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Adding Details to Drawer Fronts with Paint


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Frog Tape.


In the craziness of getting ready for Lucketts, I did manage to take some pictures, so I could go back and share how I did some things.  Now it’s time to start pulling some of those pictures out to put tutorials together. So, here are the details of the design I came up with for the Dried Lavender dresser.

When I started working on the dresser, I wasn’t exactly sure how it was going to turn out.   For those of you who stress about a plan when you’re working on pieces…there’s no need.  It’s okay to plan, but it’s also okay to just start and let the pieces develop as you work on it.

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I started out by stripping the finish and painting the piece in Dried Lavender, one of the new MMS Milk Paint colors that will be available in a few weeks.  I stained the top in a dark walnut and highlighted the details on the pieces with white acrylic paint and an artist brush.

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 I did some doodling around the small drawer fronts and then got a little stuck.  After stealing glances at the dresser for a few hours while I worked on other things, I decided it would be nice to create frames on the two larger drawers that would reference the two smaller drawers.  So, I pulled out the Frog Tape.

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…and taped off a frame on both of the drawers.

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 I then mixed up some Ironstone MMS Milk Paint, but made it very watery, so I could brush it on as a wash.  I applied the paint in a horizontal pattern in a very light coat just within the tape…

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…and wiped it with a t-shirt cloth to soften the brush strokes.


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With the tape on, it doesn’t look like much happened…

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…but when I peeled it off…

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 It left this “frame” effect that gave me something to doodle around.

(Now, you may notice that the tape pulled off some of the paint.  Since I was distressing this piece, I loved the look, but Frog Tape will generally not pull the paint off.  It only did this because it’s Milk Paint.  Frog Tape does make delicate surface tape that has a lower tack and could be used in a case like this if you don’t want the paint removed.  If you like this look, using tape is a great way to force some milk paint chippy goodness.)

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  I painted around the frames with a simple comma stroke and a thin line to further define the frame…


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I’ll share how I finished it in another post, but here’s the end result…

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Frog Tape. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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  1. Hi Marian!
    I love this dresser! I love how it turned out and the delicate edging.
    You do such fantastic work.

    You make something so beautiful looks so easy.
    It looks wonderful.

  2. Wonderful and simple technique! Thanks for the tips. :o)

  3. I tease when saying green tape is my bracelet,but truth is I use it so often it does become a bracelet. Great when creating a grain sack look

  4. Sue Pagels says:

    I really like how you “framed” the drawers!

  5. Rebekah says:

    This is my favorite piece of yours yet! Love it and thank you for sharing how you accomplished it!

  6. Kelly says:

    The bureau looks so clean and new, but old at the same time. I love the knobs, also. Have you ever used old glass door knobs? I’ve always wanted to.

  7. Marian, like this idea! You wrote ‘I stripped the finish’. So if I got it right, you stripped, sanded and applied the milk paint on bare wood?

  8. Karen says:

    This is one of my favorites! I love what you do, but this is the best ever! Thanks for sharing the technique! :-)

  9. I love the “doodles.” Informal and uniform all at the same time! Well done!

  10. I am generally not too fond of purple, but this dresser looks great.
    By the way, Frog Tape is one of my main tools these days. I am painting the interior of our house, and I don’t know what I would have done without Frog Tape. It makes for such nice, clean lines between two colors.

  11. Mieke says:

    My husband had to work in Jacksonville for a couple of weeks, and I asked him to bring me some frog tape as I was really curious to see how it works. Too bad he didn’t get time enough to visit a hardware store to get some. I haven’t seen it here in The Netherlands.
    Keep up your great blog, it is wonderful to read and I wish I lived in your area.

  12. It turned out beautiful!


  13. Such a cute design! Great idea using the Frog Tape. Love the new lavender color, too!

  14. Thanks for the Frog Tape pitches you make. I’m using it for the first time today and am immensely impressed with the ease in which is applied!

  15. Carolyn says:

    Simply terrific! Can’t wait to try it out…may use the frog tape to make the skinny line too.

  16. Sandy says:

    That is just gorgeous. I love the hand-painted detailing and that colour! I’m looking forward to that one coming out. :)

  17. Hi Marian…very lovely. That color is gorgeous!!! Your design – so simple, yet beautiful on this piece.

    I didn’t know that Frog tape make a delicate surface product. Good to know. I had some small issues with it the very first time I used it (about 3-4 years ago approx.) – maybe it was their first batch, don’t know. I was able to rectify everything – so the job came out great (I was striping a little girl’s walls). But the tape lifted up the already painted walls here and there – so I had to re-prime and repaint those areas. Not a biggee – but it made the job go a bit longer.

    However – the stripe lines were fantastic – so you take the good with the not so good sometimes. Glad to know they are making a delicate surface now…will try it out!


  18. Rebecca R says:

    Where do you get your great cabinet knobs?

  19. Anne Boykin says:

    Dear MMS, What a beautiful dresser! That color, Dried Lavender, looks so “you”. I’m glad you are adding new colors because I love the dressers that you paint to demonstrate the paint color. Hugs, Anne Boykin

  20. Barbara says:

    In a few of these pictures, I was able to see the true lavender shade, in all of its glory! You’re a fearless artist!

  21. Mary Syron says:

    LOVE FROG TAPE…. it works great!

  22. This is why I love following your blog. Not only are you creative but you have such great artistry.

  23. Dear Marian;
    I love this dresser as well as the beautiful blue one I purchased awhile ago. Did you free hand the line around the drawers ? I love the lavender color ! You do such wonderful work. Love it all!

  24. The combination of the Ironstone and Dried Lavender is beautiful. This is the color i have been looking for to paint a chair i have in my living room. MMS all your inspirations and hard work really helps us all as we tackle our painting projects!! Thank You!!

  25. So pretty! What’s you favorite paint stripping method/medium. We use Soy Gel and don’t have any comolaints but I’ve seen a lot of people mention they love Citristrip?

  26. Cathy says:

    I love, love, love the colour. I will buy it as soon as it’s available in Canada. I like Frog Tape for making stripes but you really have to be careful abut the surface that you put it on. With both MMS and AS chalk paint, you need to wax the surface that you are applying the tape to otherwise it will pull some of it up. I have experimented with this a lot and it is the only way to get it to work. Also you need to let the wax be absorbed for awhile before you tape. It does make for a lot of waxing if you are taping different pieces at a time.

  27. Kelly S. says:


    I just want to say how much I enjoy your blog. I love how creative and honest you are. And, you’re not pretentious! I just spent 2 hours at a school function with a “Tiger Mom” and all I wanted to do was go home and have a soda and read your blog. I’m so proud of your success!

  28. This is one of my all time favorites of yours. Love the soft color and the painted details.

  29. This is so beautiful – thanks for the neverending inspiration!

  30. finest collection of this furniture… nice one

  31. Mildred Hoppe says:

    Marian, what size artist brush do you use to make the commas around the drawers?

  32. I’m glad that I found your post and your blog – will be bookmarking your blog! Thanks!

  33. Just to let you know your blog looks a little bit strange in Firefox on my notebook with Linux .

  34. Carole Broderick says:

    I love everything about this dresser! I would love to do a project like this. Did you hand paint the edge design? I love that Lavender paint!

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