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the dresser with attitude & other things…


 This is the dresser with the attitude.  Last we saw her, she looked like this…

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I dealt with the red stain bleeding through by sealing it with Furniture Wax and applied a second coat.  Now, it was decision time.  Those vertical trim pieces were bugging me, so I decided to deal with it by adding vertical stripes to act as camouflage.  I used some delicate surface Frog Tape to tape off some stripes…

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The trouble is I was just a wee bit too impatient before taping the piece.  This isn’t a failure in the paint or the tape, but “operator error.”  At first I had one of those oh-crap-moments, but then I stepped back and looked at the effect…

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The tape had pulled away just enough paint to create a chippy, smokey gray stripe.  I really liked it.

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…so I added some more stripes in a sort of grain sack-ish pattern.  I made the lighter stripes by mixing Ironstone with Trophy and brushing it on a little sloppy and streaky.

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This piece is very different for me, but I loved the tones of gray, the smokiness of the piece.  Most of it happened by mistake, but something about it worked for my design eye.  The finish is going to pull it all together.

I finished it off with a light sanding and two coats of Hemp Oil.  I used to apply Hemp Oil with a cloth, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I found it’s a bit faster and easier with a brush.

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It looked oily when first applied, but then I wiped away the excess that wasn’t absorbed into the paint.

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My husband and I carried it upstairs this evening, so I can photograph it tomorrow and share the final reveal.

Here’s a preview of it, though…

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In other news, I’m starting to get the hang of the online shop thing and just got in some new packing and wrapping materials.

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I’m even going to throw in a little extra thing here and there, like the clay tags Jami made for me.

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It’s all a learning process, but I’m feeling more confident about it and looking forward to adding some vintage finds after The Chapel Market.

I did just get a shipment of books in, though, so I added some more to the online shop if you’d like to order an autographed copy.

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 I still dork out when I see a stack of those books…


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Frog Tape. As with most occasions when I use Frog Tape, I used it and then thought, oh, I can blog about this!  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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  1. Love your decor, ideas and posts, Marian. Not in my budget at this time but one day I will order your book. Thanks for the inspiration and sharing your talents with us!

  2. I love the dresser! Isn’t it great when you make those “happy mistakes”?

  3. I love the sneak peek – different but very cool.

    I use frog tape too – great stuff.

    The clay tags are really neat and will be a special touch when you ship shop items to customers.

    Very nice, work.

  4. I just finished an accent table that had bleed thru too. It just goes to show it is always a learning experience. But then that is part of the fun, if they all went as planned we may never learn anything new! I love your dresser!

  5. Brillz.

  6. Barbara says:

    Beautiful color, Marian! I’ll look forward to working with it! I’m doing a table in Grain Sack now, that will match the marble top beautifully!

  7. Marian, Where do you sell your milk paint at? I am wanting to give it a shot. Looks great!

  8. Susan says:

    Thanks for sharing your talents and faith. Have a wonderful Wednesday.

    Susan W.
    Atlanta, GA

  9. MARY EGUIA says:

    Really ,even a mess up by you looks great.I’m not sure many people could pull off tape early with paint and it come out looking great.Oh and the tag is fab.Your what America is all about.Using your God given talents and making a name for yourself.
    Your a real peach!!!

  10. Melissa says:

    I love your new packaging. I was wondering the other day about the Mustard Seed and faith thing. You have answered my question. Simply love it !!!!

  11. Shelley says:

    Like every morning, I’m having my first cup of coffee drooling over your blog…wishing I had an ounce of your talent and eye for design. I’m excited that you are finally adding things to your shop. Can’t wait for you to offer some vintage finds (hoping I will be able to afford some! Things are pretty tight around here). Will you eventually sell your milk paint products through your online shop? I’m dying to try them and don’t know where to buy them.

    Many blessings to you and your family!

  12. Robin says:

    Happy accidents are creative gold! I used to get upset at them, but now I always work them into the project…I think they exercise our creative “muscle” :)! I think today’s the day to order my book and t-shirt…love your packaging! French Enamel or Eulalie’s Sky tissue paper would really set off your porcelain tags! (Just a thought :) )

  13. I love it! Is this one a keeper?

  14. I finally see where the “move mountains” and “mustard seed” hail from. I LOVE the way you added that verse to your work/wrapping and love the verse! It all meshes so wonderfully :)

  15. Marlene says:

    Can’t wait to see the completed dresser. I love it so far!! Talent shows through when we make mistakes –

  16. Tavia says:

    Been watching and loving the progress!! Can’t wait to see it in all its glory!

  17. Marian, did you paint the dresser knob too? If you do, can you share the tutorial of it? I like the aged-look of it.

  18. That dresser is . . .
    SO! COOL!

  19. The dresser looks great! True, the colors aren’t your usual, but your unique style came through nonetheless. I admire the way you took what was first a mistake and then you made something different and special with it. Can’t wait to see the final pictures!

  20. I believe most discoveries were made by mistake… America to begin with 😉
    Your new “technique” looks fantastic!
    I had awful bleeding once in a shelf, so I decided to wallpaper the inside and until now, so many people tell me it was a brilliant idea… If only they could see the mess it was!!!

  21. I’m so tickled with the way the dresser looks, especially since it was from an “oh crap” moment, to an “oh cool” moment. I can’t wait to see it full on, i bet it’s gonna be one of those great pieces ! And so funny that you “Dork Out” when you see your book. I would too!


  22. This newest piece is absolutely sensational!!!!!!!!!! It is truly unique (just like you!). If only I possessed an ounce of the creativity you have been blessed with.

