how to: milk paint oak cabinets

The cabinets at the cottage are finished! Admittedly the milk paint portion of the project wrapped up a month ago however we haven’t been able to find the right hardware to work with the routed edges of the oak cabinets.  I got tired of waiting for the ‘glamour shot’ and figured it was time to share the ‘in process’ shot.  There are other updates that the room is waiting for such as a new faucet, range hood, etc, etc.  Let’s focus on the paint finish today and how we got here…

Mora kitchen cabinets #mmsmp-6830

from here (photo from real estate listing)…

kitchen before

We’ve taken a step in the right direction as far as lightning up this old cottage kitchen and making it feel a bit more beachy.  The oak cabinets were not original to the house.  My guess is that there were old metal ones in here at one point.  But the oak ones were in decent shape and worthy of an update.

You may recall my post about prepping the cabinets for milk paint.  We thoroughly cleaned the cabinets with a citrus vinegar solution that you can make yourself.  The key is to not use an oily or intense chemical cleanser that the milk paint will resist.

citrus cleanser-5796

The cabinets were primed with Tough Coat, a MMSMP product.  It is a non-yellowing tough coat that provides extra durability against general wear and tear, water damage and food stains as a top coat.  It also works really, really well as a base coat or primer because milk paint adheres to it.  In this case, tough coat also blocked the oak tannins to prevent bleed through.  It has many benefits.

tough coat

After that I mixed Mora with bonding agent for best adhesion.  I decided to apply 3 coats on the thinner side (instead of 2 thick coats) as I did not want to get any crackling or chipping texture on the cabinets.  Thicker milk paint application tends to lend to the chipping aesthetic that we all love.

how to milk paint oak cabinets-5804

Mora is such a pretty color.  Here it looks gray.  In certain lighting it takes on a blue hue and sometimes even a hint of green.  It is perfect for a space like this with a lot of light that changes throughout the day.  We finished the cabinets by applying furniture wax with a mix of white wax in some areas.  We’re considering going over it with tough coat for a more durable finish but it seems the wax is holding up just fine.  I wiped a splatter of sauce off of the surface the other day and it left no marks on the wax finish.  No issue.

Mora kitchen cabinets #mmsmp-6833

Here’s what I learned throughout this process.  As I mentioned, I thoroughly cleaned the cabinet doors and primed them with tough coat prior to applying paint.  Tough coat was the best choice for a “primer” because it aided in blocking the oak tannins from bleeding through.  This is something to be concerned with when painting over oak.  However, tough coat is clear and the orange oak did take 3 coats of milk paint to completely cover.

Mora kitchen cabinets #mmsmp-6832

After working on the cabinet doors from start to finish, I stepped back to reconsider my options for the cabinet bases.  Could I eliminate a step?  When it came to the cabinet bases, I thought I had a better idea so I initially skipped the tough coat primer and used a flat white chalk-based paint as a primer instead.  My theory was that the chalky “primer” would eliminate the need for 3 coats of milk paint since I was priming with white.  I thought it would serve as a base coat primer AND block the orange bleed through in one step.  I was completely wrong.  The orange bled through the flat finish immediately and I had to go over it all with tough coat anyway to lock in the tannins.  It was experimental for sure and created an extra step for me after all!

In summary, here are the steps to follow for milk painting previously finished oak cabinets…

How to Milk Paint Oak Cabinets #mmsmp

To complete this project which consisted of 14 cabinets/drawers, I used less than 2 quarts of milk paint + bonding agent, wax and tough coat.  The product went far.  Essentially we gave these cabinets an entirely new look for under $100.  You can’t beat that!

Mora kitchen cabinets #mmsmp-6830

the bubble gum table

Ryan put together a fantastic one-of-a-kind table last week.  He topped the base of a former bubble gum machine with a live edge cross-cut of a tree.  It makes the perfect petite side table.  Check out the original fire engine red paint on the cast iron base.  We’ll be bringing this one into the shop soon!
upcycled bubble gum machine table-6785

 

P.S. Follow us on instagram and facebook as we make our way through Brimfield this week!

spring tablescape

We’ve been busy over at the cottage the past couple of weekends.  We’re working to get it to a point that it can be enjoyed this summer with minimal project disruption.  The deck was power washed and we found an adorable vintage wrought iron patio set that is a perfect fit for the space.  We gifted it to my dad for his birthday a few weeks ago.  We commonly surprise them with perfectly scaled furniture that they didn’t know they needed.  It seems totally normal when you’re in this profession.  Maybe not?

spring tablescape-6732

We have a similar vintage patio set that will be hitting The West End Garage very soon along with this great bench that we all secretly want to keep…

vintage wrought iron bench

Last weekend, for a pre-Mother’s Day celebration, I put together a pretty, spring tablescape where we enjoyed happy hour after a long day of projects. I started with a fantastic vintage floral, fringed tablecloth layered with pansy dishes and vintage Vera napkins.  We added a grouping of upcycled candlesticks to the mix that Ryan and I just completed.  I love how they turned out.

