I have a confession:  I have to give credit to Miss Mustard Seed for the design of this dresser.  She refinished one last summer with a hand-painted cherry blossom pattern on the drawer fronts and I loved it! I have been hunting forever for a small dresser with good condition drawer fronts so I could try out her pattern. Last month, I finally found this little guy on Craigslist.

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Both the finish on the top and the drawer fronts was in excellent condition . . I had found the piece!  The couple selling it was downsizing, and reluctantly getting rid of some of their well-kept antiques.  I promised them I would take good care of it and make sure it found a home where it would be loved and treated well.

A friend recently dropped off a full bedroom set to paint for custom work (more about that in a later post . . .) and now that my chair project was finished, I wanted to cross this one off the list before starting on the custom work. I had some MMS Ironstone milk paint on hand, and decided Thursday to get to work.

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I’ve learned the best way to mix milk paint is to shake it.  I’ve seen people use jars, but I didn’t have one on hand. So, a plastic cup, sealed with saran wrap and a rubber band did the trick. A minute or two of some good shaking, and it’s ready to go.

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Now with all milk paint projects, the first coat looks terrible.  It’s runny, streaky, and I used to always wonder what in the world I had done.  But after using it many times now, I know that’s just part of the process.

milk paint dresser

This is after the first coat.  See the drips and streaks?  Don’t worry, with each coat it gets better.

With only painting the sides and drawer frames, the total painting time was only about half an hour.  Once the second coat was on and it sat for a bit, the chipping started. I love this feature of milk paint–it’s what makes it different from every other furniture paint on the market.

milk paint dresser

The paint buckles up, and all you have to do is brush it with your hand.  It creates a fantastic worn look that you just can’t get with sandpaper.  If you don’t want it to chip, then just lightly sand the piece before painting, or add the bonding agent sold by the MMS milk paint line.

Once all the chipped paint was removed (I actually ran my vacuum with a brush attachment over the whole piece), I added a coat of clear wax to seal the paint and prevent any more chipping.  The drawers went back in, and I began working on the cherry blossom design with plain white acrylic paint.  From start to finish, the whole project took about 3 hours.

And now, here is my Miss Mustard Seed copy

milk paint dresser

I have another confession to make . . . I absolutely love it! When I set it up to take the photos it fit perfectly in this empty, awkward spot in front of my stairs. I am so so so tempted to keep it.  But I am also desperately trying to save enough money for a family trip to Disney in the fall, so I feel compelled to sell it.  Ughhh, I just don’t know.

milk paint dresser

I don’t claim to be a fantastic artist, but I think the cherry blossoms turned out really well.

milk paint dresser

One big difference between mine and MMS’s is the chippy finish.  I like how it complements the cherry blossoms and keeps the piece from looking too fancy.

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Everything on this vignette I love, and almost all of it I was intending to sell.  The birds, the lamp, the nest . . . they were all going to head up to my ACM space along with the dresser.

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But I just can’t part with any of it quite yet.  I looked so long to find the perfect piece to try out this pattern, I’m afraid I won’t find another one again. And it fits in my awkward stair spot, while adding lightness, whimsy, and oh-so-needed storage in my living room . . . I’ll say it again, ughhhh.  Can anyone out there help me?

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