I just can’t help myself.

First a quick update.  I sold both the flip top bar and the Millennial Pink dresser this past weekend.

I had to laugh when chatting with the couple that purchased the pink dresser.  They knew all about Millennial Pink!  Apparently they are fans of John & Sherry over at Young House Love , and YHL is all about the pink.  Their beach house is painted in it.

And they even have a vintage Millennial Pink stove in their beach house kitchen.

So my Millennial Pink dresser was a big hit.  I’m sure you’ll see more pieces in this color from me this year.

But for today I’m going back to my other proven seller, Fusion’s Park Bench.  In case you are keeping track, the credenza that you are about to see is the fifth mid-century piece that I’ve painted in this color since January.  But seriously, I just can’t help myself.  These pieces are selling so well.  People are loving this gorgeous green on the mid-mod stuff.  I’m so sorry if I’m boring you with yet another one, but this is what I’m working on at the moment.  So it’s this or nothing.

I’m also going to share the non-chemical process for stripping paint off metal hardware in this post so be sure to keep reading if you’re interested in that.

Mr. Q picked up this mid-century credenza at the same time he picked up the Millennial Pink dresser.

I’m still working on training Mr. Q in the fine art of furniture purchasing.  The ad for this piece said it was in excellent condition except for the finish.  It neglected to mention that one of the drawers behind that center door was missing!  Although Mr. Q has really improved when it comes to noticing other details such as bad smells, loose joints and missing hardware, it never even occurred to him to look behind door number one to make sure all of the drawers were there.  Well, to be specific, he didn’t even realize there might be drawers behind that door.  He thought it would be shelves.

Keep this in mind if you are ever purchasing furniture on Craigslist.  Open all of the doors and drawers!

Well, no use crying over spilled milk.  I decided to ask my handyman/neighbor Ken to finish off the uppermost section as a shelf instead of a drawer.  There was already a hole cut at the back to feed electrical through, so I suspect the reason the drawer was removed in the first place was so that someone could put a DVD player in this spot so why not make it official?

Once Ken had the shelf in place, I sanded the piece thoroughly, cleaned it with TSP Substitute and then painted it with two coats of Fusion’s Park Bench.

Initially I’d planned to keep the hardware silver on this one, even though I used gold hardware on all four of my previous Park Bench pieces.  I threw the handles in some soapy water to clean them up first though and that ended up removing some paint.  Turns out they were originally an aged brass color and had been painted silver (I’m guessing with spray paint).  That nixed the idea of leaving them as is.

I’d never stripped paint off metal hardware before, but I’d heard that simmering it in a crock pot of water first will loosen up the paint leaving it easy to remove.  Well, I didn’t want to wreck my crock pot (adding ‘cheap spare crock pot’ to garage sale shopping list), so I grabbed an old crusty pot and tried simmering them on the stove.

And you know what?  This worked exceptionally well.  No dangerous chemicals required.

Here is the method that worked best for me.  First, simmer the hardware for about 30 minutes.  I never brought the water to a boil, just a low simmer.  Remove one handle at a time using tongs.  Run it under warm water until you can touch it without burning yourself (important precaution).  That only took a couple of seconds.  Finally, rub off the loosened paint using one of those green scrubby pads.

I show a paint scraper in my photo above, but using that lasted about two seconds.  The green scrubby did a much quicker, better job and didn’t scratch the finish.

Today’s q-tip:  Leave the remaining handles in the simmering water until you’re ready to work on them, just take one out at a time and scrub it.  If you pull them all out at once the paint hardens up again before you can get to all of them.  If the paint isn’t coming off easily, pop them back in the simmering water for 10 to 15 minutes and try again.

Once I had the paint off, I really didn’t like the aged brass look of the handles so I added my favorite metallic wax, Prima Marketing’s Metallique Wax in Vintage Gold.

I like to apply the wax with a q-tip, let it dry overnight and then buff it to a shine.

