the victorian settee & more

by | Oct 5, 2014 | Hand Painted Furniture, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint | 16 comments

Our days in the studio lately are mostly spent painting, since we’re getting ready for the Chapel Market.  We crank up the music or sometimes chit-chat about life, mix up some milk paint and work on one piece after the other.  We’re making good progress, but there is still a lot to do and I’m feeling a bit behind since I was under the weather a couple of days last week.  I’m feeling so much more energetic now and I’m ready to tackle our to-do list.

The last time I shared the victorian settee with you, Kriste was putting a thin coat of Tough Coat on it to prevent the original red stain from bleeding through.  This has worked for me before with a yellow stain, but I hadn’t tried it on the “dreaded red stain”.  I was really putting Tough Coat to the test, because I want to paint this piece white and any little bit of red that seeps through will turn the paint pink.

tough coat to seal red stain bleed through | miss mustard seed

Once the Tough Coat dried, I painted the piece in one coat of Shutter Gray MMSMP without any bonding agent added.  I learned on the last piece I tested Tough Coat on that milk paint sticks to it really well!  So, I used it as a primer/sealer on this piece.  You may be wondering why I’m painting this piece Shutter Gray if I want it white.  Well, you may be aware that white doesn’t cover very well, especially over dark wood.  I knew I would be in for multiple coats of paint if I went straight for the white.  By applying a mid-tone gray on first, the number of coats will be reduced.  Kriste applied the first coat of Ironstone (white) once the Shutter Gray was dry.

victorian settee in process | miss mustard seed

victorian settee in process | miss mustard seed

I love how much brighter this piece is looking already.  It just needs one more coat of Ironstone and then I’ll lightly distress, apply the finish and then it’s on to the upholstery.

victorian settee in process | miss mustard seed

victorian settee in process | miss mustard seed

And, while I had the paint out, I painted a few other things in the studio, including the old church door I used in the jelly cupboard photo shoot.  I left one side the natural wood, but the other side was a barn red color, which isn’t my thing, so I painted it in Shutter Gray and I love it.  The panels and detail seem to show up so much better now that it’s painted.

shutter gray milk painted door | miss mustard seed

…and I can always flip it over to use the wood side, depending on my mood.

milk painted jelly cupboard | miss mustard seed

I found this old church door in my Oma’s attic when we were cleaning it out and it’s been languishing in my basement, so it’s nice to finally get to use it.

jelly cupboard & painted door | miss mustard seed's milk paint

…and, while I had the paint out, I took the plunge and painted a piece I’ve been thinking about painting for a while…

hutch painted in shutter gray | miss mustard seed

Yes, the oak hutch that’s behind the t-shirt counter.  Between the floors and the shirt counter and everything else, there is a lot of wood going on and I’ve always felt the wood on this piece was too orange.  For me, anyway.  So, I painted it and I love it so far.  Here’s a reminder of what it looked like…

antique oak hutch | miss mustard seed

I’m planning to paint the inside in Ironstone, probably, so it will really make the jars of milk paint powder pop.

I have a couple more dressers in the works and a lot more fun finds for the market to share.  Stay tuned…


  1. Toni

    The settee is looking nice! I’d be intimidated to try refinishing that – especially the upholstery!

  2. Lisa

    I just used your milk paint for the first time – to paint an old door shutter grey. So I am curious what you did, if anything, after the paint? I used your furniture wax on it so far. But was wondering if you distressed your edges or used the antiquing wax? Yours seems to show more interesting depth than mine right now.

  3. Christy Keyton

    I love the settee painted and cannot wait to see it with your upholstery flair! It will be fabulous I am sure. I also like that cabinet painted – but I think I would leave the inside wood – I love the contrast right now. And the jars look GREAT in there!

  4. Susan Crandall

    Thank you for showing your pieces “in the works”. I just used your paint for the first time last month. I am thrilled with the finished product but I must admit I freaked a little between coats. It just didn’t look right! Seeing your projects in the middle of the process really helps calm us newbies. Love the milk paint and the antiquing wax is perfecto! I was so inspired that I’m walking around my house looking for more to paint!!


  5. Laurie

    I love the settee….are you going to paint the raised areas a different color? As for the hutch, the paints in there are white now, are you planning to put colored ones in? Now that you have painted it you could build a small pedestal/base for it and it wouldn’t be obvious that it wasn’t original. It would make it much easier to use the doors on the bottom. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  6. Jinny McMillan

    Would you consider some bun feet or short, squat legs on the glass door cupboard??? It looks as if it’s missing something to finish it off. Really does look so much “happier” painted than the old varnish finish. Amazing what just a little paint can do…..

  7. kathryn

    I think I’m in love with Shutter Gray

  8. Jelena

    I love how that Victorian settee is coming along! Can’t wait to see it finished and upholstered!

  9. Alice Crawford

    Hey, while you’re still in the mood, I have some painting you can do. Right now, I too am feeling under the weather. While exploring a local thrift store this morning, I staggered into a display and knocked some things over, thankful nothing was glass and nothing broke but even tho nobody saw this bit of clumsiness, it was still embarrassing. Getting old isn’t for sissies.

  10. MaryLisa Noyes

    The settee is coming out really nice. I like the idea of using the shutter gray as the base coat. I have to say that was gutsy paining the oak cabinet. I’m not sure if I could have taken the risk.

  11. Robin

    I vote for some sort of base/ feet on the cupboard, and leave the inside wood. The milkpaint is very whitish without water so I think it stands out quite well now. Just my two cents worth.
    LOVE the setee can’t wait to see it finished!

  12. jinny

    Would you let us know how the Tough Coat worked out as a primer base? Any color bleeding through? Also, would you use it as a sealer over the milk paint?

    I love to read about your new techniques/products but need a follow up. Thanks!

    • marian

      I’ve used it as a primer/sealer three times now and it’s worked great every time. I was able to paint right over it with the milk paint without the bonding agent added and the adhesion was great. Yes, it can also be a topcoat, but it has a bit more gloss than hemp oil and wax.

      • jinny

        Thanks, Marion, that’s great to know. I’ll give it a try, I seem to have a run of mahogany furniture lately. I like the pieces/styles but it’s always a ton of work prepping mahogany.

  13. Jane

    Noooo! I really do love white but I have admired that oak cabinet every time it’s been in a picture. I think the black areas of the grain made up for any orange-y tone. I thought the wood was beautiful. *sob* Maybe it was just the picture though. Sometimes pictures look better than real life and your photography is beautiful.


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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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