ironstone and almond.

Sorry to say, I neglected to get a before picture of the dresser I painted last weekend.  But there wasn’t much to see.  It wasn’t hideous and it also wasn’t a piece where it was hard to see the potential.  This one went in with lots of potential and it lived up to it beautifully.

ironstone and almond

After patching a couple of spots of chipped veneer on the drawer fronts, I stripped the top.  I wasn’t sure if the wood was going to be very pretty with just the CeCe Caldwell Aging Cream, but decided to give it a go.  I’m so glad I did.  My sister was sharing my workshop while working on her china cupboard (soon to be revealed), and she was amazed by the transformation with just a little wax.  A while back one of my readers, Teri, asked me to show pictures of just such a transformation in progress, so here they are!

Here is the top after stripping (using a citrus based stripper), sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and wiping clean with a little TSP substitute (phosphate free, I use the spray and get it at Mendards).

stripped top

It looks very dry and not terribly pretty.

Then here I am applying the Aging Cream with a piece of old flannel sheet (action shot taken by my sister, note my paint splattered fingers!) …

waxing action shot

So, just to be clear.  I am simply rubbing the Aging Cream (a.k.a. dark wax) into the wood, and it brings out that much gorgeousness!  Please note, the use of ‘lint free cloth’ is recommended for waxing, but I am a rule breaker!  Since I had sanded this wood smooth, I thought the flannel was a safe bet and it worked for me.


After rubbing the wax on, I usually wait about 10 minutes or so and then wipe away the excess with a fresh, clean cloth.  Here it is after that step.

waxed top after

If you want more shine, you can go back after 24 hours and buff to a shine.  I usually skip that step, I’m just not a ‘shine’ girl.

I can remember back to before I tried this myself.  I had no idea that you could simply use wax to achieve these results.  No stain, no poly.  Of course, the results depend a bit on the natural beauty of the wood you are working with, so keep that in mind.  Also, a waxed top will not be as durable as a poly’ed top.  I think that is perfectly acceptable for a dresser, but maybe not as good for a desk or table top depending on how much wear they will get.

So … here’s what I did with the rest of the dresser.

ironstone and almond title

I painted the body of the dresser in Miss Mustard Seed’s Marzipan (which is an almond color).  I really love this color, which is kind of strange since it’s a glorified beige and I’m not really a beige girl.  But, this is a warm, rich, almond-y color, not a pinky, peachy, beige-y color.  So much better.  It took three coats to get this coverage.

Next I added some Miss Mustard Seed Ironstone on the two medallions on the top drawer.

ironstone details 2

I finished with Miss Mustard Seed clear furniture wax.  I wasn’t sure I would put the original hardware back on at first, but in the end it was perfect with the new color of the dresser, so I kept it.

almond hardware

Although I didn’t get any chipping on this one, it did distress beautifully along the edges.

almond distressing

My Perfect English Farmhouse book and some crazed and stained ironstone were perfect for staging this dresser.

almond staging

And the chair that makes its way into so many of my photos looks great next to this dresser too.

almond chair

And here is one last look at that waxed top.

almond dresser top

This beautiful dresser is for sale, if you are local and interested in the details, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you!

ironstone and almond 2

Linking up with Finding Silver Pennies.

42 thoughts on “ironstone and almond.

    1. Well, unfortunately the place I got it is closed now. It was Go Chic Boutique in Woodbury. I checked the CeCe Caldwell website for a local retailer and they are still listed as a vendor, but I know they are no longer in that location. And sadly the next nearest retailer is in the Wisconsin Dells! Yikes! You may have to try and order it online somewhere. Or try another dark wax option. I’ve mentioned before that the Miss Mustard Dark wax is more black, while the Aging Cream is brown (see a photo of that in this post). But I’m sure there are other manufacturers that make a similar brown wax, but I haven’t tried any other brands myself.


  1. Julie (from Linden Hills) here,

    OH–my… Love it! Even the wood is awesome!

    Do you think this would make a nice tv stand?

    What are you thinking of for a price?




    1. I think it might be too tall for a TV. It is 45.5″ tall. You’d get a crick in your neck! Send my the dimensions of your TV sometime so I can keep an eye out for a good piece for you.


  2. This is beautiful! I’ve seen you use the aging cream before and love the results you get with it. If you’ve used Annie Sloan dark wax, do you find the aging cream easier to rub in? And does it seem to cure faster? Thanks!