 So there you have it.  My latest Park Bench green mid-mod piece.

If you’re just not a fan of mid-century modern, don’t worry.  I’m moving on to some different styles next.  I have a few pieces underway in the workshop, plus I ordered some Sweet Pickins milk paint to play around with.  So be sure to stay tuned!

the millennial pink dresser.

Have you heard of Millennial Pink?  Did you know it was a ‘thing’?

As is typical for me, I am only just discovering this trend while the cool kids are already saying it has to go.

Seriously, I am never on top of these things.

But before we get to the Millennial Pink, I first have to admit with some embarrassment how I learned about it.  You see, I have a secret guilty pleasure.  I watch the Trackers on YouTube.  I can hear many of you now asking, ‘um, who?’

Tim & Jenn Tracker are YouTube vloggers.  They live in Orlando, Florida and they mostly vlog about the various theme parks in that area including Disney World.  I came across them while looking for Disney info prior to our trip down there last October.  I started watching a few of their vlog posts and bam!  I was hooked.

I really can’t explain why.  Of course, I enjoy watching their excursions into the parks.  And I love that they share insider tips as well as honest reviews of everything from the food to the rides.  They share the real thing, not doctored up versions designed to look good on camera.  But I have to confess that I also sometimes watch their vlogs about shopping at Target, or cutting up left over pizza, adding it to eggs and frying it up in a pan to make ‘pizza eggs’.

They are just so darn adorable!  Somehow I now feel like I know them and am invested in their lives.  So I’ll admit it, I’m a vlog lurker, and apparently so are about 364,000+ subscribers to their YouTube channel.

And this brings us back to Millennial Pink.  Lately Tim & Jenn (see?  it’s as though we are on a first name basis) have been frequently mentioning Disney goods that are available in Millennial Pink, especial the Mickey ears.

So the last time this came up, I turned to Mr. Q  – because, oh yes, he sometimes indulges in this guilty pleasure with me, even though he’d rather poke his eye out with a sharp stick than go to Disney World – and said “what is this Millennial Pink they keep talking about?  Is it just a Disney thing?”  So he googled it for me and said, “I guess it’s just a color thing, and it applies to home décor too.”

Who knew?

Well, probably everyone but me … and Mr. Q.

Obviously the next step was to paint something in Millennial Pink so I could be one of the cool kids, so I started keeping an eye out for just the right piece.

And then I found it …

a beat up mid-century piece that I thought would look amazing in Millennial Pink.

Luckily I already had a jar of Fusion’s English Rose on hand.  I hope they don’t mind that I took the liberty of renaming it just for this post.

Before I started painting though, my handyman Ken and I shored up the base of the dresser because it was a little wobbly.  Ken is one of those people who like to do things the right way.  So we removed the base, re-glued and clamped the cross piece, and then once that was good and sturdy we re-glued the base back onto the dresser.  Now it’s rock solid.

Once again, the top of this mid-mod piece was plastic laminate so I painted that with a coat of Fusion’s Ultra Grip and let it dry overnight before moving on to the rest of the painting.

It took three coats of the English Rose to get good coverage on this one.  I’d already used about 1/4 of my jar of paint on something else, so it took every last bit of paint I had left to complete the job.

I used Prima Marketing Metallique wax in Vintage Gold to add a little glam to the original drawer pulls.

If you haven’t tried this stuff you should.  I use a q-tip to apply it, wait overnight for it to dry and then buff with a clean cloth.  Easy peasy, and it looks amazing.  It’s also super affordable (it’s available online for about $6).

It comes in a tiny little tin, but a little goes a very long way.  I’ve barely made a dent in mine and I’ve used it on countless knobs.  I much prefer the packaging of this version over others like Rub ‘n Buff.  The tin it comes in has a screw on lid that is easy to open and close tightly, so your wax doesn’t dry out.  I had nothing but trouble with those little tubes that the Rub ‘n Buff comes in.