We sat on the deck listening to the seagulls while indulging in the most delicious treats from Shari’s Berries.

spring tablescape-6741

Naturally we texted photos of the chocolate covered strawberries, cherries and cheesecake to my brothers, who weren’t present, to be sure they upped their game for our deserving Mom this Mother’s Day.  Nothing like a friendly sibling rivalry!

But really, how can you top decadent chocolate and that fun vintage tablescape?  Get mom her own chocolate covered berries at Shari’s Berries!

Shari's Berries #SBTreatMom

may at the west end garage

May is here! May is here!

This might be one of my favorite months in Cape May, although it is really hard to be that decisive.  May brings the return of the hydrangeas, bumble bees, hot sunny days followed by cool sandy sunsets.  It also brings back full-time, in-season schedules for all of my favorite stores and restaurants.  This beach town is back for yet another season!

At The West End Garage, we put together a Mother’s Day window display with my favorite bentwood rocker and a vintage pram that is in pristine condition among other vintage mother and baby accessories.

WEG-6707

The pram is priced way undervalue so if you’ve been on the hunt for one, now is a great time to scoop it up!  It makes the perfect prop for a children’s boutique or baby photographer.

We have plenty of Mother’s Day gift ideas in stock so bring your mama to the beach this weekend.

Be sure to visit The West End Garage on Saturday for a milk paint demo.  I’ll be there to answer questions!

MP demo may

serendipity

Happy spring!  Can you believe we are approaching May already?

Earlier this week we migrated to a new space at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.  Check out our evolving selection of vintage home & garden just as you walk in.  Can’t find Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in the old space?  Look no further, it is just beyond the front door.  We are fully stocked and ready for your spring projects!  Now for some eye candy…

We’re still settling into Serendipity’s new location in Chestnut Hill but this weekend is a great time to visit.  Sunday is Chestnut Hill’s Garden Festival!  We’re stocked with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in the new location as well.  (See addresses and hours below.)

secretaries day

Aside from being Earth Week, turns out it is Administrative Professionals Week a.k.a. Secretaries Day.  Calling a person your secretary is so passe but you can still refer to your furniture as your secretary without any raised eyebrows.  This, my friends, is a secretary desk.  A beautiful serpentine one at that.

vintage serpentine secretary desk painted arabesque MMSMP-6429

It was a hand-me-down from family friends.  I was so sad that it didn’t fit my own secretary nook where we have a more petite version.  The ample storage and curvy base are something to be envious of regardless of the missing support.  Low and behold it fits perfectly in the entry of my parent’s cottage.  Yes, the cottage.  Remember that fixer upper we’ve been working on?

When you enter the house, you walk directly into a room larger than a foyer but smaller than a living room.  It is actually a porch that was converted into a room.  We’re calling it the parlor as it opens up to a larger family room.  It is the perfect space to store beach towels, kick off your flip-flops, drop your keys and pen a postcard.  All of which can be done with the help of the secretary.  Who says you don’t need a secretary at the beach?

vintage serpentine secretary desk painted arabesque MMSMP-6444

This little gem was one of the first pieces of furniture we moved in months ago.  It needed to be lightened up for this cottage space.  Pink seemed like a fun and unexpected choice yet MMSMP Arabesque is not overly feminine.  It received 2 coats of Arabesque with bonding agent added. I played around with the waxes and worked in both white and antiquing wax for some depth while also lightly distressed.

vintage serpentine secretary desk painted arabesque MMSMP-6437

The drawers were painted separately from the body and you may notice that they have a slightly peach hue to them.  This is the fun that milk paint can offer.  Slight variation like this is what I love about it.

vintage serpentine secretary desk painted arabesque MMSMP-6434

As for the rest of the cottage, it is slowly but surely coming together with the addition of another bathroom being the major project which is subsequently holding up some of the others.  Not to mention this has been a part-time project for all of us.  However, we finished painting the oak kitchen cabinets but have yet to choose hardware or make a few other updates in the kitchen.  I’ll snap some pictures soon so I can share details about the process of milk painting cabinets.

vintage serpentine secretary desk painted arabesque MMSMP-6442

Finally, I’d like to mention that I’ll be in Doylestown on Sunday demonstrating milk paint to those who are interested!  Join us…

mmsmp april