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Typewriter Vanity/Desk Reveal


 This is how the piece looked when it came into my possession…

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Typewriter MMSMP is our color of the month for October, so I thought it was good timing to use it on this piece.  I generally don’t paint pieces all black, but I knew bleed through would be an issue and nothing hides that better than black.


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Here’s how the piece looked when I last showed it to you…

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…and here’s how it looks now that it’s finished.

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I painted it in one coat of Typewriter without the Bonding Agent added.  The piece was sanded to give the surface tooth, though, so adhesion wasn’t an issue.  I allowed it to dry and distressed it pretty heavily with 80 grit sand paper.  I’ve always loved the look of warm wood against black paint.  The top was finished in Minwax Dark Walnut stain and the entire piece coated in Hemp Oil.

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I picked up the hardware at Hobby Lobby.

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The inside of one of the cabinets has some old newspaper for the liner, which I loved and left intact.

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All of the accessories in the shoot are things from around my house.  I’ve bought and sold a lot of typewriters (I’m bringing TWO to the Chapel Market, in fact), but I’ve always kept this one.  I bought it for $10 at a yard sale, if you can believe it.  I like that it’s so tiny.

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I bought the perpetual calendar off of Etsy a few years ago.

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…and the binoculars and opera glasses are from antique stores.

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Here’s one last look at the before and after…


This piece will be making the trip with me all the way to Alabama for the Chapel Market this Saturday (October 19.)


I wanted to share one last thing.  I received the most amazing gift in the mail today…

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Cindy Austin, the artist of Eulalie, the white cow painting you see in my header, and I have been chatting for a few months about another painting for my home.  She kindly painted Eulalie for me a few years ago and never asked for anything in return.  That collaboration, though, has worked out well for both of us.  I got an original oil painting I absolutely adore and she has been able to sell the giclee print of Eulalie to those who love her as much as I do.  So, we collaborated  again on another cow, this time a young, spotted Holstein for my family room.

I need to make a frame for her AND need to have the very important “name that cow” contest, which has become a tradition here!  Don’t start sharing names, now.  Wait for the contest!  I’ll share a full shot of her in a later post, but if you’re totally smitten at the preview and can’t wait, you can buy a giclee print of the painting HERE.

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  1. That piece came out awesome!!! I wish I could go to Alabama this weekend but I can’t. One day I’m going to get to something you are at. I love everything you do. And….that cow picture is spectacular!!! I love cows! The artist is unbelievable. I love the cows face, it’s beautiful. I’m picky with the faces. This cow has a sweetness in her face. Love all your decor, the typewriter was a score at $10 and it’s a really nice one. I have to come yard sale-ing by you.

  2. I love this…I like the look of black and stained wood together…looks perfect with the old typewriter and other goodies…just invites you to plop onto that piano stool and tap out a note to someone!

  3. Emily says:

    Absolutely beautiful!! You have such a talent and are so inspiring! Have a wonderful day!

  4. Oh my word – that is simply stunning – I have always had a weakness for the brown / black décor & that is perfectly done & presented … Stunning work!

  5. Deb Chase says:

    Wow! Your newsletter was the first email that I opened today and I am blown away! This painted piece sings every love song ever written! Actually, today marks the beginning of many “firsts”. This is my first time posting a comment and the best one, my favourite “first”….

    I just received my first order of MMSMP! I am absolutely “geeked” to begin transforming some really awesome pieces that I have “scored” over the years. I ordered a Value Pack (through your Canadian retailer, Homestead House Paint Co Inc.) which has all 15 magnificent colours to choose from so, I better get started. My goal is to (one day soon) submit a project on Furniture Friday.

    Thanks for the inspiration, Marian. Your newsletters are like having daily coffee with my best friend and decorating pal!

  6. Marian – This desk and chair set look terrific! I am a huge fan and user of milk paint and your website and blog always inspire me no matter what color you are using! I am currently painting a bench with a custom mix of 4 parts tricycle and 1 part typewriter – love it. There is no end to what can be created with your paints and that excites me.

  7. One of the most gordious painted desks I´ve EVER seen! Just love how the wodd comes out of the black!GREAT!

  8. Lorretta from NH says:

    I am so in love with this color and the look you gave this vanity. Just wonderful! Where can this color be purchased on line?

  9. This is really beautiful, Marian! I love distressed black on warm wood as well. I think I’m going to have to make that my next color choice after seeing this! :)

  10. Wow… This is stunning… Great job!

  11. Anne Boykin says:

    Dear MMS, OMG I love it! Even though black isn’t your a usual color for you, you sure know how to paint it and style it too. Lovely!

  12. WOW… what a beautiful job you did on that desk. I too love how the old wood shows thru under the black. I think it’s a fantastic piece.
    And, I can’t say that I’m a great fan of cows, but this black/white painting is really, really nice!!! I may have to check out her prices. Keep up the great work and best of luck at the sale. Wish I could go.

  13. Beautiful job on the desk…….he looks like a Koenraad to me…..the cow that is……Dutch for Conrad……

  14. love it!!!

  15. Hey there, Marian! I’ve got gotten interested in black on wood, so seeing this only solidifies my desire to do a great black piece like this. I haven’t tried your milk paint yet. I first dibbled and dabbled in it at Haven, but I’m curious so maybe I’ll put the ‘ole chalk paint aside and see how it works 😉 You did a great job on this piece and the styling is perfect :)

    See you next year at Haven!

    Thrift Diving

  16. Ecfinn says:

    This is an example of when NOT to paint a piece. That wood was beautiful and in good condition. The paint hides all the interesting details and the gorgeous wood grain. Plus, milk paint is so overdone now.

  17. Thanks MMS! I am pinning this for a boring old china cabinet that needs reinventing. You are the best!

  18. Michelle says:

    Marion.. the desk turned out beautiful and will be the inspiration for my oak dresser turned bathroom vanity :-) I wanted to you ask about the little stool in one of the photos of the desk. I just purchased one IDETICAL to it. Literally, glass ball feet and everything. I bought it because it is just adorable. The top is cracked, so the hubs is going to fix it but I thought I could use as a plant stand as an alternative. I wanted to ask if you had any history on the stool. Thanks :-)

  19. Michelle says:

    So Sorry!! My mother in law’s name is Marion. And, I meant “IDENTICAL”…sometimes I type faster than my brain works. :)

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