Pitch Black, milk painted sideboard

Pitch Black, milk painted sideboard

This gorgeous vintage piece with stunning appliques hit all of my furniture criteria; unique, intricate and striking. One of the heaviest and biggest pieces I’ve ever worked on, but definitely one of the most beautiful.

 

 

I used my go to paint these days, milk paint, in Pitch Black.  Again, the milk paint did all the wonderful things I wanted it to: different shading of black and crackling and scaling. This stuff is fascinating to work with. I swear, when I start talking about my obsession with milk paint, people’s eyes glaze over. I’m nuts about this stuff!

 

 

After I painted and sanded her back to near wood, I focussed on the finishing. I rarely talk about this step, but topcoating is really the most important part of the process. It is also the most frustrating, time consuming, confusing and for most people, the most boring part of furniture refinishing but if you don’t do it, you’re certain to regret it. The first time you put a hot mug or wet glass on the piece, you’ll ruin it. For all you wanting to learn how to do this, don’t focus on the paint, focus on the topcoat.

 

 

I always say I put three layers of topcoat on the surface of the piece and two everywhere else, but that’s really the minimum. I topcoat until it’s near perfection and sometimes that takes 5 or 6  coats. I obsess about it!  I pity the person that will ever have to strip down my work. They’ll be swearing on my grave for sure. 😉

 

 

Once the finish was done it was time to accessorize. Furniture hardware can be so much fun! I have a ton of knobs on hand and I think I tried everyone of them on this piece and none of them were right. In the end I realized that her original hardware was made for her. Whoever planned her out knew what they were doing. Although they were the perfect match in shape and size the brass was too brassy, so I painted and topcoated them too. I love how it all pulled together in the end. She’s a stunner!

 

Beautiful empire dresser in MMS Artissimo

Beautiful empire dresser in MMS Artissimo

Have I told you lately how much I love this style of furniture? This beauty had everything going for her – great looks and amazing craftsmanship she just needed a bit of paint therapy. I’m on a bit of a milk paint bender lately. I really love how the pigment soaks into the wood. It’s fascinating to see up close. It gives different variations in tone and does some pretty unpredictable stuff. I’m amazed every time I use it and I have to say, I’m completely hooked on the stuff. I will admit it’s challenging to use though. Make sure you do your homework beforehand.
 
I chose Miss Mustard Seeds Artissimo for this project. I wanted something more neutral and this shade is perfect for anyone. It looks like a well worn pair of jeans, doesn’t it?
 
Finishing touches were some of my all time favourite flower knobs and some new keyhole inserts. I wanted to demonstrate that even if a dresser has curves, it can still be quite masculine. Change up these knobs and it’s the perfect dresser for a boy (I have the perfect knobs for that too)! 😉
A little chevron paper liner and ta-da! What a gem!
Stunning vintage china cabinet, milk painted and polka dotted!

Stunning vintage china cabinet, milk painted and polka dotted!

 

Over time I’ve come to realize that it’s important to love every inch of every piece I buy. If that voice inside my head says “I love everything about this except for…” the warning bells go off and  I move on. This small, divine, vintage china cabinet hit all the marks for me. From it’s delicate appliques to the curved legs and the sweet pulls, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind. She was a definite buy.

 

 

She’s close to 100 years old (made somewhere between 1907-1937) and the only sign that points to her age, is her gorgeous patinated wood. I really wanted to highlight the crackling and beauty of her exterior. Old Fashioned milk paint, in Pitch Black, was the go to paint for this one. The pigment of milk paint almost seems to absorb into the wood. It’s so fascinating to work with and this shade is stunning! I distressed the black quite a bit to get some yummy wood to show through.

 

I also wanted to use this adorable Spoonflower polka dot paper I had stored away for just the right piece. I papered the back and painted the interior with General finishes Snow white milk paint. Love this white! It matched the paper exactly.

