  The paint dries quickly and you can put multiple coats on 30-60 minutes apart, so this is a relatively quick process.  I painted, flaked, painted, flaked…and swept the floor.  A Lot.  If you have a shop or outdoor space to do this I would recommend it just for the flaking.  There were little paint chips everywhere.


You can see the difference in some of the progress photos vs the finished product that the paint didn’t always chip off in the same places each time.  After 3 coats of painting and scraping to the bureau and the drawers, I stained the top of the dresser using Minwax Dark Walnut that we have on hand from the bed project we did earlier this year.


As a finishing finish to the finish of the furniture (say 5 times fast), I applied a coat of Furniture Wax to the entire piece.  Since I was trying out Miss Mustard Seed’s product I purchased her wax for this as well.

Furniture Wax

Furniture Wax

It went on very easy with a clean cloth and then you just buff it to a shiny protective finish with another cloth after 5-10 minutes.  I put 2 coats on the top and one on the body of the dresser.  The furniture wax will also stop the paint from flaking any more, from what I understand.  It really gave the wood a nice rich tone afterwards and a little shine without poly or something.

The knobs I picked up on Joss and Main and I really liked how they complimented the style of this little makeover.



Ready for a before and after?



Dresser DSCN3263 Milk Paint Dresser | Mustard Seed Yellow

So what do you think??  Not bad for a little relic from the 1880’s, huh?  I’m not sure I’d milk paint anything else in the house, but I promise you it’ll be charming in our little entry room/mudroom when it’s complete!  Every use milk paint or restore a piece of furniture?  It was sorta fun and therapeutic, almost!

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  1. I LOVE this blog and I love the color you picked!! I have never used this brand of milk paint before, but I will definitely have to try it! The knobs are whimsy and fun too! Great job. I can’t wait to see what you guys do next!!
    Out of curiosity, how long did the entire process take you?

    1. Thank you Sue! Working backwards the wax about 30 minutes, the staining about 20 min and the painting about 3 hours off and on with the chipping (and sweeping!) That’s a conservative guess because I did spend a bit of time mixing and reading to learn about the consistency of the paint during the process. It’s very different to work with! What brands have you tried? Xo

  2. I love this project! You’ve inspired me to spruce up the sideboad at the top of my hallways stairs…eventually! Love the chippiness of this and that it has its own personality. And the photography is fabulous, too! 😉

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