stool gallery

Marian ParsonsBefore and Afters, Master Bedroom, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint91 Comments

Some days I just need to paint.  It’s therapeutic for me and it makes me feel a sense of accomplishment.  With a two hour school delay, I didn’t have a lot of time to get things done today, so I picked a small project I’ve been wanting to work on – painting this little stool.


It’s in our master bathroom, so I decided to use MMSMP Artissimo.



It’s a deep navy blue.  A yummy color, in my opinion.


Now, I painted a lot of chairs and stools before I realized that I should start with the piece upside down.  That eliminates a lot of the awkward reaching and neck strain and paint on your forearms.  Maybe you’re smarter than I am and figured that out on your first try!


I decided to apply the paint without prepping the piece at all.  I had a pretty good feeling it would adhere well, so I didn’t feel sanding or the Bonding Agent was necessary in this case.  I also didn’t mind if it chipped.


As I was painting it, I realized there was a signature and date under the stool…


I believe my Opa wrote that.  Those are his initials anyway, and if so, he would’ve been about 11 when he made this stool.  He went on to be a home builder and all around handy guy, so it wouldn’t be surprising.


One coat covered the stool nicely.


You can see the color is rich when it’s wet, but dries lighter, which is the opposite of a lot of paints that are lighter when they are liquid and dry darker.  Milk Paint is a rule breaker.


This post is about the stool, but I’m using a couple of new MMSMP products, so I thought I would show them off.  The first is the brush…


…the second is MMS Brush Soap, which will be available soon.  It comes in a cake and does an amazing job at cleaning gunky, paint-caked brushes.



You just rub the brush on the soap until it’s clean.  And it smells nice and feels good on your hands.


I have to give you a little behind-the-scenes here.  I shot the “brush soap” sequence in my half bath, which is teeny-tiny and has zero natural light.  So, I pulled in our new video lighting to see how it would do and it worked great.  Now, imagine two bigs lights, my camera on a tripod and me in this teeny space trying to get pictures of myself washing the brush.  I ended up taking the two-handed pictures with the shutter remote in my teeth.

So, you might think Mustard Seed Interiors is some fancy operation, but it’s actually a girl crammed in a little bathroom taking pictures with her teeth just before she has to go get her kids from school.

Once the stool was dry, I took it to the basement for some distressing.  I sanded the edges with a coarse, 80 grit, sand paper and then went over the entire piece with a fine 220 grit.  As you can see, the color looks even lighter now it’s been roughed up.


And I finished it off with a coat of Hemp Oil to bring out the color of the paint and richness of the exposed wood.  I brush it on and work it into the paint with the brush.  A little goes a long way, so you don’t have to slather it on.  I used just 1-2 tablespoons on this entire piece…if even that.


And I wiped off the excess with a clean cloth.

MSI_3964 MSI_3965

And that’s my therapy and sense of accomplishment for the day!

The stool is just a bonus.

stool gallery

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91 Comments on “stool gallery”

  1. I know what you mean by “needing” to paint. Some times it just feels so good! I love the color of your stool and it’s even better that it was made by Opa!

  2. Just used milk paint on some crocks/jars today! They were the wrong color-and I saw the same shapes in Pottery Barn’s latest catalog-and wanted them white (wanting to get rid of all cranberry and olive green) I’ll see how they look tomorrow in the day light! therapy!

  3. The little stool looks so fancy! I used Artissimo on a mirror that I had painted and waxed a light color. I wanted it to blend with a navy leather chair beside it. I didn’t use the bonding agent, just took a deep breath and slapped on the paint. Love the look the milk paint created! I worked it in in some spots and wiped paint off in others. The mirror frame looks lovely and rustic…and looks great with the chair. I’m looking around the house for other things to paint Artissimo! The blues in your house are so beautiful!

  4. Ha ha now THAT’S the solution, take pictures with our teeth! Gonna remember that! The stool is adorable and I love the details that you can see in your bathroom – you have such great style.

  5. Thanks for the step by step photos and words. Some of us need a little (lot) of hand holding
    :-). What a great keepsake you have from your Opa. It looks amazing.

  6. Looks so pretty!!!
    Question… Can you use hemp oil on a kitchen table?
    I’m really trying to find protection on a newly stained table with out the shine.

  7. Its beautiful. Such a pretty simple little thing. Can I have one in tricycle? Probably nicer in blue, but I don’t have a blue house… 🙁

  8. Hi Marion, I love how your Opa’s stool came out! I just finished painting an antique window in your milk paint. I painted one side in Linen and the other in Artissimo. I absolutely love the Artissimo color it is so rich. I also love the milk paint. It was my first time using it and there are so many brilliant things to say about it. I’m glad you got your instant gratification in for the day 🙂

  9. That stool is stunning! The color is so rich in your bathroom. I love to hear your behind-the-scenes-regular-mom stories – it makes me feel like your beautiful results are attainable to me too! I just ordered my first Milk Paint supplies to paint an old mirror, and I can’t wait to give it a try.

