changes in attitudes.

I took off for a weekend last month just to try and recall the whole year.  All of the places and all of the faces, wonderin’ where they all disappeared. – Jimmy Buffet

Jimmy Buffet didn’t ponder the question too long, he was hungry and went out for bite, ran into a chum with a bottle of rum and they wound up drinking all night.  But I thought I’d ponder it a little bit longer and skip the drinking all night part, reflecting back on the pieces I painted in 2016.  It’s always fun to look back and remember some favorites.

I painted the book page dresser way back in January 2016.


It’s painted in Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Marzipan.  I used pages from an old Swedish bible to fill in spots of missing veneer and I also used them in the library card catalogue style pulls.  The aged book pages worked beautifully with the almond color of the Marzipan.

The spoon carved dresser that I painted in June definitely belongs on my favorites list for 2016.


And hey, it’s also painted in Marzipan.  Perhaps I like that color more than I realized.  I highlighted the spoon carving with a brighter white, and I really like the way it was emphasized in a subtle way.

I have to include the bed bench from Belgium on my list.  Obviously I loved it enough to keep it, so that says a lot right there.


I purchased the bench at a garage sale after my friend Meggan spotted it and sent me a text.  I wasn’t necessarily planning to keep it, and I wasn’t really looking for a bench for my house, but it turned out so fab that I knew it was meant to be.  It’s painted in a mix of Miss Mustard Seed whites (Ironstone, Linen and Grain Sack).

So far all of these pieces have a few things in common.  They are all shades of white, they are all painted in milk paint, and none of them have a significant top coat.  Huh?  What did I just say?  Yep, no top coat.

Last year I played around with not using a top coat over milk paint.  As is true with most things these days, there are all kinds of differing opinions about this.  I’d like to first point out that I am not an expert!  I think it would be more accurate to call me an experimenter instead.  As it turns out, I like the look of the lighter shades of milk paint better without a top coat.  And I’m finding that the milk paint holds up quite well without a topcoat.  It may wear a bit more, but I’m trying to achieve a worn look so that’s a bonus for me.  I will say that if you need to be able to ‘wash’ the surface of your piece you will need a top coat.  I certainly wouldn’t attempt a milk paint tabletop without a top coat.

Not all of my favorites from last year were white though.  This pretty little french desk was painted in a 50/50 mix of Miss Mustard Seed’s Trophy and Schloss.


I used a Little Billy Goat goat stick in Gold Leaf to add some gold to the details.

And not all of my favorites were painted in milk paint.  The the l.b.d., or little black dresser, was painted in Little Billy Goat’s Old Pickup.


For some reason I didn’t have high expectations for this dresser, but I absolutely loved it when it was done.  The black body paired with the pale wood top and the simple touch of the Parisian address stencil were perfect.

And just in case you thought I’d forgotten to add a little color last year, this pretty little charmer was painted in one of my favorite Fusion colors, Inglenook.


I painted several pieces in this color last year, it’s such a pretty subtle pale aqua.

So how about you, did you have a favorite among the pieces I painted last year?  Are you a fan of color?  Or white?  Or black?

Here’s to another year and hopefully lots more painted furniture!

26 thoughts on “changes in attitudes.

  1. Your hatboxes, with transfers, always catch my eye. Sadly I don’t live near enough to take one of your classes. Any chance you could put together written instructions and maybe sell them?


    1. I do love those hatboxes too! I did write up the instructions and I am happy to just give them away! I’ll have to dig out the document, I’m not sure which computer I saved them on, but I’ll do that and then email them to you. Easy peasy!


  2. Linda, you got that song stuck in my head! But I loved seeing the highlights of your painting year, so it’s a happy thing. Don’t know which of the projects is my favorite, but the book pages and spoon dresser are definite inspirations. If emailing the hatbox instructions isn’t a problem, I’d love to have them, too. Thanks for the year end recap.


  3. I loved every one of these pieces. If I had to pick a favorite, I don’t think that I could. You are so talented. I love your work and wished that you lived closer to me, so that I could purchase a few pieces. Your stories about finding the pieces that you paint are so interesting and charming. A thankful prayer, a good cup of coffee, and Quandie. What better way to start the morning😊


  4. I love all of your pieces! I will have to say the white pieces are what i like the most! I too wish I lived closer, I would have a real problem staying away from your furniture! I have mostly antique furniture, but would definitely replace some of them with your lovely pieces! You are an expert at furniture painting!
    I look forward to my mornings reading you and my coffee before work each day!


  5. …and from me as well… it was the Jimmy Buffett reference that reminds we are kindred spirits!
    They’re all my favs, not only as awesome refinished/repurposed furniture pieces that come out of the whole process but your commentary, as well over my cuppa tea in the morn. Thank you for ‘feeding’ our souls with great stuff.


  6. So fun to summarize. Can you tell me, when you don’t use a topcoat, do you end up with a mess of chips you need to clean up as time goes on?


    1. No, not really. Maybe a chip here or there, but not as if the furniture has dandruff or anything like that. If you sand the piece after painting it, then vacuum it, then wipe it down with a clean dry cloth (and I sort of ‘burnish’ it a little by rubbing fairly vigorously with the cloth) then you shouldn’t get a lot more chipping. Just some wear over time. I’ve read that the limestone ingredient in the paint hardens over time and becomes more durable. The paint on my bench, for example, does not come off on my clothing when I sit there to put my shoes on.





    1. That was a beautiful piece! You’re in luck if you like that color because I’m going to be doing a dresser in the milk paint version of it sometime soon. Hopefully before the end of January, so stay tuned!


  8. I love the stencils you use. So the l.b.d. and the french laundry dresser and the grain sack footstool all top my list. But then I am particularly fond of the spoon carved dresser, the little speckled frog and the faux card catalogue. Also the dragonfly dresser color is just so dang fun. I would love to open the drawers and find the interior painted limeish green color. I could do a whole room around that piece. Finally the Belgian bench was such a find and the perfect piece by your door.
    Are you kidding you want us to select our favorites. I tried to count all of them and it looks like you painted over fifty pieces last year. I too love your commentary and your merchandising skills!


    1. Every year I am amazed when I look back and realize how many pieces I’ve made over. It doesn’t feel like I’m working that hard! Here’s to 50 more in 2017!


  9. I love all of your wonderful creations and can’t say I have a favorite color (although, any shade of red is not a color I would not choose). But my very favorite piece is the one with the spoon carving because I love the subtle differences in the white that you used. So sweet. You are one talented lady. Thank you for sharing.


    1. That’s funny about the red. I was just chatting with my neighbor/handyman Ken and he said that red is the one color he really does not like either. I have done a couple of red pieces, but not many. I find that they don’t sell easily.


  10. The l.b.d. is still my favorite…just love the contrast of the top and the fun stencil. Sure wish I had a bigger house, so I could take advantage of living so close to the works of art you produce! I’m also partial to the navy blues…and I do love the off-whites and ivory colors! Guess I’m just an overall fan of bringing blah furniture back to life!


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