say hello to “Linen”

Marian ParsonsBefore and Afters, Furniture Makeovers, Hand Painted Furniture, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk PaintLeave a Comment

It’s time to introduce another one of my Milk Paint colors.  Whew!  Painting twelve dressers in all twelve of my colors has taken longer than I thought it would.  I want all of my pieces to be special, but especially these pieces that will act as the “online swatch” for each color.  After this piece, I only have one more left to do – “Boxwood.”  So, without further delay, here’s “Linen”…


Linen is a beautiful cream that’s not too yellow, but not bright white.


My husband found this piece at a yard sale and bought it for me.  Awww….I know.  I picked a good guy.  The hardware was ill-fitting and all wrong for this piece.  I disliked the flimsy metal covers for the keyholes as well, so I plucked those off.  Other than the cosmetic issues, this piece was in nice condition.



The insides of the drawers were filthy, so I cleaned then out as I usually do, but I went a step further this time…


…and painted the insides of the drawers in Lucketts Green.  I sealed the drawer interiors with Hemp Oil to seal the paint.  Since the insides were raw wood, there won’t be any chipping and it will hold up for many years.


Now, this dresser is a great example of the unpredictability of Milk Paint.  I thought that the paint would adhere very well to this finish, so I didn’t add the bonding agent.  I painted the dresser first with a coat of Shutter Gray.  I then did some resist techniques and used a bit of Crackle Medium in strategic places.  The Shutter Gray seemed to be adhering well except in a couple of places.  Perfect!  I then painted on two coats of Linen, hoping it would chip away and crackle to reveal the Shutter Gray and some of the wood.  Well, you can tell from the dresser that things didn’t go according to plan!



I walked away to eat some lunch and when I came back, most of the paint was barely hanging on.  Well, that’s Milk Paint!  I started scraping and sanding the paint away.  So much of it came off that none of my resist techniques or the crackle effect showed up.  Oh well.  Next time.  You can see a little bit of the Shutter Gray peeking out around the keyholes, but that’s about it.


Almost all of the paint came off the right side.  I have no idea why and it’s certainly not how I would’ve planned it out, but I really love the way this piece naturally evolved.  That is my favorite thing about letting the Milk Paint just do its thing.  The piece ends up looking natural and authentic.  Not contrived the way pieces can look when they are distressed by hand.  I like the haphazard nature of it and had to remind myself of that when it seemed like more paint was going to be on the floor than the furniture.




I made another unexpected choice with this piece.  The hardware.  I’ve been anti-brass for a long time, but I’ve started to warm up to it over the past couple of years.  I think brass got a bad reputation when it was imitated and overused for cheap builder grade fixtures in the 80’s and 90’s.  Decorators, designers and home-a-holics said, “Enough!”  And we all took down our brass fixtures and replaced them with nickle and oil rubbed bronze, forgetting that there is quality brass in the world that shouldn’t be neglected.  I saw these bin cup pulls at Home Depot and thought they would be lovely for a piece.  I didn’t plan to use them on this piece, but these were the only ones that fit the holes and I really didn’t want to shop for new ones.  I put them on and fought the urge to remove them immediately.  Initially, I thought they looked terrible, like they didn’t belong…


Then I brought the piece up for the photo shoot.  I started adding brass accessories to tie in with the hardware…and I totally changed my mind.  I think they’re not an obvious choice for this piece, but I sort of like that.  I think they make this piece special and the sophisticated, structured shape and shiny finish play nicely off the random chipping and warm wood.




So, this piece didn’t turn out the way I thought it would at all, but I think it was all for the best in the end.  Sometimes creating means letting go and seeing what happens.


say hello to “Linen”

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