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custom-mixed blue empire dresser


I shared a dresser a few days ago and labeled it as my new favorite piece in a while.  Well, I’ve changed my mind.  This one has knocked the other one off of that throne.

Blue milk paint dresser -

I painted it in a color similar to French Enamel, but it’s a custom mix MMSMP of Flow Blue and Shutter Gray.  This is another Craig’s List piece I found.  It was a pretty good bargain, because it’s in rough condition.  The small drawers need runners and two of the larger drawers need to be entirely rebuilt.  But, I love empire style dressers, so I went for it.  Their chunky lines seem to lend themselves to milk paint.

 Here’s how it started…

empire dresser before -

The wood is beautiful, but the veneer is rough in some places and the brass hardware that was added was entire wrong for the piece.  So, we removed the hardware, cleaned it up, gave it a light sanding and filled the extra holes with small wooden dowels and wood filler.  Once all of the prep work was done, I painted it in the custom blue paint I mixed.

It chipped like a champ and did the perfect thing milk paint does when the bonding agent isn’t added.  For some reason, the top drawer chipped the most, but I love that, because it sticks out the farthest and would receive the most wear naturally.

Blue milk paint dresser -

The smaller drawers chipped mostly around the key holes, which was, again, perfect.

Blue milk paint dresser -

The knobs on the small drawers are new from Hobby Lobby and the knobs on the larger drawers are antiques from eBay.  These knobs look so much better than the metal ones that were added.

Blue milk paint dresser -


Because of the paint and chipping, the missing veneer blends in and doesn’t look like something that needs to be repaired.  Some people get all upset at missing veneer, but I think it creates amazing texture, so I leave it alone unless it’s bubbled or loose.

Blue milk paint dresser -


If you want to learn more about getting the “chippy look” with milk paint, check out the video tutorial on the MMSMP blog HERE.

This piece could be used as a dresser or buffet, but I chose to style it as a buffet.

Blue milk paint dresser -

Any chance to take some pictures of my blue -handled flatware, ironstone mugs and antique linens is one I’m going to take!


To recap…


Custom Blue MMS Milk Paint Empire Dresser -


This is supposed to go in the pile for Lucketts, but I love it so much that it may get swapped out for another piece, so I can keep it.  We’ll see.

Off to do more painting and upholstery…

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  1. Laurie says:

    WOW! THIS is why I want to flip my home decor to shades of blues and whites! Of course that will only happen when husband 1.0 sends me out looking for husband 2.0! LOL!
    Fabulous MMS. My favorite piece ever! See you at Lucketts. (Driving myself 6.5 hours to get there since 1.0 forgot the date and now has to be in NYC for a meeting…but he will meet up with me by show time!)

  2. I do like your other favourite, but agree I do like this one just a tad more. I think its the chunkyness of this one that I’ve taken a fancy to.

  3. Candy says:

    What did you use over the paint to finish? Wax, hemp oil?

  4. Sandy A says:

    Simply gorgeous–perfect chippiness! You have to keep this beauty!

  5. Sue Pagels says:

    I love empires and we seldom see them here. If this was for sale somewhere close, I would snap it up in a heartbeat! Beautiful!

  6. Tammy Gilleland says:

    I like this one the best of all! I love the color, style and the overall look of this piece. Another piece of furniture mustarized to perfection! I can’t wait to say hello to you at Lucketts.

  7. Leslie says:

    Wow! What a transformation! I love this piece. I agree that you should keep it. Sure wish I could make the trip to Lucketts. Maybe next year.

  8. Teresa says:

    Love the color and style. I have been looking for a buffet with glass front doors for the longest time. I am hoping I find one at Luckett’s.

  9. Just wondering is it equal parts on the paint colors Love the color too !!

  10. Love the color! I happen to have a partial bag of Shutter Grey and a partial bag of Flow Blue on hand … I think I might have to do some mixing!

