This post may contain affiliate links.

It may (or may not) surprise you to know that one of my favorite pieces of furniture ever was the piece I painted to introduce the Mustard Seed Yellow color in my milk paint line.

The way the piece chipped, the original amber knobs, the dark wood top, the hand painting…  it just all came together perfectly.

When I brought this buffet into the studio, I immediately thought of that piece and decided to make this one over in a similar style.


It’s a really old, pretty buffet made of oak, but the finish on it was almost black.  I stripped off the top and finished that with two coats of Hemp Oil.  The base of the cabinet was sanded and painted with three coats of Mustard Seed Yellow (a group effort by me, my mom and Megan.)  I then added some decorative painting in Ironstone, distressed it and finished it with a coat of Hemp Oil.

And voila…


This one chipped in tiny little flakes that were very random, but it looks really authentic, like this could be really old paint, which I love.

I happened to have exactly the right number of antique glass knobs in my stash, leftover from other projects.  They were just right for this piece, which was sporting three different kinds of knobs when I bought it.

The graining on the top is so gorgeous.  I’m glad I took the time to strip it down.

There you go!  Another before & after…

This dresser will be for sale at the Lucketts Spring Market in Leesburg, VA, May 15-17, 2015, for $385.


  1. Toni

    I love the pieces you do and when I try myself, they just don’t have the same feel.
    If I were closer, I’d definitely come for a workshop!!!
    Congratulations on another win!!!!

  2. Teresa C.

    I predict this will be the first piece to sell. Gorgeous!

  3. Mel

    Normally, I detest yellow. But there’s something about Mustard Seed yellow and the decorative painting you do with it, that I just love. I have a small dresser that my grandmother used as a sewing cabinet, and it’s destined for this very same treatment.

  4. Rita C at Panoply

    All I can say is damn, you are good, and that is beautiful.

    • marian

      This comment made me laugh out loud. You are a riot, Rita. 🙂

  5. Tara

    I am curious. What is the amount you don’t mind paying for a piece like this? Also, how do you come up with your prices for furniture you paint?

    • Robin

      This seems like an impolite question. Like asking someone how much money they make. Actually, exactly like that.

    • marian

      I’ve been asked that a lot lately, so I’m going to write a post about it. I have before, but it’s worth updating.

  6. Sue Pagels

    Another great makeover – just love the furniture ones!

  7. Susan

    Love this – your yellow is really the only yellow I love. I presume you didn’t add any bonding agent to the paint because you wanted the chipping, yes?

    • marian

      Yes, that’s correct. I did not use bonding agent on this piece, because I wanted to allow it to chip. We did lightly sand, though, to help some with adhesion.


    This is a great makeover for this lovely piece. The yellow that is in your line is really nice, it is just the hue. You are right it has just the right amount of chipping. How awesome was it to have just the right amount of knobs for this project? It is a good day when that happens.

  9. Amy D

    Wow, Marian. This turned out gorgeous. The chipping is perfect. And yellow is a great color for this piece. Your space at Luckett’s is going to be absolutely beautiful. I’m sure you’ll come home with empty trucks!

  10. Anya

    This is stunning! I agree with Tracy, Mustard Seed Yellow is such a warm, pretty color. I also love how it looks with the white hand-painted accents. This is such a pretty little piece, I think it would look really nice by the front door as a handy place to drop mail and keys. Your style is so inspiring!

  11. Alexa~FurnishMyWay

    I love your work! I’m really inspired to do my own DIY furniture up-cycle project now. I like the warmth of the Mustard Seed Yellow color. I do have to say that the paint detailing you did is quite lovely! Great post!

  12. Catherine

    I love the details on the cabinet doors – so sweet. The top is gorgeous! Mustard seed yellow was the perfect choice for this piece.

  13. Lorinda

    I love everything you do, but this cabinet has to be one of my favorites. I love the decorative detail that was original to the piece, and everything you added just enhanced it. And I love the natural grain choice for the top! You definitely inspire others with your life work. Thank you!

  14. Jennifer

    I love this. It is beautiful and you price your goodies WAY TOO LOW!!!!! If I were closer and could buy everything I would. At antique malls & stores in my area, the “before’ pieces would be priced for more than what you are selling them for painted. AND your $385 includes 7 antique glass knobs. I’m sure you want to get rid of everything, but I bet you could add at least $50.00 to everything you have shared on your blog and it sell in a second!

  15. Sherri

    This is beautiful – I love everything about it!!!!!

