“boxwood” recipe & glass hardware

by | Jul 18, 2018 | All Things Home, Decorating, Tips and Tricks | 65 comments

I had in mind just the color of green I wanted for the kitchen island and butler’s pantry – the color Boxwood I developed for the MMS Milk Paint line.   Of course, it goes beautifully with my color palette, because I created it!  I looked through four different paint decks and didn’t find a perfect match, so I decided to have it color-matched in order to get it just right.

I brushed Boxwood on a piece of wood and left it unfinished, so it would be a true representation of the color. The picture didn’t capture it very well, because of the light and the end grain of the wood, but the color match was perfect.

It did still take a bit of courage to brush it onto the cabinetry, since it’s such a bold color, but I knew it would be just the pop this space needed.

So, if you’d like to use this exact color, here is the formula.  It was mixed by a family-owned paint store in my area in Benjamin Moore’s Advanced, satin finish.  If you print this picture up or show it on your phone at a paint store,  they should be able to match it exactly for you.

As far as the hardware, several of my readers commented that they loved everything but the hardware and I see where they are coming from.  Some people also thought these were lucite, but they are not.  They are glass.   I don’t know if that changes any minds, though!

Anyway, the trick with this hardware was I had pretty specific parameters to work with.  I want something that has an antique feel, but will also work with the traditional style of this home.  My preference would’ve been for bin-cup or clapper pulls on the drawers and knobs on the cabinet, but the space on the drawer fronts was too small for anything other than knobs or pulls that stick straight out.  And they needed to be 3″ on center.  Do you see the trouble?  The majority of pulls I found were way too modern for me or they weren’t the right finish or style.  These glass pulls were the only ones I found that fit, worked with my style, and worked with the house.

Are they perfect or what I would’ve designed for these cabinets?  Probably not.  But, since I’m not in the business of designing hardware, I had to work with what I could find that was the best.  And I felt like these were the best.  They are also what I used on the kitchen and living room cabinets, so they tie in nicely with everything else.

The pulls are from Hobby Lobby and I ordered them off of their website when they were 30% off.  Here is the pain about these handles, though.  The housing for the screws is glued on by hand, so they are irregular, making them a bit frustration to install.  And, since they are glass, if you try to force it, bad things happened.  I broke about three handles figuring this out when I was installing them in the kitchen!

I finally learned that I need to drill a hole much larger than the screw needs, so there is plenty of “wiggle room” to account for the irregularity.  That worked perfectly and I was able to easily install them (without breakage) once I figured that out.

The other pain about this hardware is the nuts do have to be tightened now and then.  For some reason, they come loose with use.  The rest of my family doesn’t really notice, though, and I just finger-tighten them when they need it.  It’s really just the handles that are most frequently used.  So, all of that being said, you do have to love this hardware to put up with some of the quirks.

And I’m willing to put up with the quirks.

PS – I listed my next round of paintings for sale.  The ones below are currently being auctioned off!  You can bid on the landscapes HERE and the still lifes HERE.



  1. Charlotte

    I love the handles. It doesn’t distract from the beautiful color of the cabinet at all. It’s a lovely touch I think and reminds me of a lot of the older furniture with glass hardware. Gorgeous as always.

  2. Kathleen Freund-Malecki

    I just love how you incorporated your pantry into your style . The mustard seed boxwood color is just lovely with all your other white painted woodwork. I think it actually looks like a piece of furniture. Also love the glass handles. Probably worth the frustration to get the look you love

  3. PC

    You have outdid yourself!!!

  4. Carol Parks

    I really like the green and glass together. Pleases my eye. Things are coming along nicely aren’t they! Carol

  5. Carolyn

    For those loose screws, put a little super glue on the threads before tightening the nut. Love the color and look of your “new” cabinet. thanks for the inspiration!

    • carswell

      I wouldn’t use superglue – but there is a product called Loctite, you squirt it on the threads and it prevents the nuts from backing off.


      • Michele

        Yes! Loctite works great and the screws or nuts can be removed. I use it on doorknob screws that keep coming loose in my old house.

  6. Jodie Felten

    I adore it and everything else you do! Absolutely EVERYTHING!
    Thank you for always sharing and being so generous. 🙂

  7. Chris Moore of Seattle

    I think you should ask at the neighborhood hardware store about a ‘locking’ nut or washer-I can’t remember which. I think that will solve your coming loose problem.

    • Cherylan

      I agree with the locking washer Or even a rubber grommet or washer in the mix might help, there is a liquid lock title product to consider also.

