Peacock Green Milkpainted Antique Dresser with Agate and Brass Pulls

Just for fun, while I dragged my heels finishing up some tedious touches on one project, I did a (supposedly) quick project. I had previously stumbled upon, and brought home, the perfect dresser for some milk paint, which I have been yearning to use for some time. This one was in great structural condition, so all it needed were cosmetic improvements. Here it is:

Dull, brown dresser with potential.
Dull, brown antique dresser with potential.

I always sand and prep every piece carefully. I didn’t want any chipping with this one, so I also added the bonding agent. I’m convinced that this material is just watered down polyurethane, but I’m not a chemist and they don’t list the ingredients on the bottle.

I used Peacock, from The Real Milk Paint Company. I enjoy the lights, darks, and striated colors of milk paint mixed from pigments and powders. When I have an actual antique (not just vintage) piece, it’s my paint of preference.

It took many coats because I mistakenly sanded through the finish down to raw wood around the original pulls, which had cut large circular patterns in the wood that I knew would show when I used different pulls. When you don’t sand evenly with milk paint, it soaks in differently and becomes very obvious. Drat. At one point, I had to cover the whole thing with flat polyurethane to get an acceptable even finish with several more coats.

When the piece looked done, I coated the whole thing with tung oil. This brings out more color in the paint, and enriches it. The drawers were sanded and sealed inside, and the great steel casters were rubbed with a little gold wax. Then I put on the jewelry: green and yellow agate pulls from Anthropologie. Those are what this piece is about, anyway.

Anthropologie Agate Pulls
Anthropologie Agate Pulls
Peacock Green Milkpainted Antique Dresser
Peacock Green Milkpainted Antique Dresser

See the striations? That’s what I like about Milk Paint.

Looking like a chameleon--changing in different lighting!
Looking like a chameleon–changing in different lighting!

A few spots did chip, so I ended up sanding those back a bit and reapplying the paint and the oil. It’s a very relaxed, very livable look with a pop of glam in the fascinating brass mounted agate pulls.

Available in my Etsy shop.

South Beach Inspired: The Blue and White Dresser

Okay, so I may not know when to say when. I probably held on way too long to the pink and orange color combination that I loved so much. No one else did. 😦 Actually, I should say that it was favored many times on Etsy, and got many nice comments on the original post and on facebook, but remained unpurchased. That is the telltale sign. I finally got it.

I thought this would be a great color combination. No one else did.
I thought this would be a great color combination. No one else did.

So, after a trip to Miami, I was inspired by the sun-bleached colors and the architecture of the South Beach area to repaint this pink piece blue and white. Now it’s a soothing, glossy, sea blue and white piece with the great original knobs.

How do you like me now?!
How do you like me now?!

South Beach Dresser3

South Beach Dresser2

This piece is available in my Etsy shop.
The painting is by me.
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Tur-key to Tur-quoise: Antique Oak Dining Table

My husband comes up with most of these titles. He’s quite punny.

This table was part of a package deal. A buffet I spotted on Craigslist that had me salivating came with this non-matching beat-up table. I always think it’s odd when sellers refuse to separate pieces (and risk losing a sale), even though the buyer might have no intention of keeping them together. I tend to wonder if the seller intends to visit his pieces someday to make sure they are still keeping each other company.

I agreed to this arrangement because the table had lots of curvy legs that I thought might look good in a wild color. First thing I had to do was remove the 1/8 inch thick layer of gloppy ambered polyurethane that had accumulated over the years on the tabletop. Here’s the before, under the shroud of shame (paint stripper cover):

photo 2 (1)

Since I didn’t have the leaves, the sliders were useless, so I removed them. This made the table a little lighter and easier to manipulate. When I put the two halves back together, they dowel into each other and lock with a lever.

Milk paint was the perfect treatment for this piece. The legs were not oak, and had a finish on them that might resist, so they were rubbed with deglosser. The newly stripped top was very dry, so I smeared tung oil on some of the edges and spots that I hoped would then resist and chip. For once, milk paint did what I told it to do. The legs chipped a little and the paint resisted soaking into the oiled spots! This is, to me, the perfect level of natural looking wear.

Turquoise Antique Dining Table2

Before Hemp Oil Finish
Before Tung Oil
After Hemp Oil Finish
After Tung Oil

Turquoise Antique Dining Table4

The finishing touch was tung oil, which actually gives the top some water resistance. More than that, though, it mellows the color and deepens it, darkening the wear spots as well. Makes it look like it’s always been this color, and certainly not a turkey anymore.

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Mediterranean Sea Suite: Banish the Brown

At any one of my favorite thrift shops, I can usually find something great to paint. This particular day, I picked up two items that I had previously passed by on several occasions. I just didn’t have a vision for them. They were very well made, and, other than surface scratches, didn’t have too much wrong with them. Except that they were from another era, an era when furniture was mostly heavy and brown. 1970 was a pretty good year, but not for color. I guess even other thrifters passed them by, too, because there they sat.

Mediterranean Side Table Before

Mediterranean Coffee Table Before

Drexel made them and named them Esperanto, elements of a suite. They really don’t look like they belong together, but I thought I would use turquoise and teal, like the sea, shine up the brasses, and see what happens. I like what happened. I think color and polish does wonders for furniture, don’t you? Of course you do; that’s why you’re here! Take a look:

Mediterranean Side Table

Mediterranean Coffee Table

Now, the coffee table, whose back looks identical to its front, has a thoroughly modern take in bluegreen and turquoise paint with glass in the doors. It can serve as a media console/tv stand, or even as a bench in front of a window. The side table has a whimsical view now, in deep Mediterranean Sea colors, and the hardware on both are solid brass and polished up gorgeously. A pretty nice find, all in all.

Mediterranean Side Table2

Mediterranean Coffee Table2

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Diamond Dresser Redo Part II: Striking Strikes Again

Remember this guy? Remember he has a brother?

Midnight Diamond Tall Dresser Front

Well, a customer fell in love with him and requested that I paint his brother to match so she could take them both home! I was delighted to oblige because I was having trouble thinking about how to paint the low one. This gorgeous mineral color just really seemed to suit the solid cast brass hardware, but I couldn’t decide–just like any other mother of twins–should I dress my babies alike, or differently? I put off the decision until this special order came in, and I’m so glad because he is just as much of a jewel now as his tall brother. Take a look:

Midnight Diamond Low Dresser

Midnight Diamond Low Dresser Tambour

Midnight Diamond Low Dresser drawers

And now the twins can live happily ever after, dressed identically, together! Striking, isn’t he?

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