I pulled out some vintage mid-century wallpaper, some aqua and cream pottery and my cream colored Remington Ten Forty for staging.

Isn’t this dresser much prettier in pink?

Let’s talk for a moment about the (pink) elephant in the room.  You may have noticed that I seem to be doing more mid-century pieces these days.  That’s because I’m finding that mid-century is selling really well for me while many of my more farmhouse style pieces are taking a bit longer to find the right buyer.

I feel like I’m walking a bit of a thin line between producing pieces that will sell and producing pieces that my blog readers want to see.  I hope that most of you enjoy seeing the mid-century makeovers even if it isn’t quite your thing.  There are going to be more of them to come, I brought home two more mid-mod pieces last weekend.  But don’t worry, I’ll still mix it up with some of the chippy, farmhouse style pieces that I love.  And hopefully they’ll start selling a little better now that the weather has improved here in Minnesota.  I did sell both the spring fling dresser and the indigo desk this past weekend, so I think that’s a good sign.

That being said, what do you think of Millennial Pink?

This dresser is available for sale, so if any of you locals are interested check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details.

milk paint basics.

Welcome to day 1 of milk paint madness week, milk paint basics.

For those of you who might be entirely unfamiliar with milk paint, this post is for you.  But everybody, be sure to read to the end for details on today’s giveaway.

  First of all let’s just establish that when I’m talking about milk paint, I’m talking about paint that comes in powder form and you mix it yourself with water when you’re ready to use it.  Some of my favorite brands of milk paint include Miss Mustard Seed, Homestead House, The Real Milk Paint Co and Sweet Pickins.

Don’t be confused by General Finishes Milk Paint which is really an acrylic paint and not a milk paint at all.

Also, don’t be confused by The Real Milk Paint Co’s packaging.  It looks more like a traditional paint can, but there is a bag of powder inside.  There is also a marble inside which is a very clever tool for mixing your paint, but I’ll get to mixing in a minute.

Milk paint is made with only a handful of basic ingredients including milk protein, lime and pigment.  It is non-toxic and has zero VOC’s.  In other words, it is a very green product that is not harmful to the environment or to you while you’re using it (go here to read more about the green quality of milk paint).  Since I paint a lot, I’m exposing myself to the products I use on a regular basis and I bet you are too.  Don’t forget to take this important quality into consideration when choosing which products you’re going to use.

Milk paint in powdered form can be stored pretty much indefinitely as long as it is in a sealed container and stays dry.  It doesn’t take up very much space on your shelf this way, which is an added bonus.

Although these days most of us use milk paint over a pre-existing finish and are delighted when it chips and crackles because of that resistance, historically milk paint was intended for use on raw wood.  When used on raw wood, milk paint soaks into the wood much like a stain rather than sitting on the surface like other paints.  That makes it incredibly long lasting and durable.  When used on raw wood milk paint won’t chip or peel away.

So let’s talk about mixing your milk paint.  The basic rule of thumb is to mix equal parts water to powder.  However I like to mix darker colors a little thinner (more water, less powder) and lighter colors a little thicker (less water, more powder).  But half and half is a good starting point.

You can also mix your paint really thin and use it as a wash.  Or leave it thicker if you want to add some texture to your piece.

There are all kinds of methods for mixing your milk paint.  Unlike Mr. Bond’s martini’s, it can be shaken OR stirred.  This is where that marble comes in from The Real Milk Paint Co.  If you like to shake your paint in a jar, throw the marble in the jar as well and it helps mix the paint beautifully.  You can also choose to use one of those battery operated milk frothers to mix your paint (reserving it for paint use only of course).  I’ve even heard that some people use a blender, but that seems like overkill to me.

I used to always shake my milk paint in a glass jar and the marble is pure genius for that.  It was also a very environmentally sound practice.  However, Mr. Q eventually got tired of washing out those jars for me (he does all of the dish washing in our house, we don’t have a dish washer).  So I switched over to stirring my milk paint in a disposable solo cup with a plastic spoon.  I purchased what may prove to be a lifetime supply of plastic spoons at a garage sale for a dollar and I haven’t run out yet.