  10. Does the soap work on brushes with wax too? I was thinking the same about painting on that fabric and your table. I would have made a mess. Please tell me it just for a visual

  11. i love this colour and the richness it gets with the hemp oil. i used it on a table in our basement and love the effect with our persian rugs. now you are definitely a more experienced painter than i or just neater as painting on what looks like a european grainsack could never happen for me. i look at the paint and it jumps on me and the floor.

    1. Actually, it’s a fabric scrap that I use for painting photo shoots, so it’s okay if I drip on it. 🙂

  12. Love the navy color – i think I will use it for a little table I have! Question about the milk paint – would you use it on the top of a dining table? I have an old pottery barn cream colored painted finish table in our kitchen and it is so worn. I think I need to do something with it and wondered if the milk paint finish will hold up with the wear and tear and washing after dinners. Thanks!

  13. Marian, Love your little stool! Just tried your milk paint this past weekend for the first time myself. I got the Artissimo for a mahogony chest of drawers. The wood was so beautiful so I left the drawers stained and painted the case in the beautiful blue. It was such a great compliment to the stained drawers. Looks very colonial. The milk paint was soooo easy and made the project really fun. I sanded the case and finished it off with your wax, which iI loved, so easy. Was so proud of my project i moved it right into the living room, A chest of drawers in the living room, Yep! i love it!!!

  14. I love that stool. Marshall (Opa) made it in his 7th grade shop class at Bolling Junior High School in Petersburg, VA, one of several pieces he made that year at the age of 12. It’s informative to me that so much was expected of young people back then–remember this was at the height of the Great Depression–and that they rose to the challenge. You’ve done a great job of improving what I thought was already pretty darn good.

  15. beautiful. I bought my first box of Artissimo a month ago and it is waiting for a dresser I need to do some repairs on. It’s similar to one you did awhile back with the shell like handles? Anyway, I think it will be pretty! You are a very patient photographer! I’m not sure I could have done all this! 😉

  16. hi! what a beautiful piece. Is there a post on your blog that explains what hemp oil is? is it like putting a clear top coat, urethane? can the hemp oil be used on chalk paint?


  17. Love it. Can I be the only one of your “followers” frantically searching Craig’s List for a duplicate!!!!??

  18. I’m usually not a navy girl, but I love this color.
    Could I use this paint on metal?
    Could I use the hemp oil on it?

  19. I was freaking out about the table cloth too. Love the stool….When can we expect the brushes and soap? Soon?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. It may not always be a girl taking pictures with her teeth squished into a tiny bathroom! All great people started out like you Marion. Doing what had to be done!

  21. Love the lil bench ! And the new soap ? Can this also be used to clean wax brushes ? or do you clean wax brushes ?

  22. My son made me a stool so similar to yours many years ago, I too painted it, but in black, loved the distressed look. I have learned so much from your posts, I truly didn’t see the fabric, just the stool and the paint. Shows where my focus is. I’m in my 70’s but always wanting to learn something new everyday! Thank you so much for sharing.

  23. it’s amazing how a scuffed up little bench can look so great with your paint and hemp oil…. I’m so impressed with your milk paint colors, and I’m starting to realize how much skill you have in the way you choose to photograph before and after shots. You highlight the deficits and then reveal the previously hidden details that make the piece a standout…

  24. This is my favorite thing. Ever. That color is so perfectly distressed denim. I must use this color somewhere in my home!

  25. I loved the original patina on the little stool. You were very brave to paint it. I was worried! I mean I knew it would turn out great but I loved the original patina so much I was worried! I like the end result very much. It goes great in your bathroom and probably better than it did with the original finish. I can’t wait till I can get that brush, it is so pretty all by itself you could use it as a display! LOVE the idea of the brush soap. My husband cleans our paint brushed out in our sink as well and they always leave a mess of stains that takes me weeks to scrub out. Thanks for sharing! Victoria

  26. timing is everything….I just received this MMS milk paint and bonding agent in the mail….along with some Linen…. I have a cute shelf that has been patiently sitting in my basement awaiting the milk paint. I just finished painting the shelf this very same color and can’t wait to see the results!!! This is my first use of milk paint….it was so easy!


  27. The picture of you cleaning the brush reminded me of watching my dad shave when I was little. He used a brush to soap up his face. Thanks for the memory.

  28. Please let us know that you did not paint over your Opa’s initials and Blt 1933! Love when I find surprises like that! The stool looks great and you stage things so well.

  29. Was that a waxing brush you used to paint with?
    Btw, I love the hemp oil, just wondering if it protects table tops.

  30. I don’t care if you are in a small bathroom with a bunch of lights and a paintbrush in your hand, anyone who can use a remote with their teeth and take decent pictures is my hero! And I do love the stool and the history that goes with it. What fun!

  31. Beautiful! I gasped when I saw that brush, thinking, “I wonder where I get can get one like that?” Scrolled down and saw that I will be able to get one. There is something about the mixing of the paint, and then, applying it that really is soothing. I think maybe it’s the fact that it has such a wonderful velvety texture that feels good to the hand. It just doesn’t ‘feel’ like other paints. My first project soothed me.

  32. Gorgeous! Thanks for taking us through the process. I have been experimenting with white wax (love it) but it’s fun to see the other colors and products. A real treat.

