Tag Archives: tough coat

MMSMP Featured Artisan – Designs by Donnie

Here at Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, we’re always on the lookout for talented artisans who use our products in unique, creative, and beautiful ways.

One day, we were scrolling through Instagram and we noticed a woodcrafter who made the most gorgeous furniture out of reclaimed wood.  We drooled over pictures like these:

See why we literally “slowed our scroll”?

These gorgeous creations were made by the wildly talented, Donnie Galli of Designs by Donnie.

Growing up, Donnie had many memories working with his grandfather.  Whether they were painting, drawing or building, his grandfather helped to foster a love for making something out of (what felt like) nothing.  Pieces of scrap wood became valuable to him in an instant!

Fast forward nearly forty years and Donnie found himself unemployed during the holiday season. While his kids were at school and his wife was at work, he was alone.  Instead of drowning in his own sorrows, he walked into his garage and began to make a mess.  He started taking old furniture apart and rebuilt it with a vision he had in mind.  Just like that, he was on the path that his grandfather paved years prior.

“Designs by Donnie” was born in a garage during (what he considers to be) the lowest point in his life.  Every day since then has been a training session for him as he continued to build his dreams one piece at a time.

Donnie’s family is his number one priority and he feels blessed to be able to use his craft and his own to hands to provide for them.

This passion makes every tear, every ER visit and every sore muscle worth it for him!

Donnie has always had an interest in drawing, sketching, and painting, but he could never figure-out how to incorporate that talent into his life on a level more than hobby.  (A feeling many of our readers often share with us!)  Donnie found that his love for sketching actually fit quite well with his love for designing furniture.  He wanted to set himself apart from other furniture makers and learned that only a select few were using curved shapes in their designs, so he started sketching furniture with contoured shapes and eventually that lead him to a ton of inspiration and possibilities.  When his clients come to his workshop and describe the style they want, he immediately begins sketching an idea for them.  Donnie says it’s incredibly rewarding to see his sketches come to life – literally!

One aspect that makes Donnie’s designs unique is his use of reclaimed lumber.  He says this medium allows him to offer his clients custom designed furniture with amazing stories about where the material came from.  He says it’s essentially, furniture with a soul!  Donnie’s favorite is river/swamp rescued “Sinker Cypress.”

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Donnie has been using our MMSMP products on some of his projects and he love how it bonds to wood with significant strength.  It doesn’t seem peel or fade, which is a huge benefit for his products.  The fact that MMSMP sinks in like a stain rather laying on the surface of raw wood makes this possible!  In addition, our paint comes in a powder form, so Donnie gets to play with the amount of water he mixes into it.  Sometimes he mixes more water than needed so the Milk Paint will be slightly transparent, acting like a stain or a wash.  He also loves the fact that it doesn’t have any VOC’s and it’s non-toxic.  Considering how often Donnie is around stains, sawdust, and fumes, it’s very important that he use products that will keep his lungs healthy and protected for years to come!

Donnie’s favorite MMSMP product is our Hemp Oil (which we have to agree with)!

Because he mostly works with reclaimed lumber, our Hemp Oil gives a complimentary finish to the old wood.  The Hemp Oil doesn’t change the color tones or the natural weathered look to the wood at all.  Rather, it simply enhances what’s already there.

Most wood is very porous and Hemp Oil will seal the top and penetrate inside the pores as well, offering extra protection. Donnie has tried many sealers on furniture, and he says that none of them can measured up to MMSMP Hemp Oil.  In his opinion, it’s a superior product!

One of Donnie’s most popular designs using our Milk Paint is his whitewashed look.  The bench below is actually one of his most favorite pieces he’s created so far!

We shared some of his pieces that were painted in our Farmhouse White and our social media blew up with positive comments, likes, and loves!

We asked Donnie if he would share his secret with us, and he obliged!  First, he suggests using this technique on pieces of furniture that have drastic highs and lows in the grain.  Old barn wood would be a perfect choice!  After he has his grainy wood selected, he covers the entire piece in Farmhouse White mixed to normal rations (1 part MMS Milk Paint powder to 1 part water).  He doesn’t do any prep work to the lumber i.e. no sanding or milling.  He says this part is critical to achieving his signature look because if you sand the board smooth, then the grain will no longer pop.  The wood needs the “highs and lows.”  Next, he uses a paint scraper and begins to scrape away the paint.  If the blade is sharp, it will remove the paint from the “highs” of the grain and will leave the remaining paint in the “lows.”  He recommends scraping about 10 minutes after the Milk Paint is applied, not allowing it to fully dry because its more difficult once completely cured.  The scraping works as a smoothing agent as it knocks down the high points of the wood.  Once the Milk Paint is totally dry, he applies our Touch Coat or Hemp Oil to seal the piece.  Finally, he uses a dry cloth to hand-buff the whole piece using “a bunch of muscle”.