Do you put the water in first, or the powder in first?  Some say one and some say the other, but I don’t think it makes that much of a difference.  However, if you put the powder in first, just be sure to mix all the way to the bottom.  It’s sort of like making hot chocolate from a powder, you don’t want to get that overly chocolaty last swallow because a bunch of the mix was stuck at the bottom of your cup.

Should you use cold water or warm water?  Again, I’ve heard both.  I suggest meeting in the middle and using room temperature water.

I’ve also heard that sometimes well water may cause problems with milk paint.  When I was in high school a friend of mine had orange hair from washing it with well water.  So if your well water turns things orange, you might want to try using bottled water instead.  But city water from the tap should be perfectly fine.

One thing to keep in mind about milk paint is that once it’s mixed with water it has a limited shelf life (no longer than one week).  So obviously you don’t want to mix way more than you are going to need.  I think this factor stresses people out unnecessarily.  Over time you’ll develop a feel for how much paint you need, but in the meantime I have a little trick for you.  For a typical piece of furniture like a desk or medium sized dresser, start with about a 1/2 cup paint mixed with a 1/2 cup water.  Then start the first coat of paint on your piece and pay attention to how much of the paint you use.

Did you use all of it for the first coat?  If so, mix the same amount again for the 2nd coat.

Did you run out?  If so, mix a bit more the next time adding enough to finish the first coat and complete the 2nd coat.

Did you have way too much?  You get the idea.  As long as you have enough paint mixed to paint your final coat all from one batch you are going to be OK.

That being said, you can not mix a new batch of milk paint just to finish that one last drawer and expect it to match.  It most likely won’t.  So be sure your final coat of paint is all mixed at the same time (see an example of that here) .

Speaking of mixing, be sure to stir your milk paint frequently as you use it (that plastic spoon really comes in handy for this).  Because this paint is all natural, the heavier pigments will sometimes fall to the bottom of your cup as you’re painting.  This can result in some fairly obvious color differences between the beginning and end of your piece .  The best way to prevent that is to give your paint a little stir every 10 minutes or so as you are painting.

Here’s one of the best milk paint tips I ever got; mix your paint first and then let it sit while you are prepping your piece to be painted.  That gives the milk paint ingredients time to dissolve and blend while you are removing knobs, lightly sanding and then cleaning your piece.

Speaking of prep work, I recommend not skipping this step when using milk paint (actually, I recommend taking the time to prep your piece no matter what paint you are using).  Especially the cleaning step.  If there are any oils (or furniture polish) on your piece of furniture it will resist the paint, possibly by a lot.  I like some chipping, but maybe not quite this much (check back later this week to learn how to get the perfect amount of chipping).

When buying a piece of furniture always ask the seller if they cleaned it up with anything recently.  I often find that Craigslist sellers will put a coat of furniture oil on a piece to make it look good for pictures.  If that’s the case, you want to be sure to clean that off before you start painting.  I like to use TSP Substitute for that.

Also, don’t panic if your piece looks like the one above after the first coat of paint.  If this happens to you, get out your shop vac and vacuum off the flaking paint.  Sand the piece thoroughly, you don’t have to remove all of the paint just the lose stuff, but you also want to give the wood underneath some more ‘tooth’ to hold the paint so you don’t repeat the same result.  Vacuum again after sanding, wipe the piece down and start over.

OK, so you’ve mixed your paint and you’ve prepped your piece.  The next step is painting.  This is the simplest part of milk paint.  Because it’s thinner than most paints you don’t have to worry about brush strokes (although do keep an eye out for drips).  You really can use just about any kind of paint brush and still get good results with milk paint.  This may sound odd, but I find it less physically taxing to paint with milk paint versus other kinds of paint because it’s much lighter on your brush and it doesn’t really drag as you’re painting it on.  I don’t think I can really explain that properly, but if you’ve ever gone from painting with milk paint to then painting with another paint you’ll know what I mean.  It just feels like less work.

