In the past I did all of my furniture restyling in the carriage house. I have lots of work space out there, and I can work on multiple pieces at once. Unfortunately, that space is not heated, so I always just took a hiatus in the winter. This winter I decided to attempt to work in the house. That required a couple of changes. First, I decided to work with the Miss Mustard Seed milk paint because it is non-toxic and all natural. Next, I switched from using paste wax (which is quite smelly!) to the Miss Mustard Seed hemp oil for the final finish. The hemp oil smells just slightly weedy (no pun intended). I can work on just one piece at a time and I try to keep the mess to a minimum (I do not do this in the carriage house!), but I can make it work.
Here is proof.
For those of you not local, we are having a ridiculous cold snap here in Minnesota. We’re talking sub-zero highs. Highs people! Not lows. OK, so when life gives you sub-zero temps, make lemonade … or paint furniture … or something like that.
So, on Friday evening the hubby and I hauled this guy into the house for his makeover. This piece came to me via nnK (that’s code for my neighbor Karen) whose co-worker’s uncle was getting rid of it and she thought of me. Thanks nnK!
From the pictures I saw, I assumed this was one of those sort of early 70’s Spanish style pieces. However, when we picked it up the owner explained that his mother purchased this back in the 50’s, and he was pretty sure it was not new then.
It is not as ‘chunky’ as those 70’s pieces and it is very well constructed, so I think the uncle was on the up and up and this piece is older than I thought. But, I definitely did not dig the look of the wood grain on this guy. Ewww. It was a no-brainer to paint him. And since I’d had so much luck with the MMS Kitchen Scale on my own oak buffet, I decided to use it on this one too.
I probably could have left it at just one coat of paint, but put on a 2nd more watered down coat for good measure. Here is what the paint looks like before distressing and oiling. The milk paint has a rather chalky finish, and the color is quite a bit lighter.
After the paint dried, I hand sanded. Sometimes I use a scraper to promote chippiness, but on this one I just sanded. I did get a fair amount of chipping on the top, but very little on the sides.
Then I just gave him a good rub down with hemp oil (boy, that sounds like it should be much more enjoyable than it was).
There are some charming details inside too. One of the top drawers has a clever and well constructed removable divider. The bottom section still has its vintage contact paper liner. It was in such good shape, and so full of vintage-y goodness that I left it as is.
Update: This buffet is SOLD! to someone named Karen (funny coincidence, not the same Karen that it came from). And she came to pick it up during what is being called a “shockingly cold polar vortex” (you gotta love that!) because that, my friends, is what Minnesotans do. Tough it out, carry on. What? Windchill is 38 below zero? No biggie, let’s go load up some furniture!