a pretty washstand

Today I have a pretty little washstand to share…

dried lavender washstand #mmsmp-6990

Here’s how it look when we started.

wash stand before

I really love the way this one turned out, flaws and all.  It is so understated.  I used 2 coats of Dried Lavender without bonding agent.  Yes, this is dried lavender believe it or not.  It looks darker than usual most likely because the previous finish was so dark.  I wasn’t sure how the paint would react because of the obviously shiny finish that I was painting over.  The effect was surprising and delightful!  Check out that crackle…

dried lavender washstand #mmsmp-7002

I finished it with furniture wax and a hint of white wax.  The washstand and the ironstone basin & pitcher will be available for sale this weekend at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown. The lemon cypress topiaries are heading to West End Garage.

dried lavender washstand #mmsmp-6991

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

the game changer

Vintage fiends like myself always have a list of must-find items tucked away in the back of one’s mind.  Perhaps it is an industrial antique scale, a factory cart coffee table, a 1940’s 2-tier plant stand (not to be specific or anything).

For me, as of late, it was a brass bed.

vintage brass bed, ticking shams, French provincial furniture #brass

Not a cheap, shiny 1980’s brass bed but a high quality solid brass with a warm patina.  A queen size brass bed with serious antique style which would make it vintage, of course, because queen size beds weren’t available until the 1950’s or so.  And the price had to be right.  After only a few months searching, the perfect piece popped up on Craigslist.  The only problem was that it was over 2 hours away.  This was a great deal even factoring in gas and tolls.  Ryan made the trip picking up the head board, foot board and frame for my birthday.  Lucky girl.

vintage brass bed, ticking shams, French provincial furniture #brass

This bed was a game changer for sure.  It works very well with our existing French provincial family heirloom furniture.  That’s not going anywhere.  However, I decided to part with the coastal salvage vibe that we had going on previously.

I found a fantastic brass hued mirror that coordinated very well with the furniture and lamps.  I brought in Mildred, the necklace-wearing-bust, and other vintage jewelry vessels that I’ve collected.  The window seat got outfitted with more pillows because there are never enough.  And we finally did something with one of our wedding pictures turning it into a canvas for above the bed.  The shell lamps stayed as did the duvet with the addition of new ticking shams.

The biggest change of all is the flooring.  Previously this room was outfitted with pink carpet.  This winter our home has received many upgrades including new flooring throughout thanks to my patient husband who has redone almost every square foot.  I floated a flat weave, natural chevron rug over the weathered-look wood floor.

This bedroom now has a sophisticated yet collected vibe featuring vintage finds and family heirlooms.  Each one tells a story.  Of course, it is always entertaining to look at the progress of a space.  The ‘before’ picture is exactly how this room looked when we first saw the house.  It gives me the heebie jeebies.  The next one shows how it was last styled with a coastal salvage spin.  And of course the present look.  You can see that the symmetry remains the same.

What is on your must-find list?

 

creme de menthe

I’ve got a before and after to share today and a new color combination that I am digging…

French provincial nightstand Layla's Mint & Marzipan #mmsmp-6129

This French provincial nightstand started out rough.  Even the drawer pull was on upside down.  However it had great lines and most of the wood was raw making it a great starting point for milk paint.  This well-loved piece needed a thorough cleaning and some repair before paint.

I was hoping that the paint would find a few areas to resist and it sure did creating the perfect crackle effect with a bit of chipping.

French provincial nightstand Layla's Mint & Marzipan #mmsmp-6144

I applied two coats of Layla’s Mint without bonding agent to the body.  The drawer and the side detail was painted Marzipan.

The nightstand was waxed and distressed with furniture wax and a little bit of antiquing wax.

French provincial nightstand Layla's Mint & Marzipan #mmsmp-6140

The drawer pull received a makeover as well.  I used gold gilding wax to give it a new look.

French provincial nightstand Layla's Mint & Marzipan #mmsmp-6148

Overall, I love the color combination and will be trying marzipan and Layla’s mint together again soon.   These colors combined with the aged yellow headboard, lamp & alarm clock are really working for me.  Perhaps because the headboard is French provincial as well.  Either way it all seems perfectly imperfect including the rumpled sheets, ticking fabric and chipped milk paint.  Sigh…  The nightstand is not staying here though.  French provincial nightstand Layla's Mint & Marzipan #mmsmp-6133

vintage in the kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home.  That is certainly the case in our home.  We’ve never done a gut renovation to the space.  Instead we’ve tackled one DIY project at a time to make it feel more like “us”.  Regardless of all of the other projects we’re working on, we always seem to come back to the kitchen.  This winter Ryan redid the floors and closet doors.

vintage kitchen

When putting the room back together between every project, I find that more and more vintage accessories creep into the room which makes me very happy.  Occasionally we find something so unique or that it is deemed a keeper.  I’ve been hoarding some of these keepers for years just waiting for the right space.  Before I give you a tour of the vintage treasures in action, let’s check out a kitchen before and after from the same angle…for fun.

Milk Crate

I’ve had this milk crate for as long as I can remember.  It has been totally utilitarian.  It has served as a centerpiece filled with vases.  Now, turned on its side and mounted to the wall, it is a spice rack.  The openings are the perfect size for pint ball jars and smaller.

milk crate turned spice rack

Vintage quart ball jars work well as canisters on a rack in the pantry.

kitchen organization with ball jar canisters

Produce Scale

This scale is just divine in its vintage green paint glory.  I didn’t even have to think out of the box for its use.  Once again, it is a produce scale housing potatoes.  I love that the face says Philadelphia.

Potting Bench

The old potting bench is made from reclaimed wood and topped in zinc.  It is the perfect microwave cart with a drawer for linens and a shelf to corral cookbooks and cutting boards.  It frees up storage space elsewhere.  Plus, it’s so charming!

potting bench turned microwave cart

Copy Easel

The metal copy easel was a gift a few years back.  I find it to be totally practical as a cookbook stand.  It even has an arm that serves as a placeholder.

We’ve also added some fantastic recycled lighting. I’ll be sharing that soon.

How do you incorporate vintage into your kitchen?