Just a quick reminder/clarification before I get into the post.  The Friday event of the Lucketts Spring Market is a ticketed event, so you have to have a ticket to attend and tickets will not be sold at the gate AND the tickets are sold out.  So, if you don’t have a ticket for Friday, Saturday morning at 8:00 am is the earliest you can show up.  For details, visit the Old Lucketts Store website.


Surprise, surprise.  I have another furniture makeover for you today!  And, believe it or not, there is still a lot more.  Jeff walked in the other day, took a look around the studio and said, “I’m going to call U-Haul to get a bigger truck.”

This piece is one that took me a while to figure out.  I don’t mean this in a nutty kind of way, but I try to work with the piece of furniture when I’m working on it.  I let each piece “have a say” in how they end up.  Some are stubborn, bratty and irritable.  They fight me at every step and steer me in a different direction from my original concept.  Of course, they’re always right, because they know themselves better than I do.

Other pieces are compliant and easy to work with.  They do exactly what I ask and turn out exactly as I envisioned.

Some pieces, like this one, are quiet, reserved, and it takes me a while to get to know them.


I stripped down the top and painted the base in a mix of MMS Milk Paint Shutter Gray and Grain Sack.  It was prepped with a light sanding and Bonding Agent wasn’t added.  

Then, I got stuck.  I tried on some mercury glass knobs, as you can see under the pitchers below, but it just wasn’t working for me.


I took off the knobs, sat on the floor and stared at her for a while.  It finally came to me.  A simple, hand painted tree across the drawers and some glass knobs that will just disappear in the design, but add a little sparkle, and some very light sanding around the edges and keyholes.
hand painted dresser | miss mustard seed

It’s sometimes the ones that stump me in the beginning that surprise me in the end.  And this one definitely came into her own through the process.

hand painted dresser | miss mustard seed

hand painted dresser | miss mustard seed

hand painted dresser | miss mustard seed


This one is in the sale pile for Lucketts, along with the ironstone slop bucket and I’m bringing a few French lavender topiaries to sell as well.

hand painted dresser | miss mustard seed


I worked on some more upholstery today, including the bergere chairs from my living room.  I just need to sew and glue on a few miles of double-welting…


  1. Lori Merrill

    Simply beautiful…as always! Love your stuff!

  2. Sandi Allen

    Beautiful! Love how it turned out!

  3. Teresa

    Thanks for the info on Lucketts. I went back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to spend $40.00 for a ticket for Fridays event. I figured most of your most desirable pieces of furniture and ironstone would be gone by Saturday so if I didn’t want to be disappointed I should probably go on Friday. Well, guess I wont have to worry about that now since you posted its sold out.

    Maybe next year.

  4. Karen

    This is another beautiful piece Marian. You have so many amazing things for Lucketts! I wish I was going.

  5. Lissa

    I love your ideas, Marian. I wish I could draw like you do. I’m not that artistic. If I tried to paint birds and trees, it would look nothing like yours. Lol… I love how your work turned out.

    I have a friend that refurbishes dressers, armoires and coffee tables. Her business is called Shab-2-Fab.
    Cheryl works with chalk paint from a company that is exclusively and uniquely in Utah. The coffee table that had white and light blue (Windy Day) and white striped — that was my idea. I also liked her black and white checker board armoire.

  6. Kate

    I think I like your pieces with hand painted designs (like this one) the best! It’s so unique and gives so much simple character. That is a dresser I would definitely buy (if only I were 3,000 miles closer).. I’ll have to pin and imitate instead.

  7. Virginia

    Complimenti, è un pezzo bellissimo! Sei anche fortunata, perché qui in Italia, si fatica molto a trovare mobili di legno vero. Non vedo l’ora di vedere le sedie bergere. Felice settimana a tutti voi.

  8. anya

    I think one of the reasons you consistently create such beautiful pieces is because you approach each piece and let it “have a say.” I love that idea, that each makeover is an opportunity to showcase a piece’s Cinderella side. This dresser turned out beautifully, the tree design with the branches that hug the knobs was a perfect choice. (I really love those lavender topiaries!)

  9. Quandie

    I have a stash of those same mercury glass knobs too, and like you I just haven’t been able to find a piece that they work on. They are so pretty on their own, but somehow they just never look right on the furniture! I love the ‘tree of life’ look of your dresser, and the glass knobs you ended up with work perfectly!

    • mary young

      Why don’t you pile the glass knobs into a glass vase and show them off?

  10. taria

    absolutely gorgeous. great work. you are truly and artist and an inspiration!
    Have a great weekend.

  11. Joanne Bolyard

    Where did you find the lavender topiaries? Was it at Walmart, or SKH or Ashcombes? I am in Hershey and would love to buy some as gifts for Mothers Day. Thank you.

  12. Debbie Garman

    Really a cute idea. This dresser turned out beautiful!

  13. Sada

    Incredibly elegant…absolutely love it!

  14. Jill Amack

    Quite possibly my favorite one that you’ve ever done!

  15. Debbie H.

    This is one of my ALL-TIME faves….. well done, sweet Marion, well done!

