painting & finishing the aviary dresser

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Furniture Makeovers, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, Painting & Refinishing, Tutorials26 Comments

The last time you saw this dresser, it was sanded down and prepped for painting…


In case you missed that post, you can check it out HERE.

Years ago, I made a video tutorial about applying the first coat of milk paint, what to expect, etc.  While the information really hasn’t changed a lot, I decided to make an updated video as I worked.

MISS MUSTARD SEED TV

In this video, I cover some of the basics, like when to sand and the benefits of sanding.  I also talk about application (brushes, rollers, sprayers) and some of the perks of using milk paint, especially if you’re a sloppy painter!

Here’s how the dresser looked after the first coat.

The variance in color that you see is partly the nature of milk paint and partly how the paint was absorbed into the surface.  I debated painting on a second coat to even it out a bit more, but I liked how the paint was just barely opaque and you could still see the grain of the wood.  From experience, I knew that a Hemp Oil finish would even out the coloring enough, so it didn’t look blotchy.

I mulled over adding decorative painting to the front of this dresser, but I decided to let the beauty of the color, the serpentine front, and the brass hardware take center stage.

I did want to lightly distress the edges, though, just to knock off some of the newness of the fresh coat of paint.  For that, I like using 80 and 120 grit.

I use the 80 grit for wearing the paint away on the edges and the 120 to soften the look and run gently over the entire surface to make it smooth and even.

I finished the piece with MMS Hemp Oil applied with our natural bristle oil/paint brushes and wiped down with a microfiber cloth.

One of the keys to applying Hemp Oil is to really work it into the surface, so it absorbs evenly.  Then, wipe away the excess oil.  Over the next day or two, you might notice some areas looking glossy or wet.  Those are places where there is more oil than the surface can absorb.  Just wipe it down with the microfiber cloth and it will even out.  It’s just one of the nuances of working with a natural finish.

The upsides are many, though.  It’s not stinky, it’s all natural and food safe, it’s fail-proof to apply (really, you can’t mess it up), and it has a beautiful, soft-looking, yet durable finish with a lovely luster.


But, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see how it turned out and we’ll officially say “hello” to Aviary…

painting & finishing the aviary dresser

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26 Comments on “painting & finishing the aviary dresser”

  1. Luv the color and how easy you make doing it look! Tell me, do you always paint dressers intact…that is, drawers in? Thx

    1. If the drawers are inset (they don’t have an overhanging lip around the edge), then I will just leave them in. It takes up less space in my work area and I can still access every part of the dresser.

  2. I LOVE this new color! And seeing you use the hemp oil has got me thinking about trying it out instead of my usual top coat. I hope Aviary is out and available to purchase very soon:)

  3. Truly in favor of letting the grain “speak”! I have a cedar garden gate king bed to do, thinking mustard seed yellow . This got me thinking about how I might handle it with the texture of the wood and the layers of previous paint coming into play as detail.

  4. Yikes, I am so glad you said something about not painting it because of the beautiful grain this piece has. I would have just done the hemp oil. That said I do love the new color too! Question on the hemp oil you used after painting, I did not know you could apply hemp oil after painting. How does it absorb through the paint, and can you apply it after any chalk type paint? Also, is the hemp oil you by from Whole Foods the same thing, can it be used on furniture?

    1. Yes, it absorbs into any porous paint surface, so it can go over chalk-type paints as well. No, the Hemp Oil is sold with our like and is processed specifically to use for finishing and theirs is processed for maximum nutritional and medicinal benefits. While they are both hemp oil, I would suggest using each one for their intended purpose.

  5. You don’t use a drop cloth? Love the dresser by the way, just amazed that you can do it on a white floor.

  6. I’m amazed by this hemp oil.
    I can’t seem to find any equivilant in New Zealand though… is there an alternative oil you could suggest? I’ve used Danish oil on wood finishes would that have the same effect?

    1. Hi Emily, I am in New Zealand too. There are several companies selling locally grown food grade hemp oil here. Just google them. For example: purenature.co.nz, hempfarm.co.nz, nzhempoil.co.nz, waihibush.co.nz …

  7. I don’t know how many of your video tutorials I have watched, but time and again, I find that you’re just a great teacher. I learn better from watching (rather than reading) and appreciate you taking time from your busy day to help us learn more about MMS Milk Paint! Thank you!

    1. Yes, definitely. It’s a food safe oil that can be used on any surface where you would apply other oils, like butcher block, soap stone, etc. I would always test it out on a small spot first, just to make sure it’s working for you.

  8. I just got some of your hemp oil and I can’t wait to try it, also now that I see you can use it over paint I’m very excited. I do love your videos as well. Thank You.

  9. l love your paint. I use it. I use it because it speaks to the old time arts of the past. In January. I saw a piece that was done with your paint, that done on an old BEAUTIFUL burl style wood. By burl, I mean, the wood had seen some years in its growing years or it had seen some water that aged it beautifully. I am not saying I am an expert in wood but I am saying that I have some background in wood. I am an old world trained upholster…which only means that I have been trained in the “OLD” ways of doing upholstery. Meaning, I know how to approach old furniture with the knowledge to upgrade them to their era;s standard of beauty. My only beef with your product being applied to old wood with a natural history is this: NOT everyone knows the treasure to be held in high esteem when they get wood with beauty. Yes…as you said, wood is forgivable. But generational knowledge is not. In your post that I commented in January about, it was this that I was indicating frustration towards. Making money from the past is not a renewable resource. Once it’s gone…it’s gone. The next generation will not understand the bounty of history that is sitting in their living room from Grandma 2015 Miss Mustard Seed Paint. They will see it as old. Unworthy. NOT of value to preserve for future generations. This makes be sad and yes, I’ll admit it. A wee bit angry. Because without proper education placed along the way SOME (not all) history is being sold to the highest bitter with a paint brush in their hand. My only ask is this: Educate. Educate along the way while encouraging people to make a beautiful home but also educate to help people preserve a beautiful history. We can’t just paint to make profit. We must paint with a conscience to our ancestors ideal to beautiful art…which included wood…according to their affluence in their era. So I beg you. Just take the time to educate. We know. We do better.

  10. This was a most easiest method you shared on this page with the outstanding steps to eliminate the dryness from the Sensitive skin of body in a seven days and increase the beauty of skin by using the hemp seed oil daily according to the period of a time after the recommendations of a doctor and remember the instructions of a doctor which help you to eliminate this kind of skin dryness ,My suggestion is you must go to a doctor one time in a week for starting of proper treatment of eliminating dryness appeared on the Sensitive skin of body for increasing the beauty of skin in a summer season due to the effect of sun rays,keep it in your mind don’t work in the light of sun because the heat of sun with the dust particles of sun rays increase the rough dryness and cracks with lines on the skin due to the demaged of skin layers cells after the working of some time you notice the color of skin become black and cracks with lines are increased on the Sensitive skin of a body this is also a effect of skin cancer . So take care of skin and avoid to work in a light of sun . you also use a mask on the face if necessary to work in the light of sun and also use carrot in the food salad .
    Thanks.

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