      • Jan M Brunette-Hunyady

        Definitely a lock washer and NOT Super Glue. Glue would hold it but would be a nightmare if you needed to remove them.

  8. Rhonda

    I have glass knobs in my butler’s pantry and have to hand-tighten them occasionally. I wonder if it’s because they are glass and can’t be tightened enough, or else they’ll break? It’s a bit of a hassle, but I do love my eye candy! Love your butler’s pantry, too!

  9. Kitty

    Also too, the housing that has been hand glued for the handle- screws, might come loose over
    time. That’s where super glue or a glue gun can come in handy for the handles that get
    the most use. Been there and had to glue !
    Marian, I love the glass handles against the boxwood green and kitchen white.
    Thank You for the paint recipe. It will be lovingly used 🙂

  10. Bonnie Irvine

    Now that’s interesting that some people weren’t fond of these handles. I noticed them right off in your other post and loved them instantly. I’m sure they catch the light beautifully and contrast so well with the matte boxwood paint. I also love that they don’t compete with the ironwood. They remind me of little jewels from a chandelier. As long as you and yours are happy, the rest of the world can do what they like with their own hardware. I love that we all have different tastes…makes the world so much more interesting.

  11. DBLori

    If you want to stop the loosening of the handles, you should buy some “Loctite.” It’ll secure and seal the bolts/screws. I don’t know how easy it’d be to remove them later on if you ever decide to switch the handles out. I think they look nice.

    • Sheila

      I was about to suggest Loctite,too.

      • carswell

        Great minds. I didn’t read through the entire thread.

  12. Anna

    This is my first time posting but I have to say this. I follow A LOT of home blogs and they all have beautiful rooms but none and I mean NONE have made me come back over and over to look at the pictures like your green island and butler’s pantry. They are absolutely stunning and the glass handles are just perfect. I hope you don’t change them! Thank you for the paint formula. I have already saved it on my phone.

    • Lisa

      I agree 100% with Anna. Thanks for sharing all you do with us.

  13. Lisa

    I have these same glass handles in a built in linen cabinet and drawers that came with my nearly 100 year old colonial. The problem I have is with the length of the screws sticking into the drawers. Towels and sheets catch on the end of the long screws now and then. I see yours protrude quite a bit into your cabinets as well. Very annoying when you are putting things in and out of the drawer.

    • Crystal


      I wish that I could remember where I 1st saw this tip, but I’ve used it many times since w/great success.
      Once I install the hardware, if the screw sticks out to far, I simply snip it off. I’m careful not to go too short, but this has been a fantastic solution to your aforementioned problem of the screw catching on things, etc.
      I’m sure there are several brands/options, but I have the Irwin Vice-Grip Multi-Tool Stripper/Crimper/Cutter. There are many places (notches) on this handheld tool that allow it to work in a variety of ways…& cutting off the ends of those long hardware screws is a perfect example.
      I have the 8-inch & purchased it on Amazon.
      Possibly Marian could post an affiliate link to make it easy to be found & purchased?
      Hope that helps!

  14. Amy Avery

    I LOVE it all! It’s your kitchen and butler pantry and reflects your style beautifully. I love that that’s what you do. You show how to take things you already have and just tweak it to be more personal to you, and that it’s pretty doable for all of us in some capacity. I also feel like too that the glass handles are beautiful! They may not be everyone’s thing but I love that you are using them because they are what works best for what you need. Thanks for sharing your home this past year as it has transformed from a lovely home to a MMS lovely home.

  15. Katie

    I love the cabinet makeover! I agree that I don’t think the pulls feel right. I think it’s a matter of scale; they are a little too bulky for the cabinet in my opinion. I actually think some antique or reproduction round porcelain knobs would look great. The contrast of the white against the dark green would look great, and they would coordinate with the white of your ironstone pieces.

  16. jay

    I love everything. Just beautiful. I can imagine sipping my morning coffee at your house. Wish my house was coming along as nicely and quickly as yours!

  17. Karen S.

    I think your glass hardware is beautiful! In regards to your problem with them getting loose, you could use lock washers. There is also a Lock Tite but the washers would be easier. Don’t think too expensive either. I really love your Boxwood color.

  18. Sally

    I love the handles. I think they’re perfect!!

  19. Kathryn

    I immediately thought the handles were perfect. Anything else would have fought for too much attention. I love the glass knobs!

