cleaning & sealing chipping antique pieces

Marian ParsonsAntiques, Cleaning & care, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, Painting & Refinishing, Tutorials

Remember that awesome “cubby” I found a few weeks ago?  I spotted it when I was out shopping once, but I passed it up, because it was a little pricey.  I kept thinking about it, though, and decided if it was still there the next time I stopped in, I would buy it.

Well, it was still there and I snapped it up.  (It’s so funny that I get so excited about buying things I’m just going to turn around and sell!)

The only problem with this piece is that it was shedding paint everywhere.  If you would just breath near it, flakes would fall off.  I love the “chippy look”, but I don’t want actual chips of paint littering the floor.

So, I have a standard way I deal with pieces like this…

cleaning & sealing chipping antique pieces | miss mustard seed

Before I get into the process, please check the EPA website for safely dealing with lead-based paint if that’s a concern.  This process is only for pieces that do not contain lead-based paint.  

I start out by vacuuming the entire surface of the piece.  This is to remove cobwebs, loose dirt and flaking paint.  The vacuum and I got well acquainted with this piece, because of all of the cubbies!  I used a brush attachment for the flat surfaces, in order to be gentle with the chipping paint, and a wand for the cubbies.

cleaning & sealing chipping antique pieces | miss mustard seed

 Sometimes I’ll give pieces a scrub after vacuuming, but the surface on this piece was very rough and I was afraid of pulling off too much paint, so I left it alone.  

If you do decide to scrub your piece, just use warm, soapy water and a cloth or sponge or spray on an all-purpose cleaner.  If you can, put the piece outside in the sun, so it can dry.  (It also helps with musty smells to let the piece air out in the breeze and sunshine.)

The last step is to apply a clear non-yellowing, water based sealer.  You really can use whichever brand you like, but, of course, I use Tough Coat from the MMS Milk Paint line.

Tough Coat | Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

I lay it on really thick so it “glues” down the edges of the chipping paint and really seals it.

cleaning & sealing chipping antique pieces | miss mustard seed

…and then I brush out the finish with one or two strokes.  They key to a smooth finish is not over-brushing.

cleaning & sealing chipping antique pieces | miss mustard seed

Another key is using a quality brush, roller or applicator pad.  I used my favorite Parsons West brush, naturally, but you really can use any well-made brush.

cleaning & sealing chipping antique pieces | miss mustard seed

You can see how the finish will bring out the character of the wood and paint underneath.

cleaning & sealing chipping antique pieces | miss mustard seed

Now the piece still has that wonderful, chippy look, but it can actually be used in a home.  I would just keep an eye on it over the years for any new chipping.

cleaning & sealing chipping antique pieces | miss mustard seed

Today, I cranked my music, worked hard and focused on my space for The Market on Chapel Hill.  Here’s where that newly-sealed piece ended up…

cleaning & sealing chipping antique pieces | miss mustard seed

I still have a few small pieces to work on and some finishing touches, but the booth is almost done!

Here are a few pictures from around the space so far…

market on chapel hill booth | miss mustard seed market on chapel hill booth | miss mustard seed market on chapel hill booth | miss mustard seed market on chapel hill booth | miss mustard seed  market on chapel hill booth | miss mustard seed

And I got in a big shipment of antique hemp sheets.  These might be some of my favorite I’ve ever received.

antique hemp sheets | miss mustard seed

I’m keeping some for my own upholstery and slipcover work, but I’m bringing along a bunch to sell.

market on chapel hill booth | miss mustard seed

More market preparations and makeovers to come…

MMS_Divider

Another post about cleaning and sealing painted pieces…

Sealing the “Crusty Counter”

cleaning & sealing chipping antique pieces

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