  16. Susan Guynes

    Hi! I love the look of this. I have a similar family piece that I want to redo. I understand chalk paint, but why did you use hemp oil? Does it effect the chalk paint in any way? Thank you for the inspiration.

    • marian

      I’m actually using milk paint, not a chalk-type paint. The hemp oil is a natural finish that makes it water resistant and more durable.

  17. Ronnie Gunn Tucker

    I really should use this color more often. Beautiful work as always. Good luck at Luckett’s. 🙂

  18. Marianne Davies

    Wish I were closer so I could take this home!!

  19. Teresa


  20. Rose

    Love this piece. Kudos! I have always loved this shade of yellow. It is a color you see quite often on the buildings in Greece where we lived for 5 years. This takes me back to those warm sunny days and I can’t help but smile.

  21. Laurie

    I know you won’t change your prices but I think you are undercharging! Of course I haven’t seen them in person and that might change my mind if the furniture itself is funky or is the lightweight pieces made during the Depression. But almost every piece you do is a one of a kind piece that has turned out better than what I have seen in person in Southern California. With your low prices people could afford to pay freight! You just can’t find cheap old furniture here to experiment on. And your stuff is “done”! No experimenting needed!

    • marian

      Ha, thank you. 🙂 Keeping my prices affordable is really important to me, since I know what it’s like to hunt and peck for bargains and to go to an antique fair with an envelope of cash and coins I’ve been saving from my birthdays and Christmas. I make what I need to and I shop smart, so I can give my customers good deals.

  22. Jan

    I normally do not like yellow, but this piece is beautiful. You are a talented lady. 🙂

  23. Jenny B.

    Love it! I especially love the contrast of the top. I’ve been wanting to try hemp oil (bought a bottle months ago, but have been too chicken to use it!). 🙂 Does it add some color to the wood, or was the oak naturally a darker tone? I’m thinking of doing something similar for my coffee table, but it’s currently a light orange-ish oak. If I sanded the top down to the raw wood, would the hemp oil darken it up some, or would it stay light?

    • marian

      Hemp oil brings out the natural color of the wood as it hydrates it. In some cases, that makes it darker. I would wipe some mineral spirits on the wood before applying oil and that will give you a sense of what it will look it. It will the evaporate, so it’s a temporary visual aid. 🙂

  24. Tina

    I don’t think the previous poster asking about pricing was trying to be impolite. But, in the South, what is really impolite is pointing out that someone is impolite. I felt sorry for the poster who’s reasonable question was shot down in such a mean spirited way. I hadn’t noticed that Marion had Emily Post as a follower! . I think all your followers would agree you are more than generous with your very reasonable, even low prices. I think she was curious as am I about how much in general we should pay for similar pieces, not specifically your personal pieces but if we are buying things with the intention to sale. You have in the past just sold antiques and painted pieces so you are knowledgable about what someone can expect to pay and still be able to sell at a reasonable price and be able to stay in business. I have the feeling that painted furniture sold at Luckets doesn’t pay your bills but to ask that would actually be impolite! Haha.

  25. Danielle

    I’m in love with this buffet! Mustard Seed Yellow is such a cheerful color! Perfect for spring! Now I want to find something to paint this color!

  26. Marilyn

    You took this piece from seeming solemn to cheerful. What a change. Here in the Pacific Northwest .yellow isn’t seen so much. Probably because of the natural surroundings blues, greens, and grays are more the norm, but your yellow knocks it out of the park for me. Wow! I love it.
    I’m going on line to find where I can purchase Miss Mustard Seed’s paint because I’ve come o the conclusion that your colors are extraordinary and I really want to try them. Thanks for the tutorials. They are so helpful. I know many people really appreciate them.

  27. Marie

    You inspire me Marion. I’ve bought the milk paint and am anxious to try it but I have a question. At what point does the chipping occur? If you put three coats on, I don’t understand the how the chipping happens.

  28. Anne Boykin

    Dear MMS, What a lovely yellow it is … I have used your paint and the colors are wonderful. One of my favorites is boxwood. Made me fall in love with green all over again. I want to try one of your blues too. I wish I was going to see you in person at Lucketts! And the buffet too! Hugs, Anne Boykin

  29. Anneb

    Love love!

  30. Margaret

    So gorgeous!

  31. Holly chabon

    Thank you for showing your before and after shots. I love this one! Holly

  32. Sanchia holmes

    What kind of paint do you use for the hand painted details ?


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…

Let's Connect


decorating, projects, and recipes for winter


Articles by Date


our sponsors



Bliss and Tell Branding Company


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This