As you can see, the effect is absolutely stunning!

We can’t get enough of Donnie’s designs, and we hope you’ll join us in supporting him in his furniture ventures.  You can follow Donnie on Facebook, Instagram, and visit his website to learn more about his inspiring creations!

If you are an artisan who loves using MMSMP products, please reach out to us so we can share your beautiful work!  Email Jenn Baker at [email protected] and share your love of Milk Paint!

 

Eulalie’s Sky & Linen Chippy Wall Cupboard

May’s Colors of the Month are simply gorgeous, wouldn’t you say?

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They are beautiful all on their own, but I recently completed a piece where they happily combined together to create the most amazing look!

It all began with this rather sad looking wall cabinet.

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Isn’t it the most pathetic thing you’ve ever seen?  Those handles…ick!  The outside wasn’t looking too promising, however check out the beauty on the inside.

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Dear friends, it was storage heaven!

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These little glass-front cubbies swung out if you pushed on the corners.

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Each side had tons of pegs, which led me to think it was some sort of antique sewing cabinet.

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They’re quite narrow though and a spool wouldn’t have fit on them.  A few hours of Google searching revealed nothing, so I was absolutely stumped as to what it was originally used for.  Despite its mysterious origins, it was in desperate need of a MMSMP makeover!

I started on the inside.  It was musty, smelly, and unbelievably dirty!  A thorough vacuum took care of most of the problem spots, but I wound up going into the tight spaces with a toothbrush to properly rid them of spider nests and dirt.

After everything was clean, I attacked every corner with hydrating Hemp Oil.

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The wood was so dry and thirsty and it looked amazing when I was finished.  The glass-fronted cubbies got a few squirts of Windex too!

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The outside was in desperate need of paint.  I wasn’t 100% sure what color to use, but I had a feeling I would wind up with bleed-through no matter what color I picked.  My first step was to apply a layer of Tough Coat to seal in the dark stain.

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In the end, I decided to paint the cabinet with Eulalie’s Sky.  I thought that most people probably have white walls in their homes, and this cheerful color would add a lovely vintage pop to their space.  The color brushed on perfectly, but I had an obvious problem after I distressed.

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The top I made for it was cut from a pine scrap board, and it didn’t match the doors at all.  They were constructed from plywood and the dark stain caused the Eulalie’s Sky to appear slightly darker and more saturated than the pine.  Nothing changed even when I added more coats of paint to the top.  I couldn’t leave the cabinet uneven, so I turned to my jar of Beeswax Finish.

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I decided to do a Beeswax resist with the Eulalie’s Sky and a coat of Linen.  I mixed up my Linen on the thicker side, not taking too much care for the texture.  I had some lumps and sediment, which I did on purpose.  I wanted the Linen to create a crusty top layer, giving the illusion of time-worn paint.

Once my Linen was mixed up, I used a heavy hand with the Beeswax Finish and applied it over a small section.

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I immediately picked up the Linen and painted it on thickly, taking care not to overbrush it.  My goal was to simply lay it overtop of the Beeswax finish, not to work it in.

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You could immediately see the Linen pulling away from the Beeswax underneath.  This was exactly what I was looking for!

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I repeated the process all over the cabinet, making sure to work in sections.  It took about an hour for the Linen to completely dry because I painted it on thick and it was a rainy humid day outside.  Things were starting to look perfectly chippy!

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After a healthy sanding, my cabinet was proudly wearing Eulalie’s Sky and Linen in chippy perfection.

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Now there was no color discrepancy between the top and the bottom.

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Because the finish was textured and chippy, I sealed it with Tough Coat.  This is an ideal product to use over chippy MMS Milk Paint.

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I staged my cupboard to be used as a jewelry cabinet.  I thought the pegs would be perfect for rings and necklaces.  Plus, I’m not a sewer and my pathetic stash of sewing supplies would have made for poor pictures.

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Here are my rings all lined up and eager to be chosen for the day.

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One of the drawers has dividers built in, so I thought they would be perfect for watches and bracelets.

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The swing-out cubbies could hide bracelets too.

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No tangled necklaces here!

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The finishing touches on this piece were the (unfortunately non-working) key and a pair of glass knobs.

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This piece drew 4 or 5 buyers within a few hours of posting it.  I’m happy to say that it has been sold and is awaiting its new owner with eager anticipation.

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For more MMSMP inspiration, visit my website and subscribe to receive furniture updates at www.eighthundredfurniture.com.  Make sure you’re following me on Instagram too at eight.hundred.furniture for other MMSMP tips and tricks!

