I love the look of paint that has been worn with time.  Chips, flakes, rubbed areas that reveal the warm patina of the wood underneath. It just speaks to me.

But, I know some people look at those pieces and wonder when you’re going to repaint or refinish them.  It’s just not a look that is up everyone’s alley.  My mom is one of those people who doesn’t like the “chippy look.”

I know!  Where in the world did I come from, right?!

She does still ask her chippy-loving daughter to paint furniture for her, though.  It’s always a good challenge for me and forces me out of my comfort zone.

For her bedroom makeover, that large oak cabinet was begging to be painted.  It felt massive and orange and a little dated as it was.

I suggested painting it in Marzipan, to keep it light and fresh, but my mom really, really, really wanted to paint it in MMS Milk Paint Bergere.  It’s hard to argue with your mom on anything, but I’ve already pushed her out of her comfort zone with the fabric and the planked wall behind the bed.

If it clashed, I would just blame her.


Well, it didn’t clash at all and it brought in the blue that my mom loves, so it was a win-win.

And I’ll take full credit for it, now.

Here’s how the piece looked before.


Massive, orange and dated.  I think that description pretty much nailed it.  The hardware was definitely making things worse.

The good news is that the piece had very simple lines, so some paint and new hardware would totally transform it and keep this sturdy and super-functional piece in use for many years to come.


The hardware was a little tricky, because we needed clapper pulls with a 5″ span, which limits the selection quite a bit.  We ended up picking the Siena Bail Pull in Ancient Bronze.   They were a bit dear at $18.95 each, but I’m pretty comfortable spending my parent’s money.  Kidding.


We bought these knobs from Amazon for the rest of the drawers and doors.


To get this super-smooth look on a glossy, oak piece, my parents removed all of the knobs and sanded the entire piece with medium grit sand paper.  We then painted the piece in Bergere with the Bonding Agent added to it.

It ended up taking two coats and just over one bag of milk paint, since it’s such a massive piece.  Once it was dry, we applied Hemp Oil for a smooth finish.


I know I keep saying this, but the built-ins are almost done.  I hope we’ll be installing them later this week and then it’s all about the accessories and finishing details.


If you’d like to see how far this room has come, you can catch up here…

part 1 | the concept

part 2 | the before pictures

part 3 | selecting a wall color

part 4 | the walls & built-in plans

part 5 | the bedskirt & the built-ins


  1. Lorie

    I honestly did not notice the cute glass doors in the before pic, they just sort of blended in.
    I had to go back and look to see if you had added those. The paint made such a difference!

  2. Leslie

    Love the color! It adds so much for the harmony of all the pieces in the room. Have you thought of painting the chair legs? They kind of stick out next to all the blue and white. Maybe a dark color like the hardware? Just a thought! I can’t wait to see the built -ins!

  3. JeanFB

    Looooove the color! It turned out beautifully. Can’t wait for the full reveal.

  4. carswell

    I really like the velvety finish of milk paint with no chipping. The first piece I did as a test was one of my night tables – I did it in Tricycle red and it chipped a little although not enough for me to mind.

    The second piece I did was my dresser – in Typewriter black – and I covered the piece in your bonding/sealing agent first as it had that dark stain that bleeds red through everything. Two coats of black milk paint later and a waxing and it looks like black velvet. No chipping. I LOVE it.

    Next up is my art deco style Hoosier cabinet in my living room. I’m looking at your dark blue – Artissimo, but I haven’t made a final colour decision yet.

  5. vikki

    I had to laugh when you said that some people will wonder when you are going to finish painting the pieces that are chippy. I proudly showed my mother a piece I had done and she said exactly that, “it is nice so when are you going to finish it!!” I love the look of your mom’s new redo looks very calm and peaceful. I like that the chest is painted a color, I am finally breaking out of just painting everything either white or black. Just did a cute chair in aqua which is really bright, and love it. Can’t wait to see the total reveal. Just wish I lived near you so you could redo my bedroom!

  6. Julie

    Its turning out beautiful. By the way, congrats on the Country Living article this month!

  7. Gilda

    that hemp oil is wonderful

  8. Cindy

    Would you be willing to share what color you painted the walls? :–)

    • beverlee

      it is in one of those earlier updates, Cindy. I don’t remember, either.

    • Carla

      Benjamin Moore “in your eyes”.

