So normally I post thoughts on life or God, things that He’s revealed to me lately, etc. This post is different. A DIY project I tried my hand at. And it’s just one of those things I really want to share with someone, so I figured if it’s a ‘Just Got to Tell’ then I could still post it here.
I’ve had this dresser forever, almost literally. It once belonged to my dad’s brother’s sister, Aunt Lucille (but in our family ‘aunt’ sounds a lot like ‘ain’t’). All of her belongings were auctioned off when she passed away and my parents bought her bedroom suit for me (I think I was around 2 years old when this happened). The bed is long broke, but I still use this dresser. It’s officially called a “chest of drawers”, but again, we don’t pronounce things like normal people and say Chester drawers, so I usually prefer to write ‘dresser’. It’s quicker.
As a child, I loved stickers. And unfortunately saw something on TV about decoupage, and decided it would be cool to put stickers on the dresser. It might have looked better if I’d had enough stickers to cover it entirely, as I’ve now done with my laptop, but nope. There was also an incident involved spilled fingernail polish.
But I’ve had the plan to paint it for years now. At the time I was living in my grandparents’ house in Virginia and using my grandma’s dresser. Beautiful dresser, eight huge drawers, mirror, one loose board on top, but not bad. So this dresser was being used to hold scrapbooking and other craft supplies. It did its job even with the stickers, but the plan was to paint it, when I got around to it. Painting the rooms were higher on the ‘to do’ list. Then I got a job back in my home town and moved 2x within a year. After the last move, the dresser sat in the garage because I wasn’t going to move it in until after I painted it. As you can see from the picture above, mold and mildew started up since the garage has no humidity control.
I took the hardware off and the drawers out and cleaned the whole dresser with diluted Murphy’s wood cleaner. Mildew gone. Next: stickers and fingernail polish. Tackled that with Goof-off, a slow and sticky process but accomplishable.
Next was the tricky part. Mixing up a batch of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. I’d read about its finish and texture and liked the idea of that better than latex. I used Ironstone for the dresser and drawer fronts and French Enamel for the drawer pulls and interior.
Definitely different than using premixed latex, but also definitely worth the experiment. It took several coats of white to get the opaqueness I wanted, but it worked because I had mixed up plenty of paint.
Milk paint you only mix up as much as you need for the project. Dry, the stuff lasts forever (so I’m told), but once it’s mixed it only lasts for up to a week, stored in the fridge.
I lost count of how many coats of white I did (4 or 5), but it took 3 coats on the hardware and 2 coats inside the drawers to complete the look I wanted. The other thing about milk paint is it has to be sealed. Wax, polyurethane or hemp oil has to be used to protect the paint and also makes it a washable surface. I went with wax, not hard to do, just time consuming.
I started the project Friday evening after work, and was finished by Saturday’s suppertime. This is including a lunchtime break that was long enough for a movie and trip to the gym.
Note for future reference: If ever I am blessed to have my own children, they will be highly encouraged to place their stickers on plastic containers like pencil boxes. Not on the furniture.