furniture in waiting…

by | Jan 28, 2016 | All Things Home, Antiques, Favorite Finds, Furniture Makeovers | 44 comments

I know it’s only January, but I’m already starting to think ahead to the Lucketts Spring Market in May.  It’s my biggest event of the year and I work really hard to fill my booth with goodies. So, the shopping has begun.

I was trolling craigslist this weekend, sending links along to my craigslist-shopping-secret-weapon (my dad.)  He contacts the seller, negotiates for me, picks it up in his truck and then delivers it to the studio.

He’s probably for hire, but he’s ridiculously expensive for everyone but his baby girl.

Anyway, I found a couple of really great dressers and, as soon as his driveway was plowed, he went to pick them up for me. This one is an oldie with amazing details.


The hardware, the keyholes, the trim…and it’s actually on little wheels and it has a white marble top.  (It was just too heavy for me to lift on the piece by myself this morning!)


The recess in the bottom holds a secret drawer.  I have the pieces and it just needs to be reassembled.


I usually buy pieces to paint, but I just don’t know if I have the heart to paint this one.  I’m going to have to think long and hard about it.

I already started working on this desk chair…


I painted the metal in MMS Milk Paint Ironstone.  Milk Paint actually sticks to metal well, so I just brushed it on without the bonding agent added.


It needs another coat and obviously a slipcover!  I’m still deciding which fabric I want to use…  I may be predictable on this one.


This drop leaf table is going to get some paint, too…


And I’m going to make a simple skirt for this industrial stool…


And the sofa still only has six tufts…


I now have a awl and I’m getting some different needles to try, so I’m hoping to find a happy place with this piece.

And so it begins…


PS – I asked if anyone would be interested in joining a health/fitness facebook accountability group yesterday.  Several of you expressed an interest (and I really need it), so I started one.  You can join HERE.


  1. Sylvia

    As soon as I saw the dresser I said “Please don’t paint that piece”. It is gorgeous. Needs cleaning and feeding but it will be amazing.

    • Mikki Anderson

      I’m with Sylvia, no paint on the dresser! It’s beautiful just the way it is!!!!

  2. Sheila

    Love that first dresser.

  3. Jan

    Oh my. Marble top, secret drawer, and dark wood.

    I bet that you hemp oil that puppy and keep it. The marble top would make a great baking center in your future kitchen.

  4. Gay Van Beek

    Hi Marian that dress is to die for, and no matter what you do to it it will be perfection! I have lots of healthy recipes on my blog, check them out. My diet is based around a plant-based diet, it’s changed my life.

  5. Krista

    Can’t wait for the reveal on these items!
    PS: I love your writing. I get such a kick out of it.

  6. Diane Christy

    Your dad must be a peach. Working full-time with a flea market booth on the side is challenging. I’m always racing to a cool Craigslist find!

  7. Lalagigi

    I nearly always agree with your painting decisions, but this one should not be painted.
    I would kill to find a piece like this for myself. Nothing but junk on CL around here…..

    • G.S.

      Nothing but junk in my area of the country either, whether on CL or at estate sales! Everybody bought furniture-store furniture in the 50’s, it would seem. The homes I’ve been in all have beige wall-to-wall carpet, white walls, brown curtains & brown, blue, or maroon upholstered pieces from the 1950’s or thereabouts. In the large city where I previously lived, I could find antique pieces at fleamarkets, but there are none in small-town central Kansas!

  8. Denise

    This drop-leaf table is beautiful as is. The legs are gorgeous.

  9. Winona Stewart

    I LOVE painted furniture, especially the way you do it. But I would not paint this dresser; the wood is too beautiful. It needs a marble top and the bottom drawer replaced. Whatever you decide, though, I know it will turn out great.

  10. Lisa Alderson

    I love that dresser! I think you’ll find that you will want to leave it in the wood finish but you’ll know best.
    Thanks for sharing the photos, looking forward to the afters.

  11. Sue Lynn

    I hope you decide against painting the first piece.I have a love/dislike relationship with locally painted furniture here in FL. I am considering painting a few pieces I have had for almost 40 years. When I was a teenager we used antiquing kits on a couple of bedroom sets, so I am not against painting furniture. But the pieces I’ve found painted and for sale are not in colors I can use. I think they use chalk paint which I think is too thick. I am searching for fairly specific pieces, but prefer to paint (or not) myself.

  12. Amber Raine

    I saw the same little desk chair at my local restore for $30.00, and I thought Marion would buy that, post pictures of it, and I would love it. So I rolled it to the till (and away from another customer trying to see if I was going to walk away from it), and put it in my new little office.
    Mine is green leather, in good condition.

  13. Lisa Green


    That dresser is so cool! I can’t wait to see what you do with it.:)
    I’m painting 2 nightstands right now and they have really pretty legs. Im considering not painting them and using your hemp oil on them. When you use the hemp oil do you strip the original finish off before applying or do you sand it? The finish is pretty glossy so I know I have to do something to it for the oil to be able to penetrate the wood.

    The pieces your dad gets for you are great. Ask him if he’d like to bring some to me in sunny California! 😉 JK:)


  14. Pat Bauer

    PLEASE DON’T Paint the dresser. just too……PRETTY a la natural 🙂

  15. Shawna

    Please, oh please don’t paint the dresser. I love your work, but I can almost here the wood singing to be revived and kept original!!

  16. jan

    the group says it’s “closed”

    • Carla

      It is a closed group. Marian will approve. Just click on the button and she will get back to you.

