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

winter blues

There’s yet another winter storm forecasted for later this week.  Admittedly, I am not totally devastated by this news.  Why?  Well, because I’m bringing the spring indoors with perky pastels and pops of color to pass the final stretch of winter.  Plus I’m planning a trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show to get an early dose of spring gardening.  Assuming the winter storm doesn’t get in my way.

Cottage Living Room - Bergere Coffee Table-5866

At any rate, I’ve been having a ball with the new European Colors in the MMS milk paint line.  Today I am sharing a coffee table updated with Bergere.  It is a bit of a smoky light blue and pairs well with white wax for a beach cottage look.

MMSMP Bergere

The table base was painted with 2 coats of Bergere with the addition of bonding agent.  The chunky turned legs remind me of a cross between farmhouse and beach house style.  Ryan built and stained the top.  It is a big, sturdy piece that will be around for years.  Imagine the hours of Monopoly that will be played on that thing.  This piece will be for sale at The West End Garage.

Monkey fist knobs are a great accessory.  I love these.  We now carry them in both locations in various colors.  They are all hand-knotted and made in the USA by a small family owned business.  Aren’t they fun?

Monkey Fist Knobs

Did that tray catch your eye?  The colors are just perfect.  It is made out of reclaimed barnwood.  We have a few of these available in the chippy blues seen here.

Cottage Living-Barnwood Tray

P.S. I am searching for the first mate that pairs with the captain lamp seen here. I put out an SOS on instagram with the mate’s picture.  Let me know if you see the first mate lamp for sale!  We need him.

Old Salt Ship Captain Lamp

 

 

 

 

 

a beachy combo

I had a wonderful afternoon yesterday meeting with some of our customers at The West End Garage who are interested in painting their old cast offs. We talked milk paint and also heard from our new neighbor at the garage, Eastcote Lane, who carries Maison Blanche furniture paint.  Oh the possibilities!

eulalies sky + white wax table #mmsmp-4022

It is funny how chatting with creative minds about individual projects can get me excited about milk paint all over again.  As a result, I ended up painting until 11 pm last night!  Those pieces are still in progress but today I am sharing this Eulalie’s Sky side table that is in the shop now.  You may have caught a glimpse of it on facebook or instagram.  I managed to snap a few staged pictures before bringing it in yesterday.

eulalies sky + white wax table #mmsmp-4040

eulalies sky + white wax table #mmsmp-4035

This one just screams beach house to me.  The beachy, summer feel is all in the white wax details.  I like to let it collect in the corners and around the legs to give it a bleached-out, sun-faded look.

eulalies sky + white wax table #mmsmp-4034

Would you believe the top was leather?  Well, it still is leather with the addition of milk paint.  Sorry, no before picture.  I am slacking in that department for sure.  Anyway, the leather absorbed the milk paint like a champ and even has some very subtle crackling that is hard to see in the photos.  I took a cue from Miss Mustard Seed and added a decorative design around the circular inset.

eulalies sky + white wax table #mmsmp-4029

eulalies sky + white wax table #mmsmp-4030

I’m sure you noticed that Cape May pillow too, right?  It is the most comfy, down pillow ever.  The cover is machine washable and handmade – both sewn and screen printed. It makes a great hostess gift if you’re crashing at your friend’s beach house.  Or a gift for yourself!  But they are going fast at The West End Garage…

eulalies sky + white wax table #mmsmp-4036

If you’d like to join us to talk paint at another free demonstration, just check on the demo tab here for future dates.  This information can always be found in the drop down menu below ‘milk paint’ at the top of this site.  I will be in PA next weekend to demonstrate for those on the other side of the bridge.

Happy painting!

diy cottage style bathroom reno

We have had a quiet yet incredibly productive winter.  We needed it quite frankly.  We also really needed a new bathroom.  The 80’s builder grade hall bath was so dated and just blah.  We gave it a bright makeover on a DIY budget.  Ok, a renovation really.  Here’s how it looked when we acquired the house.  Yikes.

Bathroom Before

Let’s check out the updates.  Come on in…

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

I’ve been hoarding this dresser for a while because I knew it was just right for the new vanity.  And it only cost about $40 because the drawers needed work which is a basic requirement of turning a dresser into a vanity anyway.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Storage is at a minimum in this house so preserving as much drawer space as possible was a goal that we easily met by using a porcelain trough sink instead of a drop sink.  I love how it turned out!

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Check out this post for details on how the vanity was constructed.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Please admire the vanity mirror.  It makes this tiny room seem much larger than it is and the bonus is that we had it all along.  It is very special to me.  The mirror is part of the French provincial bedroom set that I inherited from my grandmother.  I didn’t want to use the mirror with the dresser in our bedroom and opted to split the set up.  It worked out to be the perfect width to pair with the new vanity when hung vertically.  I didn’t touch the old finish.  It seemed like just the right warm, contrast to all of the cool aqua and white.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

 I really can never have enough hound dogs on guard around here.  Especially when they are in the form of vintage paint by numbers.

Vintage Hound Dog Paint By Numbers

Did you catch a glimpse of the shell chandelier.  Yup, I’m pretty smitten with that DIY too.  Sigh.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Details about how we pulled that off for under 30 bucks are posted here.  The salvaged radiator grate is actually acting as a screen to the bathroom fan.  It is so much more interesting looking than the hardware store options.

DIY Shell Chandelier and Bathroom Fan

The renovation began with Ryan demoing out the old vinyl flooring and vanity.

