Custom White Milk Paint Dresser

by | Feb 18, 2016 | Before and Afters, Furniture Makeovers, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint | 32 comments

Remember this dresser I showed you a preview of last week?


When I finished it, I put the hardware back on and took some pictures, but it just wasn’t working for me.  The hardware just isn’t right for the piece and, while I love the blue & white quilt, I didn’t love it as a backdrop for this piece.  So, I ordered different hardware for it and reworked some things while I was in the studio today.

Here is how the piece started…


It’s actually a sweet piece and wasn’t bad at all, but the wood is a bit too orange for my taste.  I found it for a good price on craigslist.

I left the top as is and painted the body of the piece in a custom mixed white – equal parts MMS Milk Paint Mora and Farmhouse White.


It’s layered over Bergere with a Beeswax Finish Resist between the layers to force some chipping.  (You can see a tutorial on the technique HERE.)


I purchased the solid brass bail pulls from Etsy.


I like how you can see little peeks of blue.



mms-4797 mms-4785


The top drawer is sort of wedged in there at the moment.  It needs to be taken apart and rebuilt with a new bottom and we’ll take care of that before it goes to the Lucketts Spring Market.  There’s also the contact paper with a brick motif on it that has got to go…

Dresser Before & After Collage

Oh, and before I sign off, here is a closer look at that quilt.  Kriste spotted it when we were out shopping a couple of weeks ago and it is gorgeous.  The piecing and hand quilting are so pretty.  With the amount of artistry and handiwork that goes into these quilts, it’s almost sad how inexpensively I can find them at times.  I’m happy to snap them up, though, and give them a good home.



  1. Lauren

    Oh this is just beautiful. I love it and will have to find something like that for our new home.

  2. Angela

    Marian, I have a question….when you do layering, in this case you first painted the dresser in Bergere. Do you paint the whole dresser in Bergere or only the places you know you are going to put the wax on? Hope that makes sense.

    • marian

      I paint the whole thing, because I never know how the piece will chip and distress.

      • Kay Snelling

        Marian, I absolutely love your blog. I have been searching for the original hardware you had on your dresser. Can you tell me where to find these I have searched everywhere? Thank You Kay

        • marian

          I often purchase hardware off of eBay or Etsy. I wish I knew you were looking for these! I just pitched them, I’m sorry to say.

  3. Saskia

    I love it! It’s a beautiful colour. You have such a good eye for colour! And the quilt is just to die for.
    I also have a question. I have painted a few pieces with milk paint so far but I don’t like the fact that it is so rough to the touch when it dries. Did I miss something? Do you have to sand between layers like with normal paint? I have used the wet sanding technique with hemp oil before and I just love how soft it makes the piece, but I don’t always want to use hemp oil because it darkens the colour somewhat. Thank you for enlightening me…

    • marian

      It’s possible that you’re not getting the mix quite right…that it’s a little too thick or not mixed well enough. You can very lightly sand the finished milk paint with a fine sanding sponge, keeping it flat on the surface and applying minimal pressure. That will smooth out any rough spots.

  4. Nancy

    Excellent choice on the hardware! I love the simpler brass handles, as well as those peeks of blue. Well done!

  5. Tanya

    Your dresser is beautiful, but that quilt! Oh my! I love vintage textiles. There’s something about them – imagining the maker, spending so many hours carefully selecting just the right pattern, cutting each piece (and NOT with a rotary cutter, certainly), stitching it ever so carefully, one stitch at a time, and then, maybe, giving it away to someone loved so much to deserve all the hours put into the making. It is a shame to see those treasures cast away, but I’m glad you find them and give them new life.

  6. Fran

    Beautiful! I’ve been waiting to read about this piece since you posted the preview, and you didn’t disappoint! 🙂 A few months ago I found a similar piece, and I am wondering if they are by the same maker. Does your piece have the Knapp Joint dovetailing? I fell in love with mine because of the owl hardware that was on it (I think it’s original), but the dovetailing and the carved detail put it over the top. Now I just have to show your finished piece to my hubby to convince him that it really wants a coat of white paint to show off all that detail!

