the jelly cupboard | distressing & antiquing

Marian ParsonsHand Painted Furniture, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, Tutorials26 Comments

As a recap, this is how the jelly cupboard started…

jelly cupboard before | miss mustard seed

It looks like wood grain, but it was actually painted brown.

I painted it in MMS Milk Paint Artissimo without the bonding agent added.  The previous coat of brown paint wasn’t glossy, so I expected the milk paint to adhere pretty well.  It chipped in just a few places, which was perfect.


jelly cupboard with Artissimo | miss mustard seed

The jelly cupboard had amazing texture on the finish and I wanted to bring that out by using two different blues and distressing.  To make the distressing process easier, I rubbed the surface with our natural beeswax puck.  You can use any kind of beeswax or candle wax you have on hand for this technique.

using wax puck as a resist | miss mustard seed

I also rubbed the edges of the piece, where the paint would naturally wear away.  When using the wax puck between layers of paint, it acts as a resist.  It makes it easier to control where the distressing happens as opposed to using sand paper alone.  It’s sort of like the crayon & water color trick we all learned in elementary school.

using wax puck as a resist | miss mustard seed

I then painted it in a coat of Flow Blue.  I forgot how much I love that color, since I haven’t used it in a while.

(See the start of one of our rolling walls in the background?)

jelly cupboard in Flow Blue | miss mustard seed

I used a heavy grit sand paper (80 grit) along the edges to really pull off the paint where the wax was applied.  It comes off with very little pressure.  I then lightly sanded all over with a fine grit sand paper (180) to bring out the texture on the flat surfaces.  I do most of my distressing by hand to avoid the swirly orbital sander marks and to have more control over the look.

distressing milk paint | miss mustard seed

I was so excited when I stepped back and took in the effect.  It looks so authentic.

distressed milk paint | miss mustard seed

distressed milk paint | miss mustard seed

I then applied Antiquing Wax directly onto the paint.  I wanted to mute the colors and add an instant patina.  If you want a little patina, apply Furniture Wax, which is clear, first and then add Antiquing Wax on top of that.  That layer of Furniture Wax will prevent the paint from being stained by the pigment in the Antiquing Wax.  In this case, I wanted the color to be richer and deeper.

creating instant patina with antiquing wax | miss mustard seed

I spread it out with the brush and then wiped the excess away with a cotton cloth, buffing it in the process.

apply antiquing wax to add instant patina | miss mustard seed

Do you see how layering a lighter color over the darker color creates great dimension and depth to the color?  I put a light second coat of Antiquing Wax on areas that would be discolored from the oil of human hands…like around the handles and latches.  It’s subtle, but contributes to the authenticity of the look.

jelly cupboard finished with milk paint & antiquing wax | miss mustard seed

The jelly cupboard reveal will be coming up soon, but here’s a sneak peek…

flow blue milk paint jelly cupboard | miss mustard seed

This piece sends my hear a-flutter, I tell you what.

Since the Chapel Market and look book two’s shared theme is French Blue Farmhouse White, we are painting a lot of things blue!  Kriste refreshed an old wooden wagon with French Enamel…

painting a wood wagon with milk paint | miss mustard seed

…as well as an old wooden box that is chipping to perfection…

chipping milk paint | miss mustard seed


More blue & white goodness and makeovers to come…

the jelly cupboard | distressing & antiquing

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26 Comments on “the jelly cupboard | distressing & antiquing”

  1. You worked magic on that jelly cupboard–it is just gorgeous now! All the work of layering really turns it into a beautiful piece…

  2. I have metal entry doors with lots of glass. I have thought of trying a layering technique to give them a aged look. Do you think the milk paint would work alone or would I need to use the bonding agent? I thought if I put a stain gel on first and then tried the techniques you used on the jelly cupboard I might get an authentic aged look. Any thoughts? Love your blog by the way. Very inspiring.

  3. Oh this cupboard amazes !!
    Love the outcome to its beauty, it’s truly a chest to love, and will look amazing with what’s planned for it.
    I just picked up a fabulous French chair, upholstered in not so great fabric, yet I may keep its original mustard paint and gold patina on it after doing a bit of sanding to hit here and there only enhancing it’s aged feel, the fabric will have to go, but I am going to wash it down and let it air dry in the last of our sunny California days and see what I think about the fabric then. I will be sharing it soon, in the mean time I am picking up inspiration visiting you with all the aged colour you so design around.
    I have lime waxed pieces in my last few postings would love to do something of what you have created here.

    Thank you for sharing your beauty.



  4. Seeing one of your soon to be rolling walls in the background reminded me of something. You were commenting in another post that the barn near your shop that has such a fabulous aged look is due for a repainting and that you may lose that as a photo backdrop.

    A friend of mine is a photographer and she took shots of some gorgeous aged plaster and wood walls and had them printed on canvas backdrops for photo shoots. (Photo supply places usually have a source for that sort of thing.) You could do a similar thing and use your wall frame as a stretcher for the canvas. They would certainly be light to move around – and you wouldn’t lose the lovely weathered barn backdrop to the upcoming repaint.

    Just a thought.

  5. Oh my goodness, I have to say this is one of my all time favorite pieces of yours! Absolutely beautiful, and it looks so fabulous in your studio space. I think the light in your space is especially friendly to blues…. it just glows, and with all the details that you’ve both preserved and created, it’s just fantastic.

  6. Marian, This is Beautiful. I definitely want to try and recreate this look on a corner cabinet I have. Many years ago I came across a pie safe in a antique store with a similar look to it. The price on it was $800 and that was many years ago. When I asked the dealer why the price was so high he told me it was because it was the original milk paint finish. What you’ve created here looks so much like it. Of course that piece was way out of my price range but I never forgot it. I’ve never used the antiquing wax but I’m ready to give it a try. You are always so inspiring.

  7. The difference in the before and after of the jelly cupboard is amazing…………its style really stands out and the color is perfect!

  8. This was a beautiful piece of furniture to begin with. But… I am truly speechless at the amazing piece you have created! It is gorgeous! Marian, you have a gift for refinishing.
    On a side note from yesterday, when you had said you only put out a few white pumpkins. Can I just say thank you and ” HALLELUJIAH.” It is so refreshing to see that you have not done your whole house in a “fall” theme. ; )

  9. I don’t know which I love more- the cupboard itself, the color you painted it or the name of the color!
    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again- everything you touch turns to gold. Beautiful! Love this!

  10. I LOVE the finished color! In the photo just before that it looks so much grayer. Does the antiquing wax evaporate or change or is that just the lighting?

  11. This is my all time favorite piece you have painted. Can’t wait to see inside it. Keep up the great work!!!!!

  12. It’s amazing – you always do such wonderful things. I just want to attach myself to your hip. LOL!

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