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

 

 

 

 

watercolor easter eggs

watercolor Easter eggs with milk paint-6306

Where are all of my milk painters?  I’ve got a simple project to share with you today just in time for Easter.

I started by hard boiling eggs and letting them cool overnight…

watercolor Easter eggs with milk paint-6275

When I’m working on a milk paint project, I almost always use a glass jar with a lid to mix the paint in.  This allows me to store any excess paint for a future project.  I had several jars with just a tiny bit of paint left so I added some water and mixed up the pigment which resulted in a watercolor paint consistency.

Next, I carefully slid the egg into the jar allowing it to soak in the paint mixture for a few minutes.  I splattered paint on some of the eggs with a brush.  Using a plastic spoon, I slid each egg out of the jar and set it to dry thoroughly.

watercolor Easter eggs with milk paint-6280

Prior to painting, I taped off a few of the eggs with floral tape which proved to be too heavy-duty for the delicate shell in some cases.  I like the look of the watercolor eggs without tape best anyway.  The dyed eggs have a very simple, organic look to them using this watercolor method.  Multiple colors could easily layered on each egg if you’re looking for more pizazz in your Easter basket.

Happy Easter!

watercolor Easter eggs with milk paint-6306

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

spring happenings

Spring is just around the corner!  My favorite time of year.  Everyone comes out of hibernation.  Daffodils begin to emerge.  The days continue to get longer.  We start freshening up our porches and outdoor spaces while confirming summer vacation plans.  Oh the prospect of the season ahead.  It is so exciting, isn’t it?

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6024

We’ve made a few plans of our own.  Circa Dee is heading to Clover Market this spring.  We’re keeping it small and sharing space with In With The Old at 2 of the 4 spring markets.  We’ve been stashing vintage finds for Clover Market all winter long.  It is going to be fantastic and I can’t wait to see YOU.

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6021

Expect to find Circa Dee and In With The Old at the season opener in Chestnut Hill on Sunday, April 12th.  And the season closer on Sunday, June 7th in Bryn Mawr – note the new location.  You can check out all of the market details here.

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6027

The next milk paint demonstration is scheduled for this Sunday, March 23rd at 1 pm at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.  All are welcome.  No registration required.  Just plain fun.

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6028

Down at The West End Garage in Cape May, we’re stocked for spring.  Be sure to stop by and visit us while you’re at the beach!  The West End Garage is open Friday-Sunday in March & Friday-Monday in April.  Hope to see you soon.

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6031