Another big bonus to milk paint is how quickly it dries.  When painting a dresser I generally remove the drawers and paint them first, then move on the body of the dresser.  By the time I’ve finished the body, the drawers are usually dry (unless it’s a super humid day).  Because the paint dries so quickly, I often am able to complete a piece from start to finish in one day.

Milk paint coverage can be variable.  It will depend on how thick or thin you mixed your paint, what color you are using and what color you’re covering up.  I’ve gotten away with as little as one coat when using black or other very dark colors, but I’ve also needed at least three coats when using white over a dark wood.

Here’s a great tip regarding coverage.  If you’re painting over a dark finish with a very light color, like white, start with a coat of paint in a mid-tone shade of grey first.  Then move on to the white.   You’ll get better coverage in fewer coats.

Don’t worry if you feel like your first coat of milk paint looks terrible.  The first coat rarely looks good (with the exception of those dark colors).  Move on to the 2nd coat and you’ll be amazed at how much better it suddenly looks.

Once your final coat of paint is dry you might notice that milk paint is a little rough to the touch.  Get out your sanding block and some 220 grit sand paper and hand sand over the entire piece (I say you can count this as your cardio for that day).  The finish will become smooth like butta’ and it will be time to move on to the topcoat, which is the subject of our post for tomorrow.

By the way, if you are a visual or auditory learner you can click here for a link to a great milk paint basics video by Marian Parsons, a.k.a. Miss Mustard Seed.

Now it’s time for the fun part, the prize!

Includes:  Miss Mustard Seed Look Books 1 & 2, paint brush, whisk paint mixer, 4 colors of milk paint, Miss Mustard Seed’s Beeswax, Miss Mustard Seed’s Tough Coat Sealer.  Thank you to Miss Mustard Seed, Homestead House and The Real Milk Paint Co for providing items for today’s giveaway!

The basic rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post telling me whether or not you’ve tried milk paint.  Your comment must be left on the blog, not on Facebook.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

Normally I make a point of answering every comment left on my blog.  If someone takes the time to leave a comment, I like to acknowledge that.  But I usually only get 10 to 20 comments so it’s easy to fulfill that promise.  But I’m guessing that I’ll get many more comments on these posts so I’m going to warn you up front that I won’t be answering each one.  That helps make it easier for me when it’s time to pick a winner too, so I hope you guys will cut me some slack on that this week.

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the stroke of midnight.  You are eligible to win each day, so if you leave a comment on each day’s post, your name is eligible to be drawn for each prize.

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $140, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, April 13, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next segment of milk paint madness, and in the meantime remember to pin today’s post for future reference.

milk paint madness.

One of the things that you may have noticed about my blog is that I like to use different types of paint, as well as different brands of paint.    Although I do receive free product to use from several different paint brands, I don’t sell paint myself.  I like to think of myself as the Switzerland of furniture painting blogs, able to remain neutral.  I love trying new things, but I only promote the products that I truly love working with.

I love the ease and simplicity of using acrylic paint for some projects, especially mid century pieces.

 And I also love the beautifully smooth finish and the gorgeous coverage you can get with chalk paint.

And sometimes I even resort to using spray paint on certain pieces like wicker and cane items, but shhhh, don’t tell anyone about that little dirty secret.

However, in the end, the paint I love the most for pieces I’m keeping is milk paint.

Just for fun I took a little walk around my house and counted my own painted furniture pieces.  I have 1 piece painted in Fusion, 1 piece painted in latex from way back, 3 pieces painted in chalk paint, 4 cane backed chairs that were partially spray painted, and 19 pieces painted in milk paint!

My guest bed below is painted in Homestead House milk paint in a color called Ochre and finished with the Real Milk Paint Co’s Dead Flat finishing cream.