How are you using Eulalie’s Sky and Linen this month?  Be sure to tag Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint on social media so we can share your beautiful handiwork!  Use our hashtags for easy searching.  #mmsmp #mmsmilkpaint #iheartmilkpaint

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MMSMP On Metal – A Vintage Cart Makeover

Did you know that you can use Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint on metal?  With a little bit of Bonding Agent and creative vision, you don’t have to limit yourself to only wood projects!

When I last visited Marian at Mustard Seed Studio, I made a stop to a nearby antique shop and picked up this vintage metal cart.

 

As you can see, it had a lot of rust spots and a rather sad looking paint job.  Despite its rough appearance, I envisioned it wearing one of the more vintage shades in the line such as April’s Color of the Month, Lucketts Green or perhaps Eulalie’s Sky.

 

This aqua shade is perfect for the summer and it thought it would brighten up my rusty cart.  I made a video detailing the makeover process, including tips and tricks for using Tough Coat as a finish.

To make sure my Milk Paint adhered, I mixed equal parts Bonding Agent to mixed Milk Paint.

 

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After the cart was painted and sealed, I took a trip to my local Habitat for Humanity store and found the most adorable china set.

 

 

The tea set matched the color of my cart perfectly!  Here is the hallmark on the back.

 

Staging the cart was a lot of fun.  I took this shot so you could see how I set everything up “behind the scenes”.

 

I took the cart out onto my balcony and put a piece of leftover bead board paneling behind it to hide the door to my apartment’s utility closet.  Using some double-sided tape, I adhered my linen bunting to the top so the panels wouldn’t flap in the wind.  I shot all of my pictures this way and cropped them during the editing process.

 

Don’t the dishes look amazing up against Eulalie’s Sky?

 

I really couldn’t have found a better pairing!   

 

I just love the pop of aqua glazing inside the teacups.  It compliments Eulalie’s Sky so well!

 

To add some more floral elements, I took some lavender and arranged it in an old ball jar with some moss to hide the stems.

 

Despite the fresh coat of paint, this cart still has plenty of vintage charm including the original wooden caster wheels,

 

and lots of texture peeking through the metal.  This is the main reason why I used Tough Coat as my finish of choice.  With the texture of the metal and the use this cart will be getting, I wanted a finish that would hold up to drinks, cookies, plates, and lots of summer evenings.

 

I used 150 grit sandpaper to wear the edges down so the cart feels fresh but not 100% brand new.

 

I’m over the moon with the way everything came together on this piece and I’m so glad that Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint has Eulalie’s Sky in their collection.  It was the perfect color choice on this vintage cart.  I’m also so pleased with the way Bonding Agent allowed the paint to stick with no chipping, and Tough Coat sealed everything in like a champ.

 

Do you have any metal pieces that you could paint?  Share your projects with us by tagging @MissMustardSeedsMilkPaint on Facebook, @mmsmilkpaint on Instagram, and use our hashtags #mmsmp and #mmsmilkpaint so we can find your gorgeous photos!

April’s Product of the Month – Tough Coat

In addition to featuring Lucketts Green and Mustard Seed Yellow Milk Paint this month, we’re also featuring our beloved Tough Coat as our Product of the Month.

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Tough Coat is one of the newer finishes in the line and it has proven itself to be invaluable when painting pieces using MMS Milk Paint.  It’s a water-based finish that dries to a matte sheen.

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It is non-yellowing and is self-leveling for minimal brush strokes.  It is also low odor and low VOC which makes it safe to use indoors.

Application is pretty straight forward.  Simply squeeze the amount needed into a dish and brush on with a paintbrush or a foam applicator.

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Tough Coat is ideal for sealing chippy pieces of furniture – whether they are painted with MMS Milk Paint or if they have the original paint such as this mantle from the 1700’s.

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Kriste recently used it to seal the chippy original paint on her barnwood cupboard in her bedroom.

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Marian has used it to seal her crusty counter.

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Kriste also painted Tough Coat on this Victorian settee before Marian made it over.  Tough Coat can also act as a sealer to prevent bleed through.

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This is especially helpful if you’re painting a light color over dark wood.

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Tough Coat is also ideal to use on areas that are high traffic such as table tops, dresser tops, shelves, and doors.

Marian sealed her Eulalie’s Sky stepback cupboard with Tough Coat for this year’s Lucketts Spring Market.

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Can you see why we have fallen completely in love with this product?

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What is your favorite application of Tough Coat?  Have you been able to enjoy it yet?  If not, pick some up at your local Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint retailer.  Find your closest location here.