  33. Hi Marion,
    I’m having trouble ordering some of your products. Can’t find where to order them from. Can I order them from you? I like everything about this post. Behind the scenes is cute and finding the signature and date, priceless. Keep up the good work. You have the gift of inspiration>

  34. Ive been trying to decide on a color for a china cabinet. And I think I’m sold on Artissimo!

  35. Very pretty..did you paint over opa’s name??????????? HOw special to have his name after all these years , on a little piece….of him.
    I love the color when wet, how would you get that color instead of the lighter finish?

  36. hi, I’m new to your blog, but i love everything you do. I was wondering if the milk paint can be removed? And, if so is it dificult? i havent used it before, but have lots of things i want to paint

    thanks so much,


  37. I just love your humility….and the little stool looks great too!!!! What a difference hemp oil makes!! Hope to see you soon in Raleigh 🙂

  38. Question. I don’t wash my brushes in my sink any longer because it causes the lines to clog. Many of my decorative painting friends have also said this. Do you have a problem with it? I see in this blog you are washing your brush in the sink with your new soap.

  39. Love the stool and the color, but especially the story behind the stool. How special to have things like that in your home!

  40. baha. You crack me up with the remote in the teeth action. The things we do for a good shot! I have an almost identical little stool to that it looks great in Artissimo. I’ll have to decide what color mine will get after I decide where to put it once we move. I’m going stir crazy not being able to work on projects while we’re in the moving process. Can’t wait to get back at it! That brush soap looks amazing. I guess I need to invest in a wax brush first though. 😉

  41. Absolutely love this color and how it turned out. The sanding is perfect. I will certainly try this brush and soap when I can get to my retailer. Weather and roads ya know. I love your product. Wish I could afford every color. I live on $1200 a month(84)so I can only squeeze in one now and then, It’s such fun! I do want to try the hemp oil too. I have your wax brush and the clear and antiquing waxes and love them all. You are amazing.

  42. How sweet to keep something from your Opa. I still have lots of pieces to make over of my mums, I am currently working on a piano stool which I hope to use as an ottoman at the end of my bed.

    I must say I love the colour you used and the fact that no bonding agent is required, it came out fabulous. I also love the cakes of soap you have now. I use a similar soap for cleaning my artist brushes without damaging the hairs on my really expensive ones. I think a great addition to your range. The brush is great too.


  43. ohhh…. that little stool is so darn cute!! Looks great in your bathroom. You have such a great eye and such a great touch!

  44. I just noticed that Pottery Barn is featuring “indigo” on the cover of their latest magazine. I bet they got their inspiration from you Marian. Beautiful. Adorable how you staged the stool and love your shower curtain fabric. If you ever decide to move, your home will sell for a fortune. Hope your son is doing well.

  45. Ummm…do you really use such cute drop cloths to paint on or was that for the pics? 😉 haha. All looks great as always!

  46. I love the stool and what the hemp oil did to darken the color but I was most shocked that you painted on top of a grain sack!!!!!! You are a waaaaaay neater painter than I am!

    Hope your teeth didn’t cramp LOL

  47. Ok so now I’m sold on trying some of your wonderful paint. I’ve always liked the things that you and others have done with it but just not sure. Lucket was my favorite but didn’t quite fit in our home but this Artissimo is perfect. Thanks for the tutorial. Wonderful!

  48. Gotta get me some of that Artissimo. Love the color. Will look good in my recently transformed/transforming living room. Never finished, right.

  49. Love that color! And it sealed the deal on my next project….a Pennsylvania chest my (late) dad made will be done in grainsack this spring with artissimo to mimick the stripes. If I were really good I’d hold the brush with my teeth but that would probably take some practice. Love the way you keep it real, Miriam. 😉

  50. Its amazing how impressed I am with this post about a stool! I finished sanding inside my kitchen today (we are painting all the wood cupboards white) and I realized that now that I’m done sanding, I can hang my new curtains I got for Christmas! Guess what I’ll be doing after dinner? It will be my therapy for the day too! Thanks for posting about the little things – it makes those of us who aren’t full time bloggers/DIYers feel like we’re not as slow as we might think, lol!

  51. Did you get a picture of you with the remote in your teeth?? Haha
    Love the little stool and the color is perfect!

  52. Beautiful! One of my favorite colors in your line. I used it on a secretary desk. I love the depth of color!

  53. Love seeing this process on a fairly simple small piece. The stool turned out lovely & I especially loved to see how to use the hemp oil. I have been planning on buying MMS Milk Paint for months. I’ve never tried it, but have several pieces it will work great on & I have been thinking of adding a few painted pieces to my brothers home shop & who knows maybe starting a new journey.

  54. You always inspire me to do projects. I had a little stool very similar to yours and I had been wanting to paint it, so I got some Milk Paint (Flow Blue, I think). I love how it turned out. Thanks for the inspiration.

  55. The stool is adorable and I love that your Opa’s initials/date are on the bottom! Color is perfect for the bath. Thanks for sharing

  56. Your project turned out beautifully, of course course! it just made me nervous, to see you painting on top of that beautiful fabric! Hopefully, it was just for presentation purposes! 🙂

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