I purchased this washstand last fall at one of the last neighborhood garage sales of the season.
Aw look, things were still green! The trees still had leaves! Why does that feel like it was so long ago now?
It was a pretty little piece, but someone had done a number on the drawer fronts. I think that whoever refinished it sanded a bit too heavily. Especially on that middle drawer.
What really appealed to me about this piece were the handles.
Aren’t they pretty?
I knew that painting the wood could help those stand out more. If you look back to the ‘before’ photo they are barely even noticeable! This piece was calling out for a chippy milk paint finish, so after sanding it a bit and wiping it down with TSP Substitute, I painted it with three coats of Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Linen which is a warm, creamy white (all of the white shades usually require three coats for good coverage).
It chipped perfectly which is exactly what I expected since I used my secret method for perfect chipping.
I was initially planning to use my new IOD Decor Stamps on this piece, but as I was digging through my supplies I came across this smaller version (11″ x 14″) of the IOD Richardson Seed transfer and realized it would fit perfectly on the door.
Before I applied the transfer I sanded the door front well and vacuumed off any loose chips of paint. Be sure to do this if you are going to work with a transfer over chippy paint. Otherwise the paint will stick to the transfer sheet, rather than the transfer sticking to the door front.
By the way, if you are shopping for the Iron Orchid Designs transfers online I have found that prices can really vary. I have seen this one as low as $12 and as high as $26.95, so be sure to shop around.
I think I achieved my goal of making the handles more of a focal point. They really pop next to the creamy white paint.
I added a topcoat of the Real Milk Paint Co’s Dead Flat Finishing Cream to this piece. One coat over the entire thing, and then a second coat over just the top.
What I have been noticing lately with pieces that I have kept that are painted in milk paint is that the ones that initially chip like this will likely continue to chip over time even if they are finished with wax or hemp oil. Especially in areas where they get a lot of wear, like the tops. So I am planning to start using a better sealing topcoat on those pieces, either the Dead Flat or Miss Mustard Seed’s Tough Coat Sealer. And using two coats on the top will help make sure it is more durable over time.
Although if you love chippy (as I do) and are perfectly fine with additional wear on your pieces you can certainly forgo a more durable sealer and stick with wax or hemp oil.
When I purchased this piece I mentioned that I was going to leave the harp and mirror off and try to sell them separately. They haven’t sold, so I still have the harp and mirror but I won’t be putting them back on. I find that it’s much harder to sell a piece that has a mirror. It just limits the versatility too much. People just don’t seem to go for mirrors these days.
Without the mirror, pieces this size make perfect bedside tables.
If you happen to live nearby and need a chippy washstand, this one is available. Be sure to check my ‘available for local sale’ page for more info.