    • Lisa

      Me too Kathryn. I was lucky enough to get one of Marian’s landscape dressers. It had the white/cream handles that came with it before she painted it. They looked nice, but I felt they were competing with the beauty of the painting. So I purchased some clear glass knobs at HL and it made such a difference. They add just a little sparkle but mostly they let the painting on the dresser shine. I love it!

  20. Suzette

    Marion, Did you spray the doors on the Butlers cabinet or brush them with the chalk paint?

    Everything is really coming together!?

  21. Mary

    I love the handles, they’re perfect on the butler’s pantry and the kitchen cabinets. They are you!

  22. Rhonda

    Hey Marion,
    I just had an apartment kitchen done and I used all of my collected glass antiques knobs for the cabinets. They look great. And I love the variety of all the different clear glass. The carpenter had the same problem you did with the pulls and knobs getting wonky or loosen. He found some rubber/plastic clear washers and used them instead of the metal washers and it keeps everything secure and they don’t get loose anymore. Hope this tip can help you.

  23. Karen K. from Buffalo

    Boy, some people are picky!! I can’t believe you did a whole post just on your handles because some people didn’t care for them!! I love how it looks & that’s it!!
    Are you ever going to put the reproductions of your paintings on that site again? I have one of your earlier landscaping paintings in my bathroom & my eyes go to it every time I am in the shower. And with your bidding, I can’t match $90 for one of them that I love. Any hope for people like me who love your paintings, but not the price??

  24. Karen

    Like another poster, I keep coming back to look at the boxwood hutch with the view into the dining room, and reverse. It takes my breath away. The mirror is perfect, especially with the story of your Oma and how the finish matches the chandelier. Thank you for sharing the formula. I love wall colors as well. In the dining room above the mirror, it looks like you may have washed the wall with milk paint to give it depth. I love that color and was wondering how to achieve it. My dining room has only a window in the door and is so dark. This might be a solution to lighten it. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

    ps. Can BM upload your formula in their computers, with your name so you get credit? Seems like I’ve seen that done somewhere.

  25. Jill a Smith

    Love, love, love the hardware!!!

  26. Dee

    Thank you so much for posting the paint recipie. I have a large coffee table I want to paint. I love that color.
    I’ll send you a pix when I’m done. Again thank you…your house is beautiful, warm , and a delight to view as you decorate.

  27. Becca

    I love the glass handles. Thanks for sharing the source.

    Thus may be a silly question. Can this forlmula be used with Sherwin Williams paint? I don’t know of a place to purchase BM paint in my area.

    Thank you for your willingness to share such helpful pointers with those of us who follow your blog.

    I admire your courage to keep developing your artistic talent. Your paintings are beautiful.

  28. Kim

    Boxwood is a beautiful color. When you began the process of painting the butlers pantry the green looked much darker on Instagram. I wondered about the dark green. Now I can see that it’s actually a lovely shade of green and suits your home nicely. Well done!

  29. Denise

    The boxwood green is a beautiful color and I love the pop it gives your kitchen! The butlers pantry turned out wonderful!!! The beadboard❤️, corbels❤️, color❤️ And glass handles are perfect!!! So fun to tag along with all of your projects!

  30. Katy

    There are two different kinds of Loctite. One is permanent, the other is removable. Either should stop the loosening pulls, which I agree are beautiful.

  31. Janell

    Try a tiny lock washer on back of glass handles or double nut them. Should keep them tight

  32. Jessica

    I love the glass pulls, for what it is worth. Also, I have had the same trouble with pulls of this design loosening, and a dab of regular clear caulk where the nut and screw meet (on the opposite end from the part that touches the cabinet door) does the trick, but can be cut or pulled off with a finger nail to remove the pull if needed later on. So far, none of them have loosened on me since.

  33. Angelia

    Hi, is there a reason that you did not use milk paint on the island? I just purchased a few bags of milk paint (one of them being boxwood) and I wonder if I am thinking of using milk paint in the wrong places. I bought milk paint in curio to use on bar stools. The boxwood was an accidental shipment (I thought I ordered bonding agent), but I wanted to try it on a bathroom cabinet anyway. Now, I am wondering if I should use the milk paint on the bathroom cabinet or the mix in your post. So, are there hard and fast rules about what to use milk paint on and what to avoid?

    • Angelia

      Sorry, I just found the answer to my questions in another spot on the blog.

    • Marian Parsons

      You can definitely use milk paint on furniture (any painted furniture in my house in is milk paint) and one cabinets (we have many customers who have done full kitchens in milk paint.) As I did with my last house, I prefer to have a consistent finish for all of my trim and cabinetry, so I use a satin enamel paint. I use milk paint on pretty much everything else! It is completely a preference thing, though.

