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corner cabinets in shutter gray


While I was finishing up the slipcovers I shared yesterday, Kriste worked on giving a few pieces in my dining room a fresh coat of paint.

(She was standing in front of the sink, mixing paint, and the light was so pretty, so I had to snap a picture.)


I wanted to give the corner cabinets and buffet in the dining room a little makeover.

The first time I ever used a tinted wax was on these corner cabinets and it got away from me a bit.  Well maybe more than a bit.  The end result looked streaky and I’ve wanted to fix them for a while, but again, there was always something more important to do.


The interior was painted a cream, but the original reddish stain on the cabinet had bled through, so it had a pink tinge in a few places.  Again, something I wanted to fix, but not enough to actually do it.  Until now.  While I worked on the slipcovers, Kriste emptied the cabinets and started painting them.  (Imagine trying to navigate a partially sewn wing chair slipcover around a stack of ironstone.  Welcome to my world.)


We painted the exteriors in MMS Milk Paint Shutter Gray with Linen detail and the interiors in Mora.  We left them unfinished, since we liked the matte look of the paint without a wax or oil.  The Mora definitely makes the white ironstone stand out more.


It’s a subtle difference, but I really love the change.  (If you scroll back up, you can compare the after, below, with the before.)



The boys were between school and summer camp last week, so they “helped” some. Kriste was such a good sport about it.  (Yep, painting in his jammies.  I wonder who he got that from…)


Kriste and I were laughing, because we spent three days last week working on changing things that most people won’t even notice.  Slipcovering chairs that were already slipcovered and painting furniture that was already painted, but they are the kind of tweaks and finishing touches that can elevate a space.

I have a bit more cleaning, playing and picture-taking to do tomorrow and then the photo shoot is happening Wednesday & Thursday.  It’s always so fun for me to see other photographers and stylists working in my home.  Jeff commented today how boring it must be, but I absolutely love it!  I get to watch professionals, who are some of the best in their field, practicing their craft on my turf!

That is anything but boring.

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  1. Lori Merrill says:

    Hello Marian….As always love all that you do. (and Kristie too) Lori

  2. Kristina says:

    I love the re-do! You said the piece had originally been waxed – what do you do to prep the surface for paint?

  3. I love the new color! It looks “happy”. I just finished painting my corner hutch, but it’s ivory – because I’m not very brave with color yet. :) Your pieces inspire though!

  4. I know what you mean about doing things other people won’t notice but you will and that is all that matters! I think we all have little projects like this that we put off because you can live with it for now! If only we all had a Kristi around to help out!

  5. Jammie painting!!! I love it!

  6. Hi, I have to laugh at the wax that got away a bit! Been there, done that. I’m curious as to whether you needed to sand it off before you went over it with the milk paint in shutter gray? I have not had to repaint anything yet, but if I do, I would like to know the best way to handle it. Thanks and have a great time watching the professionals!

  7. There is just something so rewarding to FINALLY getting to something that’s be been bugging, ever so slightly for a while. I am always surprised after it’s fixed…it’s like I’m just waiting for the annoyance and it doesn’t come. I’m always so grateful for the mental space. And how cool to have someone to help you, so you can address both at the same time. Yay.
    Have a happy day,
    The Other Marian

  8. Jennifer says:

    Marian – Did you paint right over the dark wax on the corner cabinet or did you sand it a bit and then paint over?

    • marian says:

      We actually just painted straight over the wax. If it were a dresser I was in and out of all the time or a table top, I would’ve sanded it. For pieces like these, however, it was fine.

  9. Teresa says:

    Love the new color of the corner cabinet. It gives it a much fresher look. The change might look subtle in person but in the pictures the new color looks much lighter and brighter..

    I had to laugh because your dining room looks like mine at the moment. My husband is painting our living room and everything has been scuffled to the dining room.

  10. Your entire dining room is stunning. Pinned!

  11. Catherine says:

    The cabinets look so refreshed! That was definitely a worthwhile project. I want Kriste’s job!!!

