they call me mellow yellow.

Last week my sister-in-law brought me yet another great piece of furniture to paint.  Delivered it right to my door as a matter of fact.  Isn’t that fantastic?

buttermilk cream before

It looks a little pink in the before photo, but that’s just a reflection from my red barn.  Really it was a sort of yellowed white with gold trim.  A sweet little French provincial desk.  Yep, it’s a desk.  You’ll see in a minute.

It was in great shape really, it just needed a little refreshing.  So that is what I did using some Fusion paint.

buttermilk desk title 2

I painted the body in Limestone and the drawer fronts in Buttermilk Cream.  I absolutely LOVE the Buttermilk Cream.  It’s the perfect pale yellow for those of us who want a sweet, subtle, mellow yellow.  One that doesn’t scream “Wowza!  Look at me!  I’m yellow!”

buttermilk angle

I debated painting the hardware before I put it back on, but I decided to take the famous advice “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

buttermilk hardware

It really worked beautifully with the yellow.

buttermilk corner

Remember that I said this piece is a desk?  Well, you pull those two little brass knobs above the top drawer and a desk top pulls out.

buttermilk desk open

How slick, right?

buttermilk desk open 2

It’s not pulled out all the way in these photos.  I think it would be the perfect size for a lap top computer if pulled out all the way.

But for my photo shoot it was the perfect spot for a vintage Boston Cook Book.

boston cook book

If you need a mellow yellow desk for your lap top (or your cook books), let me know.  So far this one is available.

buttermilk desk final

24 thoughts on “they call me mellow yellow.

  1. Okay. The mid century mod desk was just a tad too big to be my nightstand. This might work. Can you send me the measurements and the price? Thanks.


    1. I was just saying to someone else how this piece is like the marriage of a dresser and a desk. Drawers like a dresser, but the pull out desk top. Definitely unique.


    1. Thanks Melanie! It is such a lovely pale yellow. The Miss Mustard Seed yellow leans just a little bit too much towards … well … mustard … and the Annie Sloan yellows are both a bit bright as well. I’ve always had to mix them with some white to get a nice pale yellow. But the Buttermilk Cream is perfect right out of the container.


  2. I don’t always care for the two-toned things I see, but this is so charming! And I am glad you kept the original hardware. While the desk’s lines are great and the colors say “simple and unassuming,” the hardware elevates the desk to Quietly Elegant. Love it!

    On a side note, a few weeks ago you mentioned how you did not care for home made chalk paint and would not try it again. Could you explain why? My daughter has acquired a petite farm table and chairs and plans to make her own chalk paint after pricing a popular brand. Will she be truly unhappy with the application, durability, etc., or do you not want to open up this kind of discussion? (which I will understand) Thanks!


    1. Your comment provides a great opportunity for me to clarify. A big part of why I have given up making my own chalk paint is simply because I read that sanding chalk paint made with Plaster of Paris (which is the method I used) may be hazardous to your health. Of course, I always view online sources for info with a healthy dose of skepticism, but this material data safety sheet looks fairly legit to me. It suggests that prolonged over exposure can cause all kinds of bad things. Since I do A LOT of furniture, it just seemed wise to give it up. If I only did the occasional piece, I don’t think I would worry about it as much. And of course, one can always wear a mask while sanding … but I tend to find them very annoying and uncomfortable. Also when I am sanding inside the house in winter, I especially want to be careful about what I’m adding to my environment. Secondly, I find it challenging to get just the right consistency with the homemade chalk paint, and I also find that it can be a little gritty sometimes. However, all of that being said, I have no complaints about the durability or final finished look of the homemade stuff. I think you can get very good results with the homemade stuff. If she wants to save money on the wax as well, I think the $6 can of Johnson’s Paste Wax does a decent job. Again, it is not as friendly to the environment and I would never use it inside a closed up house (or really even an opened up house). But if it’s just for a few pieces, and your daughter can work outside, then she might be fine with it. Best of luck to her on her project!


      1. Both the plaster of paris and unsanded grout contain silica, which can get into your lungs. The calcium carbonate would be a lot safer to use to mix, although unlike some brands of chalk paint that are completely nontoxic (like CCC and APC), the latex paint itself isn’t all that safe if you are going to sand it indoors.


      2. Thanks for that explanation, Linda. The recipe she is going to try is 2 tablespoons each PoP, calcuim carbonate, and water, mixed well and stirred into 2 cups flat latex paint. She has done other items using AS chalk paint and is just balking at the cost right now. I will pass this info on to her. I am very happy that she is willing to tackle projects like this to start evolving her sense of style and make her first “grown-up” home special. Thanks again!


      3. You could also suggest that she research other brands of chalk paint. Even Home Depot carries a chalk paint now. I believe it is somewhat cheaper than the Annie Sloan!


  3. I would love to have this piece! You amaze me. Perfect yellow and the drawer pulls are wonderful! I am ready to be your neighbor so I could buy your creations but I am in Indiana 😦 You are the BEST in the furniture refinishing biz.


  4. Lovely piece. I have been trying to decide what color(s) to use when I redo my parent’s Drexel Touraine French Provincial bedroom set from the mid 1950’s. The Limestone and Buttermilk Cream look so lovely together, that I am going to use your color choices. Thank you for the inspiration.


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