Bathroom demo

He then installed white ceramic hex tile for my birthday present!  The gift of home is the kind I love.  Seriously.  The vintage hooked rug was a birthday gift to myself.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Next up was the PVC beadboard installation that Ryan also DIY’d.  We kept the stained wood molding around the door and window to match the rest of the house.  However, we replaced the door with a white beadboard style which we’ll continue throughout the house.  This seems to be a great compromise between the bright cottage style I love and the craftsman wood style that Ryan loves.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

We picked up a few old brass ship plates last year at Brimfield.  The ‘Certified Private Lavatory’ one found a home paired with the wire bike basket.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

We went with top down window shades again.  I love the privacy they give but the light they allow in.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Thanks for visiting.  Stay tuned for some DIY tutorials from this room in the coming days.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

a copper top table

Last week I shared the updates we made in the kitchen, specifically in the dining nook. You may have caught a glimpse of our vintage dining table.  It’s a one-of-a-kind find that seems to infuse French legs with a copper top.  And rumor has it that copper is big for 2014.

Flea Market Style Dining Nook

I’d say that the top was a DIY update added to the table by the previous owners.  Most likely copper infused vinyl.  But surely it is real copper because occasionally we get the telltale green copper tarnish.

Copper Top Dining Table

I love when copper tarnishes to beautiful aqua…but not where I am eating.

tarnished copper lid

You may have spied the copper table in the background of some of my recipe posts.  The copper captures the light in such a beautiful way that morphs throughout the day.  It provides such a fabulous backdrop for the pictures too.

apple butternut squash soup

(Butternut Squash Soup)

Spicy Tortilla Soup Recipe

(Spicy Tortilla Soup)

So you want to know where we found such a rare gem?  Well, Ryan and I shopped the very chic marketplace known as the curb for this find.  It also came with a large leaf and 4 upholstered French caned back chairs.  Yes, you read that right.  A full dining room set for nothing!  The chairs are “on deck” for a serious makeover of their own and a different table to pair them with.  They have high backs so they didn’t work with the mix of low back chairs we have in this space now.

Flea Market Style Dining Nook

Ryan and I definitely have different styles when it comes to architecture and decorating.  He sways toward natural and craftsman style – those doors.  I like eclectic, collected and vintage.  This table seemed to meet both of our aesthetic needs and we agreed on it right away.  You can picture us standing at the curb with the tailgate open gushing about how truly perfect it is.  Because that’s exactly what happened.

Eat in Kitchen

The light legs and apron seemed to have been an updated too. They needed a refresh so after scrubbing the table I applied a coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in grain sack with bonding agent.  That’s all they needed – one coat.  Can I tell you a secret?  I didn’t wax or put a top coat on either since it is just table legs.  A twenty-minute paint job and they were good as new.  And don’t you love the simple blue and yellow braided rug that anchors the space?

Grain sack painted legs

What’s your best curbside find?

P.S.  We’re still completely stumped as to what our upcycled galvanized hanging light above the table used to be.  Please share any insight you may have!  I’m thinking it was on a farm…

salvaging a bedroom

Things are starting to feel more and more settled around our new permanent home.  Well you know that it is not actually new at all or new to us for that matter.  And the things in it aren’t new, of course.  You could have guessed that.  But the permanence of this home is what’s new.

architectural salvage bedroom

Today I am sharing how the old is pulled together to create a new salvaged, coastal bedroom.  This is one of my favorite places to relax.

I love all of the colors and textures…and also the view of the season changing out of the window that this bed faces. In fact, the previous owners oriented their bed on the adjacent wall which only left a view directly into the bathroom facing the toilet. Blech.  The back wall is all windows so it seemed obvious to face the bed in that direction.  I’ll share the window seat in another post…when we upgrade to top down shades.

garden rake belt organization  (2 of 6)

Naturally, I always go for loads of pillows covered in neutral solids.  However, I am not afraid to punch up the duvet with pattern.  For winter, I brought in this warm medallion duvet from Crate & Barrel.  The palette in here is so inviting…

architectural salvage bedroom

And that headboard is an old door that I updated a few years ago with paint, driftwood and starfish.

The vintage lamps are one of the best treasures the previous owners left behind in this house.  They needed an updated shade but, man, they are perfection.  Those oars are one of the first accessories I bought for this room and they’re still a fave.

architectural salvage bedroom

The furniture made the move with us.  It is part of my Grandmother’s French provincial bedroom suite.  After having all of the pieces living together in our guest room in the last house, I decided it would be better to break them up a bit.

Isn’t it funny how the finish on the night stands and dresser look like milk paint with antiquing wax?  It most likely is but I didn’t do it!  They’ve been finished this way for decades.  They’re a perfect fit here and are an inspiration for updating French pieces like this moving forward.

architectural salvage coastal bedroom

The driftwood shelf was salvaged a couple of years ago.  I added hooks recently for my necklaces.

The mirror is not dirty.  It’s called patina!  I love mirrors with this much wear on the glass but apparently others do not because it didn’t sell this summer.  I took it home from the shop and I am trying it in this space.  I am undecided on whether it is taking the coastal theme too far.  Is that even possible?  The Golden Girls set is what I am generally trying to avoid however this mirror doesn’t say Rose to me.

architectural salvage coastal bedroom

There’s always room to add more beach glass and shells that wash up…

coastal collection

The life-preserver I love.  And the columns were salvaged from an old Cape May home.  They’re kind of crazy town in here but they’re not going anywhere.  I like crazy.

And I’m obsessed with vintage chenille blankets especially in aqua.  This throw has been around awhile and is here to stay.

So that’s my happy place, friends.  Happy Tuesday!

architectural salvage bedroom