  12. Wow what a difference! It really makes the ironstone pop, the small changes are always the ones that make the most difference (in my opinion).

    Have a great photoshoot! Can’t wait to see pictures! Your home is so beautiful

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs

  13. Karen says:

    Marion, LOVE the change in the corner cabinets….question….noticed you put back the ironstone in cabinet…how soon after did you do that?

    • marian says:

      Just a few hours after it was dry. I wouldn’t do that with latex, but it was fine with milk paint.

      • Karen says:

        HOW SWEET of you to reply so soon…I LOVE YOUR work….wish I lived closer….Have a very BEATUTIFUL day!

  14. Priscilla says:

    I love it! I don’t have any ironstone, but I do have a lot of white dishes and pottery on my hutch right now. I think I’m going to paint my giant, dark hutch, that has so many ivory knobs on it similar to this. It’s so pretty, and it does make the dishes really pop. I’m also thinking, which wall will be my chalkboard wall? :)

  15. Gretta says:

    I laughed when I read the comments thusfar. Seems like a bunch of us have painted furniture before (all those questions about WHAT DID YOU DO ABOUT THE WAX THAT WAS ON THE PIECE! By the way, what did you do?

    • marian says:

      Ha! I just answered this above. We painted straight over the wax and it was fine. I wouldn’t do that with a hard-working piece, like a kitchen table, but it was fine for a piece like this.

  16. Oh, I love the lightened look of the cabinets! They make the whole room look brighter now too.

  17. Jenny B. says:

    i loved the old style of the corner cabinet, and you’re right, I probably would have left it alone knowing I could fix it later too. But girl….you made the right decisions for that final look. It’s absolutely beautiful now. I love it even more. It’s elevates the entire room as you said before! And the ironstone collection is standing out much much more than before. I am on my way to find a corner cabinet now!!!:) thanks for sharing!!!

  18. That looks so much better! I painted a blue painted hutch…blue! But I used chalk paint and completely love it!

  19. Sharon says:

    I love the redo on the corner cabinets! They look so “fresh”. By the way, has anyone ever told you that you remind them of actress Catherine Dent?! I recently saw a rerun on tv that she was in and at first I thought it was you!

  20. Julie Kisling says:

    Love the color change!

  21. Ooh, yes, the Mora really sets off the ironstone – pretty! And oh yes, your next two days sound like my kind of fun – now that all your prep work is done (it is done, right? Or will you be pulling an all-nighter? Is Kriste sleeping over? Are you two already in your jammies, still working??). :)

  22. Christy Keyton says:

    This made me laugh – I have a cabinet just like that where “the wax got away from me a bit” and I am about to repaint it with milk paint. It was the first piece I ever tried to use dark wax on as well! Must be a common problem with all the furniture painters. I love the way your cabinet looks now – so pretty and fresh.

  23. Rondell says:

    I always wondered who Kriste was, at first I thought she would be an older woman but here she is a young chick! Love everything you do especially love your diningroom!


  24. Goodness – I can’t imagine anyone else doing as good as you photographing your home. You should probably just tell them to step down and let the real pro show them how it is done! Nonetheless – excited for you! I stand in awe at your work, time and time again.

  25. Alice Crawford says:

    Sweetie, I know your going to say you love it BUT using that sewing machine that’s so high must be killing your back!!! Time to start looking for an old Kenmore. I’ve had mine since the early 70’s and it’s a work horse, no kidding. Of course, when my cataracts started I wanted a self threading machine and found another Kenmore but they’re now a LOT lower in price and have a lot more options which I’ll probably never use but it’s so nice to not have to find that teeny weeny hole in that needle anymore and it sits only 3″ from dining room table to feed dogs. Something to think about for your back. It may not hurt now but just wait a few years!!

  26. LOVE, LOVE!

  27. Sharon M. says:

    I have looked for Kristie’s web page but haven’t found it. I thought it would be fun to see her work. Any chance I could get it from you?

  28. Oh my gosh, it’s just beautiful! I absolutely love the lightness of the colors together…. between all your fresh colors and the light in the room it just shines…


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