  34. Pam

    I Love the handles and knobs and the color!!! Looks beautiful and fresh. Im glad to see greens coming back in the mix these days its such a easy color to work with.

  35. Carole Prisk

    I don’t mind the handles on the white cabinets; they blend in. I am not a fan of them on the green painted items because they stand out too much.It is only a minor detail and easy to ignore. It is about your taste not mine.

  36. PJ

    You are not designing hardware…yet! Perhaps that will be your next adventure.

  37. SusanIrene

    Thank you so much for the formula. I have my grandmother’s antique tea cart that needs to be painted this color.

  38. Mary from Life at Bella Terra

    I always have great difficulty finding the right handles. When I restored a historical home recently, I ordered all the hardware from two sources: House of Antique Hardware and MyKnobs.com. I was able to find beautiful pulls and knobs~~some more affordable than others.
    Love the green paint. It is a stunner….jury is out on the glass pulls, though.

    Thanks for sharing.

  39. Karen

    This post made me think that maybe you should design hardware especially since you’ve done such a beautiful job on your kitchen cabinets and the Butler’s Pantry. You’ve painted so many furniture pieces and you have such a great eye for what works. 😀

  40. Shari

    Everything is coming along so beautifully!
    Marion, might you want to place a few glass pieces on the shelves of the Butler Pantry to visually connect the hardware below with the top section?

  41. Kate

    Blue Threadlocker by Loctite will stop the nuts from loosening. Even the off-brand works fine. Do not buy the red, it is permanent. The blue holds tight but still allows the item to be unscrewed in the future. I use it on my fridge door handles screws. Just a tiny drop does the job.

  42. Donna

    I think its PERFECT. I like the handles…a lot! This reads your style, the house is now the Parson’s style. I will admit at the beginning I was wondering how you would do it, but you’ve done it. The butler’s pantry (and island) is the perfect pop of color, I love everything about it, including the styling. Inspiration! And Green in my book is a neutral, almost every color goes with it….look at nature….God is the master decorator. 😉

    • Marian Parsons

      That’s how I felt about adding the green… It’s the “grass” to my “sky” (blues & whites).

  43. Julia

    Thanks for sharing Marian, great blog!

  44. Donna

    I love the glass handles with the bold color. They have a vintage look and don’t introduce another color or distract from the beautiful green color.


  45. Donna Rae

    I know you sprayed your kitchen cabinet does, but how did you get such a lovely finish on the butler’s pantry doors? They look like a factory finish! I want to do something similar and don’t want brush marks. Beautiful work as usual.

  46. Pamela

    I’ve been wanting to change my white wicker furniture to green, and I think this Boxwood “recipe” will do beautifully – thanks for sharing it!

  47. Wendy

    I have LOVED the glass handles since you first used them, and love them on these pieces too.

  48. Kim

    I love the color – thought about asking in previous posts for the formula, so thanks for sharing. I see a project in my future. While I like the glass knobs, I immediately thought of brass when I looked at the green. Seeing the pic with the dining room mirror in the background just solidified that for me. Your house is beautiful!

  49. Mary

    Marian, the dining room is beautiful. Your energy level is to be envied.
    To have dinner in this room, the food would not be the star. Love the still life paintings. Especially love #72. Unfortunately not in my budget. Thank you for sharing your home and talents.

  50. Amy

    Knowing the pulls are glass and not lucite doesn’t change/influence my thoughts.
    The pulls are visually distracting from the otherwise gorgeous and stunning green pieces.
    You’ll most likely find pulls that are perfect in every way when you least expect to.

  51. Sheri

    I love your boxwood green and the way it ties into your dinning room. I love your handles too and the way it ties into your kitchen. I think what you have done is just perfect and it looks terrific!!! I love that the green in your kitchen gives it the much needed pop of color too!! Job very well done!!! 😀

  52. Juliet

    Hi Marian, LOVE the color. A helpful tip to keep the screws from loosening are these rubber backed washers. They have been a godsend! The rubber helps keep the nut in place. I hope you don’t mind my sharing a tip with you, since you are so gracious to share your tips with us!

  53. Heather

    It’s probably way too late to comment on this post, but I just have a helpful hint about the hardware you used. I have used similar hardware from hobby lobby on a cabinet in the bathroom. I had the same problem as you with the handle coming loose with use. Drove my husband crazy so he got locking nuts from the hardware store and replaced the nuts, haven’t had the problem since and it’s been 2 years.


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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