  17. Cristina (Finding Grace Interiors)

    Oh my!! that dresser is so beautiful! The wood is gorgeous too and I am sure it looks amazing with the marble top. I know you love to paint furniture but in this case, I would just hemp oil it and call it a day!!
    Thanks for starting the FB page! I am joining right away! As soon as I put the kettle corn bag down!! (yikes! I do have a problem and I do need help!) 😉

  18. beck campbell

    I know I will be the old ball out…and NORMALLY I cringe at painting beautiful wood antiques…but my vote is paint the cabinet (a light color) and strip and oil the drawer fronts. Just my .02.

  19. sarajane

    Just wanted to chime in to say “Yay!” for painting the metal stools! I have a couple that need some love and I never even thought of milk paint (duh). Would love to see a tutorial on how you reupholster the drafting stool. Thanks for the continued inspiration!

  20. Susan

    I agree. With a marble top I’m thinking no paint. I do love it though. Also, I love the tall stools legs. Don’t cover them up.

  21. Lisa

    Do you search a specific word when searching on craigslist? You find some really great things.

    Thanks, Lisa

  22. PJ

    Wow! There are some great treasures there. I especially love the dresser and the dropleaf table.

    Looking forward to the transformation.

  23. Holly

    When I first saw that piece, I was shocked that you would consider painting. I am all for painting furniture that has little value unpainted and would be improved with paint, but this bureau is lovely just as is. Glad to see that you may reconsider.

  24. Janice

    Please don’t paint the dresser. The wood grain is lovely.

  25. Sandy

    I don’t think I would paint the first dresser. Wow, a white marble top? It would look perfect against the dark wood. I love a mix of painted wood and dark and light wood. It looks great to mix things up. You got some great finds but that dresser is gorgeous!

  26. Karen

    The dresser is gorgeous as is. Please do not paint. The wood is so nice. Beautiful piece of furniture.

  27. Naomi S.

    Sooo—I guess you won’t paint the dresser, right? When I first saw it I tho’t I wonder what color Marian will paint this. Then when I envisioned it with the marble top I tho’t it wouldn’t look so good with the lighter paint on the rest. So I think it’s unanimous! NO PAINT ON THE DRESSER!

    PS I didn’t read every single comment, so if anyone disagreed with “no paint on the dresser” I apologize for not acknowledging you. You certainly have a right to your opinion and I want to honor that.

  28. Addie

    Hello!!! Please tell me you didn’t paint over the label on the desk chair. That “Cramer” label is a classic….a REAL beauty!!!!

  29. Brenda

    I’m happy you listened to that dresser when he said, “Don’t paint me!”

  30. Treva Mills

    That first little dresser is a real cutie. I can’t wait to see the finished beauty.
    Now I am going to show what a newbie I am on here. Please tell me what Lucketts is and where it is.
    It must be a great thing to attend.

  31. Gwen

    You are free in my thoughts to do as you wish with the old dresser. It’s like every old piece. Oh no!!! I see in posts. Don’t paint!!! But you have these new colors and you’ve learned new techniques so it isn’t like say five years ago. But then would there be someone at Lucketts willing to pay full antique price not redone??? I assume the Craiglist people weren’t having buyers jumping to buy. So I’m not in charge of business but I’m kind of one that wants you to promote your “line” and what better showcase than at this big market? Ohhh I just feel for you with that couch. My friend’s Mom taught upholstery. Too bad she’s across the country!!! But if someone just did the tufting and you watched and did under their supervision….May is soon here(?)!!! But it all sounds invigorating and worthwhile to have a business. Plus a venue to sell your wares and craft. Best thinking cap on to you!! It’s why I read of your work and do not do it ( not gifted).

  32. Lugene Bastian

    Speaking of furniture in Waiting! I have a piece that you painted WAITING for me to pick it up. Could someone contact me so that I can pick it up?? PLEASE

    • marian

      I tried calling you today and I’ve sent three e-mails, so I’m not sure how we’re missing each other! We have your stool all safe and sound for you and I’d be happy to meet you sometime this weekend and I’ll be in the studio most of next week.

      • Lugene Bastian

        I got your message!! Thank you for getting back to me. I also left a message for you, this weekend doesn’t work for pickup. Monday may be my best day. Have a great weekend and I’m looking forward to getting my stool!!!

  33. Karli

    When I saw the pic of the dresser I thought, “hmm, will she paint that? It’s so beautiful!”

    Whatever you do it will be gorgeous, but I understand why you’re questioning paint!

  34. Penny

    Maybe you have talked about this before, but how do you get the stale smell out of old dressers? You know, the one’s that smell like mothballs. Any suggestions?

  35. Angie Elliott

    Your comment about your dad made me giggle. My parents enjoy going to the auction near their home, on my behalf, and turned up recently, with 15 chairs in their trailer!

  36. Kim

    Hello, iv stalked u from afar, I’m right next to burkittsville md. I just love the piece with the secret drawer and marble top! I’m looking for something just like that. If u want to send me the measurements and I can confirm that it will fit, we can make a deal, if u like. Thanks ,kim

  37. Christina

    Hi Marian! I love the furniture that you have found on craigslist and I was wondering if you have any tips on keywords that you use when searching for furniture? I’m going to hopefully be buying a house in the next year and don’t want to spend a fortune on furniture but want to find beautiful, unique and reasonable pieces. I appreciate any advice you could offer.

  38. Lauren

    All of that furniture is great! I LOVE that chair!!

    Keep going on the couch, you got this!! I can’t wait to see everything.

    Lauren | Lovely Decor


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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