Monday, January 7, 2013

Working with Miss Mustard Seed....paint

Oh how I wish I worked with the real life Miss Mustard Seed.  I blog-stalk her daily and scour her fb page every chance I get.  She does amazing work, and I'm pretty sure if I met her for reals I would pee my pants!!  But for now I will settle for my journey with her milk paint.  I hadn't worked with any milk paint prior, but had been on the fence about it for quite some time.  So when I finally got the courage to give it a try I knew that I was more than willing to work with a product backed by the furniture-painting icon herself :)  So I ordered some paint and waited not so patiently for it to arrive.  I had already found a dresser on cl (of course) and thought I was going to paint it red.....but red is scary and takes LOTS of coats to get just right.  Plus this guy is shiny wood and brass hardware.  I knew no matter what I decided it would take a little elbow grease!
 So I stalled, and then the holidays hit and I don't think painting anything even crossed my mind for at least 2 weeks.  In the mean time my paint arrived.  I chose 2 colors to start, linen and kitchen scale.  I watched Miss Mustard Seed's tutorial on mixing the paint and I was off.  Or so I thought....I think the beauty of milk paint is that it's really "workable".  But that can also be the downside.  You have to kind of mix it up until the consistency "feels" right.  Too much water, and it's like a color wash, which is great if that's what you're going for.  Not enough water and paint kind of "globs" up.  I found that using a disposable plastic cup and a mini wire whisk were my best tools.  And I also discovered that mixing in smaller batches makes it easier to control the consistency, and stir, stir, stir!!  So after some trial and error I finally figured it out.

This is how the milk paint arrives, or for now.  Originally Miss Mustard Seed was packaging her milk paint in these bags and the bags were then put in a box, but if you follow her blog at all you know that she's changing that up.  I decided that this dresser needed to be layered in colors, starting with kitchen scale.

Mixed up my batch and got started.  I know this doesn't look like a lot but milk paint goes really far.  That is one of the things that is similar to chalk paint.  For those of you who paint furniture and have used chalk paint I will say in my experience the similarities are few.  It goes really far, you don't HAVE to prime before painting, and the dry time is pretty quick.  It does go on pretty smoothly like chalk paint also, but again that depends on your consistency.  If you're doing more of a wash, you have to watch for drips and runs.  Anyhow!  I slapped a first coat on and waited anxiously...

Not too bad, but a little more aqua than I was hoping for.  Plus I was looking for a little more coverage.  Miss Mustard Seed does sell a bonding agent for her milk paint line.  You can add that to your batches of paint if you're not wanting any kind of chipping or cracking, but I wasn't using that.  So I added a second coat and got really excited cause this started happening....

Can you see the crackling on the edges there?  Well here's the other thing about milk paint, it's REALLY unpredictable.  And I knew that going into it, but still wasn't fully aware of how unpredictable it would be.  After 2 coats half of my drawers were chippy and crackled and the other half, and the dresser base itself were only slightly chippy.  Plus I decided I didn't want the dresser to be an entirely aqua-ish color.  Enter linen.  I thought hey, why not do a wash of a delicious creamy white over the kitchen scale?

Well, 1 coat of linen turned into 2 coats of linen, and this was the result.  This color is not bad at all, it was just kind of too washed for the whole piece.  I started to panic in true furniture painting fashion.  You know that moment where you think you've completely ruined your project and have to walk away to get some perspective?   After begging for opinions and stressing myself out I decided that 1 more coat of kitchen scale on the dresser base should hopefully ease my pain :)  When I'm using chalk paint I generally use a really fine grit sanding sponge between coats, but this did not need it.  This milk paint dries so smooth it's really unbelievable.  Feels like you've sanded and waxed after just 1 coat.

This was so much better!!  A little contrast between the drawers and base, and so much chippy goodness!!  I will say that even after all the layers of paint only some of my drawers were chippy on their own.  So I did take my sanding sponge to some of the edges, to gently ease some chipping, just so that the dresser looked "uniform" and not just like I was a sloppy painter :) 

See?  Chippy goodness abounding!!  I do heart it so :)
Ready to see the end result??

I think it turned out pretty cute.  I did paint the original hardware with milk paint, and loved the end result.  Kind of gave it an antiqued look that fit right in with the paint finish.  I also sealed the whole thing with wax.  Even though it dried so smoothly, didn't want all that hard work to come off :)

Apparently Miss Mustard Seed has the magic touch.  I took this dresser down to Persnickety's on Saturday afternoon and before we could even move it into somewhere other than the middle of the room it sold.  I couldn't believe it!  I guess timing really is everything!! 
So when all is said and done, I can't wait to use the milk paint again.  Now that I have a finished project under my belt, I feel ready to tackle the world!!  And I have another project in the works that I'm planning on just using the linen color milk paint.  Stay tuned to see how it comes out!!


P.S. this "review" of Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint is entirely my own opinion and not sponsored in any way :)


  1. Denniel, Beautiful job! I have yet to redo something in milk paint. I love the colors you chose. I just started a new blog hop and would love for you to come over and link up your post or any social media.

    1. thanks so much!! I will definitely check it out!!