  16. mary young

    I have a tall ash bin with a slanted top. I painted it black awhile ago and just didn’t know what
    to paint on it. Your tree of life just answered the questions. Think I will paint it in either silver
    or gold. Thank you. Have a great and profitable weekend.

  17. Hippie's Chick

    So I just found out I may be going to Luckett’s. I am beyond excited and can’t wait to stop by your space and look at all your lovely pieces. I hope I can afford to buy something!!!

  18. Jelena

    Gorgeous little dresser! Looks like you have been in Swedish/Scandinavian mode lately. 🙂

  19. Jessica

    I love this; sweet simple perfection!

  20. April

    It looks so much better with the tree. Have a wonderful weekend!

  21. MaryLisa Noyes

    The tree is such a perfect touch. I need stencils because I can’t paint free hand so appreciate the work that went into this and the beauty of the finished piece!

  22. Nan

    THAT, my dear, is one of my favorite pieces you have done!

  23. Lucy

    My favorite of all time!

  24. Sherry Fram

    Just gorgeous!! It was beautiful before you added the tree but now it is just gorgeous!! Love the glass knobs and how they work so well with the piece!

  25. Melissa #DoItHerselfDiva

    I have to admit & although it’s embarrassing to say here,Publicly,that I usually admire Your painted furniture pieces & that You transform the pieces that You do..They just aren’t My “style” (Before I get tons of hate mail from other loyal,Fans & followers ) I never could put My finger on what My Homes or contacted work that I did for Friends,Was just missing “something”..Please understand that as Women,We tend to inherit a little of Our Mother’s taste in with Ours & somewhere in Adulthood, Those different genres coagulate & mx to make a style all Our own..But all of Our Mom’s (or whatever prominent Female in Our lives growing up) influences Our decorating tastes later in Life..My Mother is anti-vintage,Totally & completely & I of course have always asked “what do You think” guess looking for that “good job” or reassuring pat on the back or virtual Gold Star for a Woman who I love VERY much, But for all intensive purposes,Would have the same personality as a stereotypical “Jewish Mother” (although We are not Jewish,We have many Family Friends who are & Their the ones who came up with that nickname for Her as a term of endearment..But it fits!!) She’s just very difficult to please,With unobtainable expectations & “Only the best”..Which even when She gets exactly what she wants or likes,Never is truly thrilled or ecstatically happy with what She purchases..It’s always just “ok”..So I came to an epiphany a few years ago,I was going to do MY HOME the way I WANTED & what does make ME HAPPY!! Regardless of any snide comments or rib-nudging from her on how if I’m picking vintage pieces & I’m a Single Mom,Was I going to adopt 20 cats next? I know..ha ha..HA!! So back to The Fabulous Miss Mustard Seed!!!! I realized I love vintage but My tastes run more toward “Cottage Chic” or “Vintage Glam” I completely enjoy Your painted pieces,But I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE Your love of all chairs French!! I’m am enamored, amazed,enthralled & completely jealous at how fast & how well done Your upholstery work is!! THAT is what I became a follower for & that is what I just took the plunge & not only purchased My 1st sad,torn & mistreated French Bergere chair just yesterday (as a matter of a fact!! I’ll give Myself a Gold Star!!) & I ordered My long nose upholstery gun to do a proper job..My Drop cloth is already bleached & neutralized & I even purchased a few burlap coffee sacks that I may do the back of the chair with although I am torn because I adore the blue paisley on the chair in Your most recent living room “chair swap”….BUT with all of that background being said & the fact that I usually prefer a mirrored chest juxtaposition to a French chair done in a simple grainsack (or drop cloth “grain sack” knockoff) I am simply IN LOVE with this chest!!!! BRAVO,MARIAN!!! Simply stunning & I mean every word it is simple..yet STUNNING!! I do a LOT of millwork & I know exactly what You mean about the piece telling You what it wants to be instead of vice versa & I truly believe You had an open line of communication with this chest & it turned out to be a beautiful symphony between what it wanted to be when it “grew up” & what You were giving suggestions to it on what it’s adult life should be..I would drive all the way from the southeastern suburbs of Detroit all the way to Pennsylvania to purchase this..If I could!! I really cannot say it enough,This is not only Your best work yet..But You deserve a standing ovation for this piece!!

  26. Cindy Redman

    Oh, you so nailed it on this one. It is delightful. Your descriptions of working on furniture were so much like how painting is for me. And speaking of painting – dang good job on the tree!


  27. Dayna

    I am in love, Love, LOVE!!! How much are you selling this one for? I wish there was a way to ship it….or maybe my friend in DC can grab it for me!

  28. Sara Jo Floyd

    I am so glad that you do not use stencils in your work. You never claim to be a professional fine art painter, yet your work is so beautifully rendered. I love the perfect imperfection of your original hand-painted designs and feel each piece of furniture you create is stunning. Thank you for showing women that art is not just for the wall, but can be anywhere.

  29. Jessica

    What paint do you use? Just white acrylic or are the details done in a milk pint as well?


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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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