The two-toned milk paint dresser in Layla’s Mint is finished and she is a beauty.  Well, in my opinion, anyway!

Before we get into the details of the finish, if you missed the first two installments of this dresser makeover, you can find them here…

Part 1 – Prepping the piece & applying the first coat of paint

Part 2 – Using the Wax Puck, applying the second coat of paint, and distressing

In this post, I’ll share about applying the Tough Coat finish.  Before I do, though, here is the before & after…

I adore how this piece turned out. 

You can still appreciate the beautiful lines and the age of this dresser, but it looks softer now.  And I am over the moon for the antique brass hardware that now pops against the pale green.

When thinking about which finish I wanted to use for this piece, I opted for Tough Coat.  It’ll be durable if this is used as a bathroom vanity or in a kid’s room and it will be easy to apply to all of the nooks and crannies of the mirror.  Here is a video showing how I applied the Tough Coat along with some tips for making sure it’s mixed well and avoiding drips…

Sebastian was being a total ham.
Anyway, here is the end result…
I have to say that I’m not really ready to start decorating for Christmas, but when I thought about styling this piece, I just could not shake the vision of dolling it up with fresh greens, gifts, and candles.  I have to start setting up for Christmas this week, anyway, due to some freelance projects.  (At least it’s only a little early.  A few years ago, I had a tree up until February, another one back up in April, then in September, then finally for “real Christmas”.  My poor boys were so confused.)  
The distressing, as well as the two-toned finish on this piece, was deliberately subtle.  It’s not the kind of piece you’d glance at and think “Wow!  She layered two different paint colors!”  And that’s sort of the point.  I wanted this decorative finish to just whisper.  The brighter green under Layla’s Mint adds a lot of variation and depth, but the technique itself isn’t immediately obvious.  
With all of the pretty details on this piece, the thing I love most is the hardware.  I feel like it was easily overlooked before, but now it’s a real feature.  
The mirror is also a feature and quite a practical one at that.  I love how it tilts and the little shelf is simply smart design. 
I had considered adding some painted detail to this piece, but there are so many carved details already that I decided to let those shine.  I was afraid decorative painting might detract from the original simple beauty.  
I was going to share all of the pictures and sources for some of the items used in this photo shoot, but I decided I would save those for tomorrow.
If you’re in my neck of the woods, this piece will be for sale at Adourn in Chatfield, MN after Thanksgiving (along with the Little Black Dresser.)  


  1. Jessica

    Lovely piece – I have a soft spot for green-painted pieces. One request – any chance of getting a look at the finished piece without all of the accessories? Your styling is always amazing, but this piece sings on its own and I would love to soak it all in. Thanks for posting your work and for the how-to videos.

  2. Claire

    The dresser looks marvellous. I also love the woollen pom pom garland; if you made it, please could you post a tutorial so I could try to make one myself? Thank you!

  3. Downraspberrylane

    It turned out beautifully, and the hardware is a work of art all its own!

  4. Kate

    I’m not always 100% on board with your painted furniture, but this really looks great! So much better than the original finish. The color, hardware and mirror are my favorite things about this.

  5. Mary in VA

    So glad you decided to keep the mirror. Love this look.


    Tastefully done. Similar to an old half moon green side table from grandma’s house which is genuinely distressed and not nearly as pretty! It’s nice how you take the look of the past and make these subtle changes that really improve the piece.

  7. Betsy

    It’s just beautiful! The Christmas decorations are perfect too. My question is how can you part with those two pieces.

  8. Kim Noel

    I love the whole color-coordinated vignette. I never use these colors, but I sure love seeing them at your house! I agree, the hardware is extra special and I didn’t notice it before.

  9. Connie

    She is a beauty – a whispering beauty! And I agree again, that the hardware is such a star feature now. Your styling is so peaceful, calming & lovely; just like Christmas should be. But Sebastian is definitely the star of the video!. What a fun puppy!!