The exterior was top-coated with General finishes Gel Topcoat and the interior with their High Performance Topcoat. A ton of work to get this one done but so worth every minute. One of my all-time favourites for sure! She’ll be hard to top but I’ll give it a try! 😉

Vintage mustard dresser with delicate ball knobs

Vintage mustard dresser with delicate ball knobs

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There’s a woman out of Montreal that restyles furniture so beautifully. Her business name is “Orphans with Makeup”. What a great name, right? When I saw this dresser for the first time, I thought this is an orphan in need of little makeup and a lot of loving. I’m a sucker for that kind of furniture. I feel like if I don’t do something they’re doomed. Yes, I’m that crazy!

 

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I sometimes forget to take before shots before I start working on them. This is one of those times. Sorry! I only remembered once I had applied the applique and the drawers were sanded, but you get the picture. She had great bones but was looking a little tired. This one got the royal treatment with an all over makeover.

 

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She was sanded, washed and primed and I also applied Danish Oil on the inside and outside of all her drawers. I then painted her with Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Mustard. Can I say how much I love this stuff! It gives such a different look and the pigment is unlike anything else I’ve ever used. It crackled and chipped and distressed in all of the right places. Really fun stuff! After that, I sealed her with General Finishes topcoat. Another favourite.

 

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I’m pretty thrilled with how she turned out. Delicate white ceramic knobs and charming drawer liners just put her over top! Can you see how her top slightly curls up on the front left side. I think it’s the beginning of a smile. What do you think?

 

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Lamp black night stands with patterned drawer fronts

Lamp black night stands with patterned drawer fronts

When I picked up these beautiful bowed front night tables, I knew I wanted to do something completely different. It took me a while to decide what that would be, but after I received my shipment from Spoonflower, things became much clearer.

 

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First I prepped and primed both stands and painted them with General Finishes, Lamp Black Milk Paint. I sanded everything down in between coats and then moved on to the paper. When picking out a pattern to apply to a piece it’s important to consider the scale of the pattern. On the Snow White china cabinet, it was fine to use a bigger pattern for such a large surface but on these drawer fronts  I had to use something more proportionate. This pattern was my favourite.

 

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I planned that the arrows would point in opposite directions and that the patterns were at similar distances on all drawers. It was a little time consuming but you only want to do this once. My brother’s a contractor and his voice kept on echoing in my head ” measure twice, cut once”. I might have measured 3 or 4 times. It’s was late into the night and I was afraid to make mistakes. Better to be safe than crying. 😉 I applied the paper with Modge Podge and once it was perfect with not a single air bubble, I let it dry. After it was dried I added another layer of Modge Podge over the paper and finally it was time to finish them.

 

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I always do three coats of whatever topcoat I’m using on the top and two everywhere else. Lately that topcoat is General Finishes High Performance in semi-gloss. Make sure that if you’re painting, you don’t skimp out on this step. There’s nothing more disheartening then doing all this work only to have it ruined when someone puts a glass on it. It takes time and it’s probably the most tedious part of painting but it’s so essential.

 

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Finally, it was time to doll them up with a bit of furniture jewelry. More Spoonflower paper on the inside and these round black ceramic knobs. It would be hard to find a room that these wouldn’t look good in.

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Pitch black vintage chest with carnation bone knobs

Pitch black vintage chest with carnation bone knobs

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When people say “they don’t make things like they used to” I imagine they have something like this beauty in mind. This stunning, solid walnut bureau with its bottom wood molding and slightly recessed top was the most unique chest I had ever worked on. Despite her old exterior I could see the beauty she would become. Here is her before.

 

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I knew exactly the look I wanted for her: milk paint. And not the easy to use milk paint, but the hardcore Original Milk Paint, in Pitch Black. I had read so much about how people loved or hated milk paint, I had no idea what to expect. I crossed my fingers, said a prayer and started painting. In the end, I had nothing to worry about. It was easy to use and I loved the translucency that allowed the wood underneath to show through. It was exactly what I’d been looking for!

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Of course, the carnation bone knobs, are superb. I have these ones on my own sideboard. I just love them!

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In the end, I can’t think of a single room that this piece wouldn’t look stunning in. My husband wants all of our furniture painted in this colour, and I have to say that I’m tempted, but then again, there are so many other colours I haven’t used yet. 😉 Stay tuned!