  11. Love the color! And it has such a unique structure to it. Beautiful piece!

  12. Natalie says:

    Amazing!!! Love the way it turned out! I have a gorgeous empire dresser but it is in near perfect condition from the mid 1800’s so I will leave that one be. However, you have inspired me to not turn away the next piece I come across because of condition and go to town on your Milk Paint!!!! Beautiful Job!!!!!!

  13. Jo @ Simple Pleasures Vintage says:

    Love this custom color and how it looks in all its chippy glory! Definitely a keeper!

  14. This is just gorgeous! I love the color and the unique shape to the piece.

  15. Carol G says:

    I LOVE IT Marian!!! You make me smile everytime I open an email from you! Thank you again for your inspiration and imagination!

  16. Eliza says:

    Looks great! The color is just perfect and like you, I’m 100% OK with missing veneer under paint; in fact I painted a side table with missing veneer and it looked great! I also love Empire pieces…I suspect your piece is also missing its feet:)

  17. Sherrie says:

    Keep it! It is such a lovely and unique piece.

  18. Sarah Lahrman says:

    I am in love!! This piece is amazing and if I were you I would be keeping it for myself :) Hooray for the awesomeness of milk paint!

  19. Mary B says:

    Its a keeper for sure!!! It’s sooo you:}

  20. Jennifer says:

    Love it! Can you explain how you filled the knob holes with dowels? What did you use to “stick” them in place? Glue? Or were they a tight fit and then hammered in? Thanks!

  21. Wow, I love this piece! You did a fabulous job! It’s so you!

  22. Carla says:

    I love Empire furniture but you don’t see much of it in the KC area.

  23. Lynn Arnett says:

    I love this! Absolutely beautiful. I think it’s my favorite too

  24. That is stunning! I would not be able to part with it.

  25. Glenda says:

    Okay coming out of lurkdom to ask was the “recipe” for this color

  26. I enjoy your blog every day, but am especially excited to read it when it is about one of your ‘reloves’. Beautiful, as usual!

  27. MaryS says:


  28. Lynn Ehrlich says:

    It’s beautiful!

  29. sharon says:

    …..ah yes! Now this…this is!!!! This is why I got interested in this type of furniture. And thanx! for answering my questions about those molds..except when filled it loses the prettiness of the inside.. I would N E V E R ever ever eat pudding… ☆

  30. Dixie says:

    Ahhhhh…. Milk Paint Magic! Beautiful.

  31. I would totally keep that!

  32. I love this! Your paint color mixes are wonderful! I always passed up pieces that had chipped veneer. Good to know they can be easily worked with.

  33. Kelly T says:

    I’m swooning over that color!!

  34. Amazing transformation! Simply gorgeous.

  35. I love that rustic chippy look and yes I agree this one is amazing!

    Lee :)

  36. Absolutely gorgeous!

  37. Tardevil says:

    The color is perfect. I would definitely keep it!

  38. Carmen says:

    What percent of each color achieved that shade???? Don’t leave us in suspense! It’s one of the most beautiful colors in existence…pardon me while I swoon! :) recipe please?

  39. Wow, what a transformation! I can only imagine how many people passed that piece by. It is definitely something that wouldn’t be passed by now! Love it!

  40. Linda Petersen says:

    It’s gorgeous!! You should keep it~~~~especially since the flatware, linen, & ironstone are perfect with it!

  41. Love it Marian. You’re right…missing veneer makes for great chippiness or distressing!

  42. Laurie says:

    That is a dramatic improvement! It even takes your eye away from the way it appears to have been shortened at the base. Now that’s something I never expected Any paint to do!!

  43. GORGEOUS!!! Perfect look for this piece! I vote keep it. The color is so pretty and the piece is so unique.

  44. Marian,
    Love the color as so many do. You haven’t answered the question of the ratio of flow blue to shutter grey. Maybe you just threw it together until you got the color you liked. Not so bad, and a lot of fun.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • marian says:

      Yeah, I have no idea what the ratio was! I suggest mixing ratios using an 1/8 teaspoon until you like the mix. So sorry about that! :)

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