One of my favorite pieces is my rooster cupboard.  It’s painted in Miss Mustard Seed milk paint, a base layer of Artissimo and a 2nd layer of Flow Blue, then finished with Miss Mustard Seed Antiquing Wax.

The bed in our master bedroom is painted in Homestead House milk paint in Coal Black with Homestead House black wax as a topcoat.

I love the look you can achieve with milk paint, especially when it crackles …

or gets chippy in just the right places.

There is just simply an authentic feel to a distressed milk paint finish that you can’t get with any other kind of paint.  Sure, you can come close, but to me the others always look a bit more faux.

That being said, I thought it would be fun to write a blog post sharing all of my favorite products from the various brands of milk paint that I’ve used over the years.  I’m hoping that I can inspire some of you to break out the milk paint yourselves.  And what better way to do that than having a giveaway?

So I reached out to my favorite Fab Four milk paint companies, Homestead House, Miss Mustard Seed, The Real Milk Paint Co and Sweet Pickins, and asked if any of them would like to offer some product for me to give away.

And you know what?  They all said yes!  And then sent me piles of stuff to give away.

Not just paint, but also different top coats, brushes, books and even some stains.

In fact, they were so generous with the free stuff that I’ve decided to break it down into five prizes!

One for each day of the week, Monday – Friday.  So just for next week, and next week only, I am going to return to posting each weekday.  Five days in a row of posts all about milk paint.  We’ll start with the basics and work our way up.  I’ll post about different techniques such as layering with other types of paint, how to get your paint to crackle, how to achieve perfect chipping every time (and how to fake it if not), what kinds of topcoats to add and how durable they are and any other subject I can think of.

And each day there will be a giveaway!

Details on how to win will be included with each post.

So be sure to check back on Monday for the start of Milk Paint Madness!

kiss me I’m Irish.

Do you remember back in the day when we had those buttons that said “Kiss me, I’m Irish”?

I always wore one of those on St. Patrick’s Day even though I’m not a bit Irish, although many of my friends are.  Have you ever heard that there are more people of Irish ancestry in the U.S. than there are in Ireland itself?  Hey, I’m not making this up, check out this article from the Washington Post if you think that sounds crazy.

Well, regardless of whether or not I’m Irish, I do love the color green.  So in honor of St. Patrick’s Day I thought I’d share some of my favorite creations that are wearin’ the green.

One of my all-time favorite shades of green is Sweet Pickins In a Pickle.  I’ve used it on a few things, but the first was this old farmhouse table.

This shade isn’t for the faint of heart.  It’s a rich, saturated green.  After falling in love with it on that desk, I also used it on a vintage dresser.

I think what I loved most about that dresser was how beautifully the paint crackled.  It was a gorgeous finish.

I used the color again on this sweet little table.

And I just used up the last bit of a packet of In a Pickle on an adorable kid size chair.

Another shade of green that makes a big impact is Fusion’s Park Bench which looked amazing on this mid-century piece.

That piece was such a hit that I used it again on another fab mid-century piece.

And then I completed the Park Bench trilogy with my latest mid-century piece earlier this week.

You might not guess it lately from reading my blog, but Fusion has some other lovely shades of green too including Little Speckled Frog, the subtle pale shade of green on the body of this next dresser (the drawer fronts are painted in Fusion’s Limestone).

This next piece is painted in Fusion’s Lily Pond.  This color was available for a limited time only so I’m not sure how hard it might be to get your hands on it, but some retailers might still have some of it around.

Miss Mustard Seed milk paint has a darker green called Boxwood and a lighter green called Luckett’s Green and I used both of them on this little table.  The undercoat is Boxwood, and the upper coat is Luckett’s.

Miss Mustard Seed also has a lovely shade of mint green called Layla’s Mint.  Although I didn’t use an official packet of that color on this vanity, I did use Miss Mustard Seed’s recipe for it which combines several of her other colors.

