The art cabinet makeover

Marian ParsonsArtistic Endeavors, Before and Afters, Furniture Makeovers, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint40 Comments

The art cabinet is finished!


In case you forgot (or missed it), here is how it looked when I bought it…


It was charming as is, but it was a bit orange for me and I had a “vision” for it.  You can see more details on the before HERE and the pieces that inspired me HERE.

Finding really cool hardware was a key part of executing my vision.  I sourced these cast iron pulls from England on Etsy


They were the perfect hardware to dress up the drawers.  It was a little tricky installing them, though!  The drawer dimensions were irregular and several were broken, so I had to eyeball a lot of the pulls, hoping they were lined up and level.


I painted the cabinet in MMS Milk Paint Grain Sack.  I didn’t sand or prep the piece and I ended up with a lot more chipping than I wanted!  I paint a lot of pieces and that doesn’t happen very often.  There was just too high of a contrast between the off-white paint and the orange-tone wood.  It was too busy and the hardware would’ve been lost.


So, I sanded the chipping paint to get off everything that was loose and rough up the surface.  I then applied a coat of Tough Coat, our water based poly finish that also works as a primer/sealer.  I followed that with two more coats of Grain Sack and finished with one coat of Tough Coat once I distressed the edges and high points with 120 grit sand paper.


I swapped out the antique wheels I tried initially with some steel wheels.  I’ll share more on those in another post.


I love how it looks, but I am most excited about the functionality.  I can’t wait to move all of my art supplies in and fill out those labels!


I left the top wood, so I could retain just a little bit of that pretty patina.  The top wasn’t quite as orange as the rest also.




I also found a great desk, so I’m going to spend some time working on the studio and my “creative corner” over the next few weeks.

And, speaking of creating, I added a few more designs to my Society6 shop


The art cabinet makeover

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40 Comments on “The art cabinet makeover”

  1. I was one of the ones that wasn’t sure about painting this……..what do I know……it looks fantastic….great call Marian.

  2. It is gorgeous… are going to be in heaven when all the drawers are full of all your goodies! There is something so fun and special about having all the things you enjoy and treasure all together when you are ready to do a project! Your work space is going to feel so cozy and fulfilling when it is all done! Have a wonderful holiday and thank you for all the wonderful posts all year long. I start my day with my coffee and Miss Mustard Seed!

  3. The art cabinet came out great! I can see how the handles would be tricky! I would have gotten those crooked! Your snowman pillow is adorable! Good work!

  4. Looks awesome!! You did so much work to that one it should look like a million bucks which is does. I do love the door pulls too. Much better that what was on their. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  5. Yep! Ya done good! Should never wonder about your design decisions!! You would think I’d know better by now! 🙂

  6. My response is “ooooooh”; it looks so pretty and so much better than before! So inviting. The drawer pulls are so ornate and beautiful — congratulations on another beautiful and functional piece!

  7. Wonderful outcome for this project….love it. Like the wheel change out too.
    So much fun to have all your supplies in one place. I would love this in my home.
    Thanks again for sharing

  8. Oh my gosh … well done! I knew it would be great but this is just so good. I love the hardware too! How cool to have all your treasures in one place … happy for you!

  9. There is no comparison to the before, in fact it looks so authentic and original. You should be so proud. Congratulations on a job well done.

    Marian, did I miss the blog that announced the winner of the Home Goods gift card? I hope I haven’t I am still so hopeful. Could you let us all know?


  10. another gorgeous “mustardized” piece:)
    Looking forward to the post about the casters, I have been searching on-line and at b&m stores for at least a month, can’t find exactly what I need…
    Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family, and all your readers!

  11. Just lovely, Marian! And the amount of storage is so great. Where did you start to find that incredible hardware? It’s so, so perfect for the piece and purpose.

    Another success!

  12. Oh my-what a difference you made in that piece!!! It looks really good. Your projects are such an encouragement to help me get motivated.

  13. Happy day! One more project complete and one step closer to your perfectly organized work space! I can’t imagine what that will look like for you in terms of what you will create and get accomplished, but I know it will be good! It always helps me focus when my surroundings are lovely and orderly. Love, love this piece and the amazing handles that are perfect for it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Gorgeous cabinet Marian! Perfect choice on the antique inspired drawer pulls and I love the painting of the birds; everything looks just so beautiful.

  15. did you leave the top of the cabinet as is? or did you hemp oil it? it wasn’t mentioned in the text but it doesn’t look “orangish” like the rest of the cabinet. i’m in the process of redoing my dining room table that was made from reclaimed wood from inside our farmhouse walls. initially, we just waxed it to keep the wood from drying out more…but now i want it more farmhouse-like. i left the top as is & painted the legs/skirting but top is still a bit too orangish to me. any thoughts on how to change it without sanding it? thanks! my other options is to make a grey weathered layered top with fusion paint.

    1. I actually did use Hemp Oil on it, just to hydrate the wood and minimize the appearance of the gouges, etc. The top wasn’t as orange as the rest of the wood to begin with, though.

  16. Really lovely. Could you address in a blog sometime how you put casters on many different pieces. That would be very helpful and interesting! Thanks!!!!

  17. Drawers are the most useful thing I know. It looks great! Here’s a tip: Line the drawers with light paper so you can see what’s in them better. Contrast ya know.

  18. Amazingly beautiful! It breaks my heart to think how some would toss this treasure into the landfill! Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us!

  19. Ok so I’m gonna be the dissenter and say I loved it exactly the way it was before. I love many, many things you do, but this one I preferred the rustic, distressed way it looked before! It looked authentic. Will look for the next project that in sure I’ll love. 🙂

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