Let’s talk about furniture, shall we? That seems like a welcome diversion!
Today, I’m going to share the step-by-step how-to for painting and finishing a piece like Connie’s Queen Anne highboy….
Here is how it looks in the context of her room…
Isn’t that a lovely space? It reminds me a lot of my Opa’s house. And I mean that in a good way, not in a way like it looks like an “old person’s” house! It looks welcoming and traditional, but tasteful and stylish. It’s collected and comfortable. I think it also has something to do with the fact that they had a similar rug and an almost identical gooseneck rocker. Anyway, I love her room!
The dresser in the corner was a piece handed along to her and she feels like it’s a little dark in the room and just another heavy wood piece next to that beautiful armoire. While I don’t think it looks bad as it is at all, I think it would look lovely painted and would make it more unique next to the wardrobe.
Given Connie’s aesthetic, the other pieces and colors in the room, and the style of the dresser itself, I think painting it in Boxwood, a rich green, would suit it and the space quite well.
I actually painted a very similar dresser that exact color a few years ago. To me, Boxwood suits Queen Anne pieces. If I didn’t use green, I would use another dark, rich color like Artissimo (navy), Typewriter (black), or Tricycle (red). But I like the idea of Boxwood in Connie’s room. Similar shades of green are in the rug, vases on the fireplace, and a few of her paintings. It would also compliment the pale yellow walls.
What you’ll need for this project…
- orbital sander with 80-100 grit sandpaper
- dust mask
- 1 qt Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Boxwood (I’m linking directly to products sold by a few of our retailers who have had to close their physical shops, but have these products in stock online. They are US unless noted and just click to the next one if one sells out. This is a great way to get products to do projects and support small businesses.)
- 2″ angled sash brush (I prefer synthetic bristles for applying milk paint)
- 1 250 mL bottle of Hemp Oil (these are direct links to small businesses again)
- 1 1/2″ – 2″ flat natural bristle brush (or chip brush) for applying Hemp Oil
- 150-180 sandpaper (optional)
- Microfiber cloth (for wiping away excess oil)
step 1 | prep the piece to paint
Since this piece has a shiny finish, it’s really best to sand the entire piece to knock off that shine. It should only take 10-15 minutes with an orbital sander, so it’s not that big of a deal and you don’t have to get into every little nook and cranny. Just give it a good, all over sanding with 80-100 grit paper. While you can apply the paint and finish inside, you’ll want to move the piece outside for this step. I would also suggest wearing a dust mask to prevent the fine dust from getting in your nose, throat, and lungs.
HERE is a tutorial showing how to prep a piece of wood furniture to paint.
step 2 | paint the piece
HERE is the post showing the complete transformation of the Boxwood Highboy I’m using as an example for this post. I was concerned about that red stain bleeding through the paint, but it wasn’t an issue in the case of my Queen Anne high boy. I’m hoping Connie’s highboy will be just as compliant! If not, then I would suggest sealing the first coat of paint with Tough Coat before applying the second coat of paint. This will seal the bleeding.
This piece will definitely need two coats of paint and I wouldn’t add the Bonding Agent (to help with adhesion) since I’m suggesting sanding off most of the finish. Connie just needs to apply two coats, leaving about an hour of dry time between coats. HERE is a video tutorial showing how to mix MMS Milk Paint and HERE is a tutorial showing how to apply the paint.
step 3 | apply the finish
For this particular piece, I would suggest applying a Hemp Oil finish. I love how it brings out the richness of dark colors and provides a soft, matte finish. HERE is a video tutorial showing how to apply Hemp Oil and get a super-smooth finish. If Connie does want to distress the paint, I would just suggest running a 150 or 180 sandpaper along the edges to soften it a bit. I don’t think a lot of distressing is right for the piece or Connie’s style.
And that’s it! It’s a pretty simple makeover that can be done in a day (maybe two if you want to do prep one day, painting & finishing the other.) The dresser can be put back in place immediately, but it will take 30 days for it to fully cure. During that time, some excess Hemp Oil might leach out, but I take care of that by giving it a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth when I notice it. This isn’t a place that’s likely to have a lot of drinks set on it, but I would have coasters handy during a party or get-together, just to protect the painted finish and prevent water rings.
Good luck with your project, Connie!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to sharing a lot more furniture & decorating dilemmas in the future.
I have plenty in the hopper right now…