  9. Denise Yunker

    it looks great…..just need to paint the chair legs ……they stand out too much in orange 🙂

  10. Joan Dorrill

    The blue chest looks beautiful, very clean, uncluttered look. I happen to like the new look as well as the chippy look. Very cool article in Country Living Magazine

  11. Jelena

    Love how that cabinet was transformed with paint and new hardware!

  12. Cristina (Finding Grace Interiors)

    I love the color and it looks great in the room with the pillow and bed skirt! Hard to believe it is the same armoire! What a transformation paint and new hardware can make!!
    Your mom room is going to look so pretty!! I cannot wait to see the reveal! 🙂

  13. Jessica @ Petal + Ply

    So much better! Your mom clearly had a vision when she picked Bergere. Looks perfect and provides just the pop of color needed!

  14. Kate

    That is beautiful (coming from a non-chippy fan). A side question: have you every painted baskets with milk paint? I have some large baskets that are dark and boring. I don’t want to use spray paint. I also have some wicker chairs and small tables that are looking pretty sad on my porch.

  15. Donna Doble-Brown

    That piece cam out GORGEOUS! Good call Mom! The room is really beautiful Marian! XO

  16. Argelia Brown

    Marion, just received my Country Living magazine and lo and behold your house is pictured on it!!! I felt so happy for you and your family. But did you get new dining room chairs? Those are definetly not the chairs you had before, and did you get new bedroom lamps? HAHA. That’s sad that I know this things. I feel that I have been to your house many times, and I appreciate all the journeys you have taken us with your decorating style and changes. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  17. Krista

    Gorgeous! I love how the color of the cabinet just brings out the sea glass color of the walls so much. Can’t wait to see the finished room!

  18. Jenn A

    Love the painted cabinet! Much better! And I tend to go for lightly distressed but not chippy myself. However, I love your taste. I think your mom called it right on this color!

  19. Rita C at Panoply

    Wow – that’s really strikingly pretty! Love how the piping on the pillow pulls out the accent of the hardware, and how all the blues are really dreamy together. Nice vision, mom, and great job, Marian!

  20. kcf

    What an improvement – the paint and new hardware are terrific. Looking forward to the ‘big reveal’!

  21. April

    I looked at your pictures and then read the post and as I looked at the pictures I wondered why you didn’t go with an off white. The Bergere is very pretty and it is her room, good call. 🙂

  22. Dianne


  23. Irene Peterson

    Kim, I am not a chippy-look person either . We senior or citizens have to stick together! The pretty blue chest looks amazing.

  24. Irene Peterson

    Kim, I am not a chippy-look person either . We senior or citizens have to stick together! The pretty blue chest looks amazing.

    This is my second attempt to send this to you. NO, it is NOT a repeat.

    • Kim Wagner

      I love it.

  25. Kris

    Wow! I wouldn’t have recognized it as the same piece of furniture. Will you come to Michigan and paint my desk????

  26. Marilyn

    Well, this is off the subject, but last night I opened my new Country Living magazine and stared at the photo on the Table of Contents page and thought “Man, someone stole ideas from Miss Mustard Seed”…I couldn’t believe it! Then, I came to the huge, wonderful article about you and your family and home!!! It was very exciting to see you there. WOW!! Good for you, Marian 🙂

  27. beverlee

    love this. it is one of my favorite pieces, ever.

  28. Stephanie

    It’s lovely. I painted an old spool table in Bergere and love it. But it’s chippy and old looking. I don’t know which version of milk paint I like best – smooth and classy or antique and chippy.

  29. Carla

    Ha Marian my mom would hate chippy furniture! I’m not a real chippy fan either but like the lightly distressed look. My mom has given me furniture only after I promise not to paint it. She thinks it is very odd that the “farm house” look is fashionable. That armoire is stunning now. The bergere is perfect for it.

  30. Eileen

    That was an amazing transformation and just beautiful. Isn’t paint a beautiful thing???

  31. Jan

    Love the blue. The cabinet looks great. Is there a reason that you didn’t spray paint the knobs and handles in ORB paint? Looking forward to seeing the reveal.

  32. Julie | Chasing Spring

    Gorgeous! It’s hardly recognisable! The new hardware looks great! I’m updating my tallboy today with some antique style cup pulls, this has given me confidence that the colours will go well together.
    I really love how versatile your milk paint is – silky smooth or chippy, and everything in between!

  33. Cindy Knighten

    Marion I need your help! I’ve painted a old vanity chair with paint that I bought at Home Depot that they matched to my cabinets in my new house. I’m in the process of putting a second coat on it. But I’m not liking the way it feels. It’s Behr Satin. Here’s the thing, after I am done with the second coat, should I put hemp oil or some wax to make it feel smoother? I can’t seem to get an answer from anyone. Help please!!!

