the cokato furniture.

I regularly scope out CL (that would be craigslist) for deals on furniture.  I try to stick with stuff that is 1940’s or earlier, but occasionally I throw in a mid-century piece.  I also try to stick with stuff that is less than $100.  So, when I surf CL, I usually put in a max dollar amount, just to avoid seeing all of those ‘antiques’.  You know, the ones that you just know would be gorgeous painted, but are way out of your price range.

But somehow, last fall, I ended up spotting an ad for a bedroom set, $200 for all 3 pieces.  The pictures in the ad were terrible, and did not do this set justice at all.  I think this is the only reason that no one had snatched it up right away.  That, and the fact that they were in Cokato.  About an hour’s drive from civilization (my opinion only … if you are from Cokato, I’m sure it is a lovely town and much closer than I think).

So on a beautiful fall day, the hubby and I took a road trip to Cokato, and came home with this (pardon the terrible phone pic).

furniture load (2)The sellers did not believe we could fit everything into our Ford Ranger, but they underestimated both our packing skills and our determination to not make a second trip to Cokato.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I am opposed to ‘sets’ of furniture.  I fell victim to them in the past myself, but I’ve been slowly trying to eliminate them from my own house.  So, I decided right from the start that these pieces would not be painted as a ‘set’, but each piece done individually.

I started with the bed.  First, let me show you the CL ad pic that the seller posted.  It gives you only an inkling that it may be fabulous.

cokato bed before

I painted it using a combination of 1 part Kitchen Scale to 3 parts Ironstone MMS milk paint.  Then I added a stencil to the foot board.

cokato bed 2Turns out it is more than fabulous!  Just look at that gorgeous foot board (and you couldn’t even see it in the CL ad).  This bed ended up selling to someone who drove all the way down from Bemidji for it.  She runs a small theatre group that was putting on a production of Evita.  She needed a bed with a regal presence for the stage.  This one does the trick I think.

Next, I painted the dresser.  Here is the pic from the CL ad.

cokato dresser before

This piece is what sold me on the idea of driving to Cokato and buying this set.  I knew this would be fantastic painted.  Again, I mixed my own MMS milk paint using 1 part Typewriter and 3 parts Ironstone.

cokato dresserI’m not entirely happy with my photography skills on this one.  I need to quit attempting to take photos in front of the barn.  That red just reflects everywhere.  It gives this piece a pinkish glow that really is not part of the paint job.  This dresser went to the Round Barn and sold in less than a week.  I’m sure in part because it is so unique.

The final piece was the vanity.  Again, here is the CL ad photo.

Cokato vanity before

If you are put off by the garland of silk roses, the pink roses lamp, and the snowman … well, you just have to look beyond that stuff!

It needed quite a bit of work.  The entire bottom framework had cracked in two.  Ken repaired it for me using dowels and glue.  That Ken is a furniture magician.  I then painted it with MMS Kitchen Scale.  The scrolly details are painted in MMS Ironstone.  This was the first piece I painted in Kitchen Scale, and I loved it so much that I later chose that color for my own oak buffet.

Cokato vanityThis guy was so much fun to paint.  The MMS milk paint went on so easily.  It chipped and distressed perfectly.  The one is still for sale (last time I checked).  You can find him at the Round Barn if you are so inclined.

8 thoughts on “the cokato furniture.

  1. Like I said yesterday when I found your blog you have such an eye to see what this could become! It’s not only the piece you selected but the palette of colors you go with. I am gobsmacked it’s just fabulous!


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