 The Real Milk Paint Co makes a gorgeous, deep rich green called Peacock that I once used on an antique Eastlake style dresser.

Homestead House also makes a similar shade of green in their milk paint line called BayberryBayberry leans a bit more towards the yellow end, while Peacock is a bit more blue.

Bayberry is the perfect shade of green for painting chalkboards too.

So how about you?  Do you have a favorite shade of green paint?  Maybe in a brand that I haven’t mentioned.  If so, please be sure to share in a comment!

out of the blue.

By now I’m sure most of you have seen the 2018 Pantone color of the year.

Purple.

A choice that seems to have come completely from out of the blue.

As a Minnesotan, I should probably be embracing the purple.  Purple pride, Purple Rain, purple is everywhere here (just for fun, check out this flash mob video taken at this year’s ice castle and you’ll see what I mean!)

But no, I’m just not a fan of purple.  You aren’t likely to see me painting purple furniture anytime soon.  Although as I like to say, never say never.  I did use purple on a dresser I painted for my niece a while back and I did once paint a desk using Miss Mustard Seed’s Dried Lavender, so you never know.

However, when I want a little more color, for the most part I’ll stick with the blues.

I have yet to meet a shade of blue that I didn’t like.  The trio of chairs below are painted, from front to back, in Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in French Enamel, Artissimo and Flow Blue (I’ve included a link to the original post for all of the following pieces, just click on the green underlined wording to go back and see the full details on each one).

Fusion’s Midnight Blue is a gorgeous navy blue.

Homestead House makes a matching milk paint also called Midnight Blue.

Homestead House’s Maritime milk paint is a sweet blue that reminds me of the color of blue hydrangeas.

Little Billy Goat makes a beautiful shade of dark blue called Prize Winner.

I also used Prize Winner on the pirate desk (click on that link to find out why I called it the pirate desk, but here’s a hint, it has a peg leg).

 I haven’t used it in a while, but I always liked Annie Sloan’s Aubusson.

Sometimes I just create my own shade of blue.  This next dresser was painted in a mix of Miss Mustard Seed’s French Enamel, Luckett’s Green and Eulalie’s Sky with a touch of Ironstone thrown in to lighten it all up.

Miss Mustard Seed’s Eulalie’s Sky, Shutter Grey and Grainsack combined to make the gorgeous pale grey blue shade on the dresser below.

This washstand is also painted in a mix of Miss Mustard Seed colors.

Mixing Fusion paints to come up with a unique shade of blue is fun too.  My sister created a color we decided to call Lake Superior Blue, which is a mix of Fusion’s Homestead Blue and Liberty Blue.

 And now I’m looking forward to painting something in Dixie Belle’s Yankee Blue.

I have just the piece in mind, a lovely buffet that I brought home a few weeks ago.  It needs a little work first though, and my handyman Ken doesn’t work in the cold.  So it could be a while before I get to it.

But how about you?  Do you have a favorite shade of blue?  Please share in a comment.

aging british rockers.

Before we get on with today’s regularly scheduled blog post, I promised to report back on how long it took the sell the ‘young at heart’ green dresser that I posted on Monday.  I was a little nervous about painting it in the vibrant green of Fusion’s Park Bench and wasn’t at all sure how easily the piece would sell in that color.  Well, I posted it on Craigslist on Tuesday morning.  By Tuesday evening I had two potential buyers expressing an interest in the dresser.  The first buyer in line showed up on Wednesday and bought it!  So if you’ve been hesitating about painting something in Park Bench (or perhaps some other more vibrant color) I say go for it.  I’m starting to think that I might just start painting everything green!