  34. MaryLisa Noyes

    It’s looking very nice indeed!

  35. Sheila Irwin

    I just cannot believe how great this piece looks! And when I scrolled down and saw the “before”, I was truly blown away! I have been watching you and other bloggers paint some amazing pieces for awhile now on both the blogs and IG, and I have been more and more tempted to try my hand, however, this one seals the deal. I hate to admit it, but I would have sold that piece in a garage sale, or worse, given it away and shelled out more money to buy something new. And now I’m realizing that almost anything can be transformed with paint – and way more easily than I imagined.

    Thank you so, so much for inspiring me to try it. I have a dresser that’s been in my garage for years and have been trying to sell. I think it’s just the thing to try painting!


  36. Cheryl

    Simply Beautiful! And I’m a Cottage Journal gal myself but I will pickup a Country Living print in light of your article! So enjoying your blog, and experimenting with your paint line. Grateful?

  37. Susan

    I love it and I think the chair legs match the floor. I actually thought you had painted the hardware. It all looks great.

  38. Naomi S.

    The cabinet looks beautiful! Even tho’ it’s not “chippy”! I did notice, however, that in the fourth photo from the top–the one showing a close-up of the hardware–there seems to be a little scrape in the paint on the second drawer from the bottom. Now, I’m not saying that was an intentional thing on your part, Marian, just to not have capitulated entirely to the non-chippy look, but…. Just teasing! I’m sure it was an accident or oversight and you have already fixed it–or possibly not and no one (Mom) has noticed it!

    Anyway, the cabinet looks great with the other changes and I am anxious to see the wall with the built-ins and the ship-lap on the wall. Is that what the “paneling” is called–ship-lap? It is going to be a beautiful bedroom once finished.

  39. glenda

    That is beautiful it transformed so nicely!

  40. Joan

    I would love this if I was your Mom !
    I bet she LOVES it!!! Good job, as always!
    I also love the legs on the chair ( that you left them original),adding a teeny bit/touch of natural wood….a beautiful touch..
    this allll
    looks so GOOD!
    Can’t tell you how inspiring you are.

  41. Alicia

    The transformation of the cabinet is inspiring! I’ve been following this remodel closely as I too want a coastal theme in my bedroom. Similar to your mother’s room, I have “vintage” maple furniture that needs to be transformed with color. You managed to pull it off! The room still has that coastal feel – and I noticed that you topped off the cabinet with a glass container filled with shells. I’m waiting to see the custom wall unit. That is going to bring such a new dimension to the room and I’m sure with well chosen accessories on those shelves the coastal bedroom theme will be realized.

    Oh! I’d be tempted to paint the legs of the armchair a neutral color.

  42. Dorene @ Seasonal Chapters

    I love how the transformation is coming along and can’t wait to see the final reveal. The cabinet looks beautiful and the combination of both yours and your mom’s preferences is creating an amazing room.

  43. Ann@farmhouseblues

    Marian, it’s such a beautiful transformation. I love, love, love that color! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the room!

  44. Fiona, Lilyfield Life

    It looks absolutely beautiful and I love the colour. well done. Nice to be able to do things for your mum. (mom :))

  45. Karen

    Great choice of color!!! It brings out that color in the fabric and makes the fabric ‘belong’ in the room. I wasn’t a fan of the fabric choice until now!

  46. jennifer

    It looks great! Oak is usually so hard to paint because of the grain in the wood. I really don’t see any in the pictures. In person, do you see the wood grain a lot? And you really used no primer

  47. Lauren

    I absolutely LOVE IT! The blue is GORGEOUS and it suits the room perfectly. I can not wait to see more

    Lauren | Lovely Decor

  48. LilyOake

    wow, I agree with everyone, the color is terrific and it just looks so much better in the room now.
    And I agree with your mom – I much prefer nicely painted furniture without any chips!
    I painted professionally (furniture and tromp l’oeil) all through the 1990’s (my business name was “a Gilded Vine”) and did the chippy, faux-aged Shabby Chic look back then and I just got so tired of it. lol
    Seeing furniture with a nice unbroken coat of paint now, is so refreshing.

    Can’t wait to see more of your projects!

  49. Patricia

    This is such a nice work. First I always have been a Gray Paint lover. Secondly is is a spectacular transformation.


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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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