    1. I have never tried the Annie Sloan wax. One of these days I’ll have to give it a try. I do find the CeCe Caldwell wax easier to rub in than the Miss Mustard Seed wax. It has a softer consistency.


  3. Linda, if your dresser is still available I would love to buy it. Can you let me know the dimensions? Thanks! Susan Hatch



    1. I’ve never tried mixing the oil and wax, but I’ve seen you mention it on your blog. Do you actually mix them together? Or do you apply one and then the other in succession? And what is it that you like about that v. just using the wax?


  4. BEAUTIFUL….Someone will love this piece…it will look good with just about anything. The wood top just seals the deal …no pun intended.LOL


  5. Love the tip about using the wax alone! I am not a ‘shine girl’ either, and love this look. That little chair is crazy adorable!!!


    1. That little chair is really sweet, but unfortunately it has some issues with its cane seat. But it works perfectly for photo shoots, and I just always put something on the seat so no one will notice 😉


  6. Thank you so much for showing the before and after! It’s really quite amazing what that simple technique can do to transform something. Also glad you asked above about mixing oil and wax as a finish. Thanks again!


  7. I’m so glad you shared this! I was hoping when I read the title of the post that you used Marzipan on your piece. I was thinking this color for a wardrobe I picked up, but had not seen many things painted with it. I really love the look of it on your dresser, though! Paired with the ironstone, it’s just dreamy.


    1. I agree, there aren’t too many examples out there of pieces painted in the Marzipan. It’s really a rich, creamy color. It kind of makes me want to have an iced coffee … one with lots and lots of cream and sugar 😉


  8. I love reading how you work…there is something magical happening there, you are like a Fairy Furniture God Mother! XoSue


    1. Ha! That’s awesome! I often call my neighbor/handy man Ken the furniture fairy because I’ll come home from work and find that pieces in my carriage house have been magically fixed. He’s not too fond of that nickname though 😉 I’ll take it though. Now I just need to find a wand and maybe some pixie dust.


  9. It’s beautiful!! I do love that color and the natural wood top is just icing on the cake:) Do you have a secret to choosing a particular color for a piece? All of your makeovers just make me drool, they’re absolutely gorgeous!


    1. I do a lot of pinterest research. When I bring home a piece I usually go on pinterest to find similar pieces that have been painted, and then I study them to see what looks good and what doesn’t. Sometimes it takes me a while to get inspired by a piece, and other times I know immediately what color I want to paint it in. With this dresser it was the latter. I knew instantly that I wanted to paint it in Marzipan. I knew it would work beautifully with the wood top. I’ll be doing more pieces in this color for sure!


  10. I had no idea that the store in Woodbury closed. Too bad. I still have a can of CeCe’s dark wax, but I don’t like it. I suspect the Aging Creme is the improved version.

    I love the way your top turned out. I used just hemp oil on my mahogany table and sideboard tops, three coats, and I would say that it is very durable. My husband likes it because it didn’t hide the beautiful grain. Unfortunately, it didn’t hide the redness of the mahogany either, which he likes, but I don’t. I think I will try some of the aging creme. Btw, I bought some dark wax from American Paint Co., and I will let you know if I like it. Their clear wax is great. Neither has any solvents like the AS, which gives me headaches.

    Since there is another Teri following you, I should change to Teri B.


    1. I do get a little confused by the two Teri’s! Plus there is my friend Terri. Yes, do let me know how you like the dark wax from American Paint Co. I think Farmhouse Inspired in Hudson carries that line, so if you like it, maybe I’ll try it when my CeCe Caldwell runs out!


      1. After seeing your comparison of dark wax colors on the link you provided, I decided that the MMS color might work better for some of my projects, so I ordered some. Free shipping! The American Paint Co. is more brown. I used a little bit on some Aubusson Blue, but I think I will wait for the MMS. But I do prefer the APC dark wax to the old version of CCC dark wax, which was very oily. I have two cans of the stuff and only use it when I mix up metallic powders in it.

        Anyway, thanks for posting the comparison.


    1. Well, to be honest, I’ve been doing the photos outside because it’s so much easier to work with the lighting (as long as I get good weather). Staging and taking the photos is one of my favorite parts of the process!


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