I also want to share the story of selling it.  The buyer was a young woman furnishing her new apartment.  She loved the dresser and promptly handed over the cash.  But when we went to load it into her vehicle it was just a hair too wide to fit.  Flipping it up on its side wouldn’t work either.  Mr. Q and I don’t usually deliver my pieces, but on a whim we offered to load it into our van and follow her home with it.  After all, we didn’t have plans for the rest of the evening and she had mentioned she lived in Minneapolis so I knew we wouldn’t be going all that far.  So we loaded it up and headed out.  Turned out that she lives in a huge old mansion just off Hennepin Ave that has been sectioned off into apartments.  The foyer had the most gorgeous original hex tile floor, beautiful oak wainscoting with a stunning arts and crafts style wallpaper above.  The apartment was full of old leaded glass windows, a built in china hutch in the dining room, gorgeous original wood floors.  Even the radiators were amazing.

It’s so fun to get to see where the dresser ended up and to know that it’s going to look amazing in that space.

But enough with the green dresser, let’s move on.  Today I thought we could talk about aging British rockers.

No, no, not that kind of rocker, this kind …

Although I will admit that I am a Rod Stewart fan, after all blondes do have more fun.  I especially like his more recent Great American Songbook recordings and I often listen to those while painting.

But seriously, this post is about that 2nd rocker.  You might be wondering what makes it British, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

I picked up this aging rocker at a garage sale last summer.  I have found that I really enjoy painting these little chairs.  They are perfect for an afternoon project, and also as a way to try out new paint colors, or conversely use up the little bit that’s left of some already well-loved colors.

In this case I pulled out my bin of milk paint.

Am I the only one with a bin of milk paint?  These are all of the opened and partially used bags of milk paint that I have.  Let’s face it, those zip lock tops are really hard to get sealed back up again properly and I store my milk paint in my somewhat damp basement so I need to make sure that it is kept dry.  I used to store each individual opened bag of milk paint inside another gallon sized Ziploc storage bag but that got to be cumbersome, so now I store them all in this plastic bin with a tightly fitted lid.

I pulled out a few colors, Eulalie’s Sky, Luckett’s Green and Flow Blue (all Miss Mustard Seed) to mix together and see what I could come up with for the rocker.  The first batch I mixed ended up far more blue than I wanted.  I think it was the Flow Blue that threw it off.  So I went back to the drawing board and mixed 3 T Eulalie’s Sky with 1 T of the Luckett’s, leaving out the Flow Blue altogether.  That combo was far too green.  So I simply added in some of the previously mixed ‘too blue’ paint one teaspoon at a time until I had the color I wanted.

I’m calling this one British Rocker Mint.  Isn’t it pretty?

I once posted a piece painted in a mix of milk paint colors like this and someone commented that it was a bit much to expect people to go out and buy three bags of milk paint to paint one piece of furniture.  Yes, I totally agree.  I don’t mean to imply that you need to do that.  What I am suggesting is that you can use up your left over milk paint in a similar way.

If you don’t have enough of any one color to paint an entire piece of furniture, mix a few of your leftovers together and see what you can come up with.

Now, back to that aging British rocker.

The only prep I did on this piece was to wipe it down with a damp rag.  I was feeling pretty flexible about any amount of chipping I might get.  There were spots of pre-existing shiny finish, but there were also lots of areas where the existing finish was completely dried out and I knew the milk paint would adhere well in those spots.

I got great coverage with British Rocker Mint.  I did use two coats, but I prefer a more opaque finish.  Once dry, I sanded lightly to remove any loose flakes of paint.  I followed that up with vacuuming away and dust and further flakes of paint.  Then I finished with a coat of Fusion clear wax (same as Miss Mustard Seed clear wax).

Oh, and I almost forgot … what is it that makes this an aging British rocker?

Well, it’s the portion of an IOD transfer that I added to the seat before I added the wax.

This section of transfer was left over from the IOD Gilded Gander transfer that I used on the handmade hutch last year.  This leftover bit fit perfectly on the seat of the rocker, and  gave it a little British style.

This was definitely a project that was good for using up some left overs!

And the end result is an aging British rocker even more adorable than Rod Stewart!