  23. Most of my best pieces started with “oh crap” moments! Customers always ask me “what are you going to do to that piece”. I’ve learned to respond…”we will see where it takes me!”

    Hope to see you at Chapel Market!

  24. Very unique piece. Can’t wait to see the reveal, and now I understand the “mustard seed” and “move mountains”. Love the wrapping on the packages.

  25. You are sooooooo mean!

    • Yikes! Don’t know what happened here!!! The rest of my comment disappeared. Maybe it was because I added a little emoji of a smiling devil after that first sentence. Oooops. Here’s the rest:

      What I said was that it was going to be really difficult to wait till tomorrow for the reveal of the dresser with attitude. Seriously, you should be writing thrillers–another talent to add to your vast arsenal? I love it when a “mistake” becomes the inspiration for the whole piece. I used to design makeup and hair for Broadway shows and some of my best work started out as an “oh crap” moment. Love it when that happens!

      I love your blog (it’s my favorite) and it’s the only one I always open. I’m thrilled you’ve decided to get serious about your online business. Can’t wait to order milk paint!

      • LOL…glad you finished that thought! :)

        What a cool job to work on Broadway shows. My degree is in Musical Theatre and I grew up on the stage. Anyway, thanks so much for sharing.

  26. I’m new to this Hemp Oil thing. Can you use the stuff off of the store shelf to finish painted furniture??? It looks fabulous and MUCH easier than wax!


  27. Connie says:

    Love, love, love the new packaging! It’s what prompted me to order your beautiful book and had it autographed for my daughter as a Christmas gift. She will love it. Thank you, Marian!

  28. Linda S in NE says:

    I think you should make those clay tags a standard, on everything you do tag. Everything. How nice for your customers to have such a nice momento of you, MMS, but they could also pass the tag along to someone needing a little inspiration. Give it some thought, they are great.

  29. This piece really excites me! (not that your others don’t, it’s just this strikes me for some reason)…but I have a couple of questions….what colors did you end up using? I know Trophy, but what color is that? and then Ironsides as well? Are these grays? blues, greens? Also, is Hemp Oil something specific to your line? or is that something that is found with paint sections in stores? I was really intrigued with how the piece took it that you showed on a previous blog entry…wow! makes a huge difference! so what would the sequence be with oil vs wax, or oil and wax? I’m a newbie! 😉 to all this painting stuff, so sorry for so many questions! thanks!

  30. Deann says:

    Ughhhh please stop teasing us and tell me when I can buy Trophy!?!

  31. Hi Marian,
    I really like that “Trophy” color. MMS milk paint is not readily available here in Montreal, but I will definitely make a point of ordering it online. I see so many possibilities using that beautiful color. BTW, about hemp oil – does it dry fully or does it stay oily, and how long does it take, if it dries? I’m curious to try it out. Love your blog!

    Mary @ Orphans With Makeup

    • Deann says:

      Mary – I’m not Marian, but I can tell you that the hemp oil does not stay oily. It gets absorbed into the paint and has a really lovely finish. It has many uses too, not just a “top coat”. I like to use it to serve as a resist of sorts so I can ensure the peely look on pieces I paint w/ milk paint. Apparently you can also sand with it too ( I haven’t tried that yet).

    • Yes, Deann is right. You wipe away the excess when it is applied. It might feel very slightly oily to the touch for about 30 days, but then it comes to a hard cure. The finish is all natural, food safe for counters and kitchen tables and, if the finish gets scratched or marred, you can lightly sand it and add more oil. Wax has been my favorite finish for a white, but hemp oil is creeping up on the list.

      • So would you suggest the hemp oil for butcher block island top? I used a bees wax and am not thrilled with it! I use a cutting board on top of it, but if a wet glass gets set on it it leaves a ring. :( every 3 months I have to sand it down and rewax it. I wanted it food safe, and to hold up a bit better than it has. I don’t mind it looking a bit used, but it gets looking more neglected than aged……

  32. Grisel Leveneg says:

    Please let us know the color you used for the center and the striping. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  33. Grisel Levene says:

    I read the post again and got my answer: grain sack and trophy! Still looking forward to the reveal tomorrow.

  34. Cecelia Brandt says:

    Hi there,
    I am sure that you have been asked this and gone over it…but…where did you get that picture of the cow in the dining room…I love it!

  35. like a few others, I have questions about the differences between furniture wax and hemp oil. I have read your explanations in previous blog posts but am still not quite clear on when to use which.


  36. I just had a very similar experience with “tape operator error” that ticked me off at first. Then after looking at it a few more minutes I decided I liked the effect…a lot! Maybe I’ll post it on Furniture Friday…if I ever finish it. These are perfect examples of how projects change as you go. I really like the subtle, neutral colors you used.

  37. Love the dresser! I have a few questions. 1. What do you do to ensure that you don’t have seeping under your frog tape. I’ve used it and try so hard to make sure it’s down good but it seems I always have a little bit seep through. 2. How do you determine whether to use hemp oil or wax? And I know it needs to cure for about 30 days but it seems you sell your pieces right away. Do they not get marred before sold? 4. Will you be able to autograph your books at Chapel Market? I know you’ll be very busy.

  38. What a happy accident those stripes turned out to be!!! So for those of us who might want to try and create our own chippy tone on tone stripes about how long did you wait to tape? Was the paint still tacky/wet?

  39. I taped when the paint was just dry to the touch, so probably about 20 minutes.

  40. Just wanted to tell you my minister talked about moving mountains and the mustard seed at church last weekend. :)

  41. This dresser has been gifted with a second life — gorgeous makeover!

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