say hello to “mora” | hand painted dresser

by | Jan 22, 2015 | Before and Afters, Furniture Makeovers, Hand Painted Furniture, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint | 26 comments

It’s now time for me to introduce the final color in the MMSMP European Colour line.  I have to say that it’s been so much fun developing these colors, painting pieces in them and then revealing them here.  It’s been a true creative journey for me.

The last color I’m introducing is perhaps one of my favorites.  Say hello to Mora…

Mora Collage | Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

Mora is a pale blue/gray/green color that can look entirely different depending on what it’s next to.  It was named for the Swedish town of Mora, which is famous for those gorgeous curvy standing clocks.  (I hope to have a “mora clock savings fund” going one of these days.)  Anyway, it’s a soft, beautiful color.

Believe it or not, I found TWO empire dressers on Craig’s List a couple of days after Christmas and they were both very well priced.  I have been on an empire streak lately!  I decided to use this one to introduce Mora…

miss mustard seed-4119

…and I love how the soft color hides the imperfections in the veneer and makes this heavy piece feel much lighter.

mora dresser | miss mustard seed

I added some hand painting in Ironstone and Linen to the fronts of the drawers to add some interest and I liked how the cream tied into the bone around the keyholes.

mora dresser | miss mustard seed

 You can see how lightly distressing around the broken veneer with a fine sanding sponge brings out the texture and makes it look more intentional.  I used to really fret over chipped veneer, but now I have embraced it.

mora dresser | miss mustard seed

I took a chance and didn’t use the bonding agent on this piece.  I ended up with some light chipping in certain areas in just the perfect amount.

mora dresser | miss mustard seed

mora dresser | miss mustard seed

A reader asked for me to share my trick for painting around keys holes.  I’ve tried tape, wax, vaseline, etc., but I have found it’s neater and easier if I just cut around it with my brush.  I have a very steady hand, so this method works for me.

mora dresser | miss mustard seed

I going to share more details on the hand painting on Friday.

Until then, here’s one last before & after…

mora dresser | miss mustard seed

..and a look at all six of the European Colours – Mora, Schloss, Arabesque, Layla’s MintMarzipan and Bergere

These colors will be hitting our retailer’s shelves and online stores on Jan 24, 2015.

European Colours | miss mustard seed




  1. Gloria Kimball

    Mora is amazing. Actually I love all the European line. The colors are so warm and blend well with the farmhouse style.

    …. And the hand painted flowers. Love.

    I have been putting off a few painting projects waiting for the new colors to hit the market!

  2. Gilly @ Colour Saturated Life

    I love all the colours in the European Line…can’t’ wait to work with them. This dresser is stunning…..your hand painting is just perfection Marian you always know just what to do!

  3. Meike

    I absolutely adore your European colors, Marian! I feel like you really, really nailed them. Whenever I go home to Germany, the first thing I notice when I go shopping is how colors in general are softer and more soothing than over here. I feel like you captured exactly that. Mora and Layla’s Mint are at the top of my list right now and I can’t wait to work with them 😉 Thank you!!

  4. Betsy @ Happily Ever After Etc.

    I absolutely love the European line, the beautiful pastel colors are right up my alley! I can’t wait to use some of them! Your furniture is always so artistically finished… love it!

  5. Cassie

    The color is beautiful, but I can’t get over your hand-painted design! If you ever write a how-to post on these gorgeous soft flowers, I will be so exited!

  6. Juliana @ Te Amo Too

    I love all the european colors! Beautiful! I’m sure Layla is super excited to have a color named after herself!

  7. Mel

    Looking at the collage of the colors together, reminds me of a picture I have of Rainbow Row in Charleston, SC. Beautiful!

  8. anya

    This is such a fabulous collection of colors, I love how much they compliment your original 18. I don’t know that I could pick a favorite, but I would love to see more of Mora – it looks like a color that would go well with so many different things. I will enjoy collecting each of them, I think!

  9. Sian

    Hi Marian, Did you need to seal the wood before painting it to prevent bleed through? This line is so soft and delicate. I really like it.
    Take Care

  10. Judith

    The handpainting is stunning and very artistic! I still haven’t embraced chipped veneer and usually patch mine with dark wood filler. Love all your new European colors. Fresh but vintage…can’t wait to try them! Thanks for the inspiration once again…

  11. Susan M

    Would love it if you would do a video demonstrating how you paint the flowers!

  12. Carla

    I wish we had more Empire Furniture in the HeartLand. Very hard to find here.

    I LOVE the European Colours.

  13. Debra


    Will you refinish a customer’s piece of furniture. I’ve got one in mind that I would love to look like the Mora dresser.

    • marian

      Are you local to me?

      • Debra

        Marian, so sorry that I never saw your response until now. Nope, I’m a good three hours away, but I’d be willing to drop off and pick up my piece after you’ve recovered from Lucketts! Especially when you’ve agreed to take orders for your Milk & Cream sign too. :o)

  14. Kate

    I love all these new coloUrs! Looking forward to using them and I have five, no…six pieces waiting to be painted so that will be a packet of each colour please 🙂

  15. Jelena

    Love how the dresser turned out!
    Still, I must admit Layla’s Mint is my favorite among the European colors. But then again, I’m a green kind of gal. 🙂

  16. JeanFB

    Mora is gorgeous, and your hand painting is absolutely stunning! I love the softness and depth you achieved with the linen/ironstone combo. This just might be my new favorite piece…. 😉

  17. Susan

    I seriously believe that this is my favorite of all of your gorgeous creations! Your paint is my absolute favorite to work with and can’t wait to try all of your new colors.

  18. Danielle

    Beautiful, Marian, I’m in love with the new colors in the European line and I have a bunch of dressers I’ve been saving to use the colors. x

  19. Deborah Diehl

    I totally love the new colors. But I hope to win the new arabesque pink. I have a really old dresser that is in storage that used to be my son’s when he was a baby 33 years ago and now I am taking his room and re-doing it over for my granddaughter and thought that dresser of his would look beautiful if I did it over and made it pink to go with the theme of princesses. Plus it would now be her dresser and then keeping it in the family.

  20. Antonella | Love Your Home

    Marzipan is my favourite, but they are all beautiful. The hand painting detail is lovely!

  21. Naomi S.

    I have been looking on our local Craig’s List for an empire-style dresser, but haven’t found one at a price I could afford. What should I expect to pay for one? I’d love to get one to paint and maybe sell, but probably keep for storing my fabrics for sewing.

  22. Sharon Bates

    I have love your entire new line of colors but this last one really “speaks” to me. I’ve been putting off painting a kitchen cabinet my dad made for me using some old doors that were “salvage” found in our house after we bought it….and now I know why. My heart has been waiting for this! I also love your light freestyle art on this piece. It adds something special to it. You Go Girl!

  23. Tatyana Batz

    I absolutely LOVE this piece! It’s my favorite of your hand painted ones so far. The flowers really make it look amazing, great job!


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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…


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