  10. Amy G.

    Wow! Yep, major improvement on this one. It’s really inspiring!

  11. Kris

    Very pretty and no, you don’t need painted details added. This is beautiful in its simplicity.

  12. Julie

    This looks excellent painted!! Love everything about it including the green color. Lovely job.

  13. Andrea Mcqueen

    Love your co-worker! Sebastian is sooo adorable. He looked very happy just to hang out with you.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, he really just wanted to be with me!

  14. Tracy

    The dresser turned out beautiful! Love it, BUT oh my gosh..Sebastian had me laughing out loud here! He kept looking at the camera as if to say-“This is recording right? You can see me, right??” 🙂 Too funny!

    • Marian Parsons

      I know! It was so funny how he would look at the camera.

  15. CONNIE in GA

    I didn’t even notice the hardware before! It is so unique and beautiful. I love how it shows up against the soft paint colors. Stunning, as always. Thanks for sharing the process.

  16. Donna

    This is a beautiful dresser, love the mirror and its beveled….KEEPER, hardware to die for. Someone will be lucky to buy this beauty!

  17. Diane Ruebel

    SPECTACULAR!!! With Thanksgiving only a week plus away, the charming styling sets the mood for thinking about Christmas decorating.

    Hugs from Camano Island, WA

  18. Audrey LaFay Zumwalt

    Beautiful … I will be considering that color treatment for a piece I need to do. Did it originally have rollers?

  19. Susan

    I love the way it turned out!!! Gorgeous ?

  20. Betty Mashburn

    Yep! definitely a lovely piece! Have a similar one I am painting in a light, soft gray. Handles and all! And definitely we need a tutorial on the pom-poms … they are a required project, so please let us all know how to make these.

  21. Cherylan

    I like! And that Sebastian is a keeper in the video shoot!
    Some how I missed when you were adding the top color coat.
    Maybe I saw it when you were singing from Les Miz! I did enjoy your singing.

  22. Connie, IN/FL

    This piece speaks to me. I love how soft it looks! Great job!

  23. Marlene Stephenson

    You made it even better. so very lovely.

  24. Arlene

    Absolutely beautiful! I am wondering if you’ve heard of the “Next Door Neighbor” app….it is a nation wide app. In my neighborhood, neighbors sell and give away a lot of furniture on this app. I have seen dressers like this for sale. I joined it by googling “Next Door Neighbor” app. It”s free and neighbors seem to just want to get rid of stuff. When I see furniture, I think of how reasonable you could get it for your magic and then resale. The posts come into my email, daily.

  25. Tracy

    Love the finished piece, but Sebastian stoke the show! Great job! Investors the soft greens in Layla’s Mint.

  26. Cynde

    Love, love, love……….the styling and the end result of this gorgeous piece. I love the color scheme you have in your home. The cool blues and greens work beautifully together, and it’s not a color scheme that everyone has, so it’s so refreshing!!! I wish I lived in your neck of the woods, I would be the first in line to purchase your black piece, love it!!!!! Thank you for your inspirations and tutorials, and FYI, pretty great singing voice!!,

  27. Sue

    Love love love the color of these pieces. Inspires me to paint some pieces green in my home. Green feels so neutral and goes with everything. So pretty! Thanks for the inspiration!

  28. Jessica

    How many Sebastian hairs did you you have to take off that piece?
    I have a black dog and struggle a bit when she decides she wants to be near me when I paint!
    Love he way this has turned out.

  29. Kathy

    I love the way this piece turned out, very pretty, i especial loved your dog in the 3 part, he’s adorable

  30. Mary

    Looks great with the two tone color.

  31. Gillian

    I”m curious, there is no chipping on the dresser (but it is beautiful!) did you use bonding agent, or was it just the sanded wood that made it adhere so well???

    • Marian Parsons

      Nope, I just lightly sanded it with 80 grit paper and an orbital sander to rough it up, so the paint would adhere well.

  32. Elena

    Love how the hardware looks with the green.!


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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