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experimenting gone right


When I have a bunch of “subjects” in my basement, it’s a great time for me to test out some ideas, techniques and new products.  I do need to use the tried and true as well, so I don’t end up with a bunch of DIY disasters, but it’s not much of a risk to experiment on a few pieces.  Plus, I’ve learned that it’s really hard to ruin a piece with paint.  You can always sand it and try again.

My biggest recent experiment was on this piece…


I got this dresser from the same place I got the Boxwood dresser and the condition was pretty similar.  It needed to be cleaned, glued, sured up and straightened out.  The top was chipping and had gouges and water rings on it, so I stripped the finish.  The wood underneath was so beautiful!


I painted the body of the dresser in a custom-mixed MMSMP color (I’m working on some colors for a possible European line.)  This turned out to be a soft green, blue, gray color.  Think it’s a keeper?

Anyway, it chipped a lot.  I mean, flaking off the drawer fronts, so barely a scrap of paint was holding on for dear life.  At the time, I decided to go with it and tested out a possible new topcoat that can be applied to prevent a piece from chipping anymore.  (It worked very well at that, by the way!)  So, I let the finish dry and put on the hardware.

It was too much.  The chipping was kind of cool, but too much.  So, I made a rash decision and just painted over the places that chipped too much.  As it was drying, I thought that might’ve been a mistake.  I didn’t know how the paint would behave over this new topcoat.  Well, it stuck like a champ…without the bonding agent or sanding or anything.  (Hmmm…this topcoat could be a primer/sealer as well?)


Now I had places where the paint was opaque with full coverage and places where it chipped.  I needed to distress the full-coverage areas and, when I did, it brought out the amazing texture of the chipped paint underneath.


I did an “I-have-made-fire” sort of dance at the newly created technique that looks complicated, but was really easy to achieve.  I called Jeff in to show him the results of my experiment.  He nodded and got as excited as one who doesn’t really care about paint finishes could get and went about his day.  So, I took some time and admired it for the both of us.  And took lots of pictures of crackles and chips and fine lines.





I finished the wood top in Hemp Oil to bring out the beautiful wood.  I also like how the wood top quiets the piece, since the chipping and texture can make it a little in-your-face.


What’s really cool about this texture is it’s just visual texture.  The piece still feels nice and smooth, which I like in a piece of furniture.

I know this kind of piece isn’t to everyone’s taste, but in my mind, this experiment was a success!

Believe it or not, I still have more painting and upholstery to do.  Lucketts is almost here…

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  1. Laurie says:

    I like the texture you achieved when viewed in the close up photos. But I don’t care for the way the piece as a whole looks. The large areas of distressing [or not sticking] Look Like they were made on purpose and by power tools. I’m not saying they Are that. But how it looks is what matters in the end.

    I do think the new color is a keeper, especially for Europeans.

    Best of luck at Lucketts!

  2. Kim Svahn says:

    I too am not getting any of my feedburner email subscriptions anymore!!! I noticed other people have commented on this. Another blog I subscribe to (The Enchanted Home) finally started coming again (after weeks of not getting it) and in the blog she mentioned that she had to switch to Mail Chimp because so many subscribers were not getting their feedburner emails. I miss my Miss Seed emails!!! Love your blog and your home and your energy!

  3. oh I love me a crackly finish! It is beautiful! Dressers are my all time favourite piece of furniture and this one with the beautiful legs and darling wheels, is FABULOUS!
    Thanks for all the tips, and I am going to try the Hemp Oil!

  4. Debbie McCallen says:

    I love it. the color, the texture and the end look. can’t wait to get some of your new “possible topcoat”

  5. So what was the magic topcoat that you used? Love the color!

  6. Great results. Love the colour and the chippiness, especially if the finish is smooth to the touch. Looks very authentic.

    colour definitely a keeper.

  7. I absolutely LOVE it! and ‘fine lines’ at age 43 usually makes me cringe – but perfection here!!

  8. Sherry says:

    Marion, I’m not getting my feed burner email subscriptions anymore either! What do I do? I love getting them!

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      I’m working on the problem. Sorry! I think I may have to switch to a different distributor.

  9. Lesley says:

    Beautiful color, and love the effect of the hemp oil, the wood looks really rich. I don’t understand the glass knobs, though. A rough and tumble piece of furniture with “indoor” glass knobs?

  10. Diane says:

    Before I go any further I want to say that I love what you do…the landscape chest of drawers is darling! I feel like this cabinet has something missing and I believe its the drawer knobs…its like it needs a pop of colour because its hard to see the door knobs with the washed out grey/green colour! I am not a fan of over chippy paint, but I do know that everyone is different and some love it…but I do really think that the drawer knobs get lost which is a real pity because they are beautiful, far better to use some block colour knobs…just my opinion Marian and I am no great expert!

  11. Cathee says:

    I think it looks amazing, I really like the look you achieved. It pays to experiment with these things!

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