  7. Kristine

    I agree! It’s a crime to find handmade BEAUTIFUL quilts cast off. Love your dresser, too. It is amazing. You did a beautiful job.

  8. Kellie

    Oh, I would love for you to share how you rebuild the drawer — we need to do the same with a dresser we have. 🙂 Thanks!

  9. Eve

    What a gorgeous dresser! I love the little floral details and the fact that you chose not to paint the top. Great job 🙂

    Eve | Design Cafe


  10. Melissa Leach

    The dresser is beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I’m sharing this post with my daughter who now has this same dresser, the dresser I had a child.

  11. Cindy

    What a perfect color for that dresser. I love your whites. Actually all of your colors are amazing. Great photos too… The greens mixed in are so visually enticing, and i love seeing the painting in the mix.


  12. Nancy

    I have a chest like thst, only just a 2 drawer one, I think everyone has had that style in one version or another, at least in the 50’s and 60’s. You put a freash spin on it. Nicely done .

  13. Kathleen Matthews

    Lovely! I’m a new subscriber to your blog and wondered, when you post things like this (dresser & quilt) if you are keeping them for your own home, preparing to sell them online, or preparing them to sell at your next event? (Which appears to be Lucket’s Spring Sale?)

    Beautiful work!


    • marian

      It’s a bit of a mix. Pretty much everything is for sale, though. Some of it we will list in the online shop and some of it is being saved for the Lucketts Spring Market in May. I keep a few things, though! One of the perks. 🙂

  14. Jean Elliott

    Love the chest. However that turquoise stool is to die for! Is it for sale? Did you paint it? If so, what color is the paint?

  15. Naomi S.

    The dresser is nice, but I am much more interested in the quilt—and the cow painting above it! The quilt is the same shade of blue with the white as one given to our family a long time ago and acted as a bedspread in the master bedroom for a long time. Until it just went to pieces. It was hand-made, but wasn’t the finest job of piecing and quilting but I loved it. I don’t remember the exact pattern but it was quite similar to the one you have. I really miss that quilt as it was on the bed when our second daughter was born at home and for a long while after. Anyway, if you ever want to sell it, I want first dibs!

    The painting of the cows is so nice with the dresser. Just the right touch. The quilt was too distracting with it’s pattern and the blue. Is that painting from the same artist that did Eulalie?

  16. PJ

    Those brass pulls may be just what I need for my kitchen cabinets.

    The dresser turned out so well, and that quilt is gorgeous! I am searching for a blue and white quilt for our farmhouse.

  17. Julie | Chasing Spring

    Lovely! The colour is perfect! Loving your styling with the cute little plants, but… OH MY…that stool…to die for!

  18. Sarah | She Holds Dearly

    I have a dresser from my childhood almost like this and I have been wondering what I could do to perk it up a bit. Now I know. 😉

  19. Foxy

    Should have left theft piece alone,sadly.

  20. Anya

    Just beautiful! The white shows the carving detail off so well, and I always like the look of the unpainted wood top. You made a great choice by trading out the drawer pulls – the others were pretty, but these ones suit this look so much better. I look forward to seeing this in person at Luckett’s!

  21. yvonne

    HI!!! I am new-ish to your work, I LOVE IT! my house is FULL of these kinds of pieces…. all in the before stage….

  22. marylisa noyes

    the piece looks great with the hints of color coming through

  23. Marsha

    The chest is so pretty. I would love to have a quilt like that one! You have the best ideas and wonderful results.

  24. Sojourner

    I agree with Kellie. A tutorial on how to fix these vintage dresser drawers so they work smoothly would be a wonderful addition to the “library.”

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  25. Stephanie

    I love to see how you mix different paint colors to make your vision come out. I’m not brave enough to do that sort of thing… yet.


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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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