MMSMP | prep work | part two

#mmsmilkpaint #PrepWorkWelcome back to the second installment in my mini-series on prepping your furniture to become a milk paint masterpiece.

(this post contains 4 “before” photos – one for each in the series)

Let’s get started with the first piece in the series. It’s one of the never-been-painted-before pieces. I bought this desk (it’s actually a vanity but the person I bought it from used it as a desk through high school and college before going on to become an oncologist – so let’s call it a desk, okay?) So, I bought the desk through craigslist and it’s a perfect example of the very best that can be had there. This desk is a really lovely antique and I paid very, very little for it.

This is one of those pieces that some people (me) might find little intimidating to get started on. It’s a gorgeous piece of furniture. Some might feel that it shouldn’t be painted at all (not me). I happen to know a little bit of the is history of this piece though and trust me, it is lonely and languishing and needs this makeover so it can go on and live a new and happy life with a new owner. Maybe it can take another student through med school and on to helping those in need…

miss mustard seed makeover - prep work

It didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to use Typewriter (October’s color of the month) on this piece. To be honest, I’ve seen a few similar pieces – including one of Marian’s, done in Typewriter and I was just dying to do one myself. I absolutely LOVE the combination of the black paint and the wood tone and that is the look I was going for. Remember? In the last post in this series I said that in order to determine what prep work would need to be done, we would need to answer two questions.

1. What have you got? In this case I had a previously unpainted solid wood piece in very good structural condition. The desk had a poly finish of some kind and that finish was in slightly questionable shape. There were some runs and it was a little messy – not pretty – but not too bad.

unpainted desk

I wish I had taken a picture of the top surface but I guess I didn’t… The finish on the top was completely shot. Not only were there “rings” but some of them were melted right through the finish – leaving a very uneven surface.

2. What are you going for? I knew that I wanted a combination of black and wood but not in a chippy way.

What had to be done: Since the finish on the top of this piece was destroyed, it had to be refinished. That is really very simple- no stripping involved. If you’ve never done this kind of thing before – this is a great way to begin. A nice flat horizontal surface like this, with no carvings or delicate detail is very easy to refinish. Perfect for a beginner. I just sanded it down. I began with my random orbital sander and a 60 grit sandpaper disc. I moved on to 100 and 220 on my palm sander and then finished by hand with a 220 grit sanding sponge (the sponge almost has a polishing effect on the wood). After the top was sanded down I simply added two coats of MMS Hemp Oil. I had originally planned to use a dark stain but I changed my mind at the last minute. Boy! Was I glad?! Look at this!

unpainted desk

Woah! I had to stop and whip out my phone to take these pictures – the transformation that happened when I started applying the hemp oil blew me away…

Unpainted Desk

I don’t know what kind of wood it is but it’s GORGEOUS! It GLOWS!

You can see in the earlier photos that the finish on the rest of the desk was a bit messy – it was solid – not flaking or chipping off – but still not very attractive. Since it was smooth enough though – I just painted right over it. No additional prep work necessary there. After I wiped it all down to remove surface dirt and spiders (lots and lots of spiders) I went ahead and painted it WITH the addition of the Bonding Agent in my paint (i didn’t want any chipping).

That’s it.

Want to see how it came out?

Black Desk

I am absolutely thrilled with the end result.

The color of this wood was not what I was expecting – it has a much redder tone than I was looking for (is it cherry??) but I love it anyway. It’s a beautiful shade. I did a good deal of distressing on the carved details and the trim work on the drawer fronts and I finished the whole piece (bare wood and paint alike) with MMS Hemp Oil.

Black Desk

I left this flower medallion untouched.

Black Desk

This piece is now posted in my Etsy shop. I can’t wait to find out who will have this lovely piece of re-imagined history for their own.

So! The PREP WORK on this piece was not so bad, right? Not very time consuming and really not all that difficult or tedious.

If you’re considering this kind of makeover yourself and you’ve got questions – I’d be happy to try and help you out – feel free to ask away in the comments!


A HEAVILY painted dresser. Is this thing even salvageable??

HEAVILY painted dresser

you bet it IS!

see you soon!


10 thoughts on “MMSMP | prep work | part two

  1. Trish

    Love how your desk turned out.
    I haven’t been able to find MMMSP Hemp
    Oil where I live. Can you use hemp oil from the natural foods store?


    1. Breida

      Hi Trish! – did you see Marian’s reply? It’s easy as pie to order yourself some MMSMP Hemp Oil online! Good Luck!

  2. Robyn

    It turned out just lovely, Breida! I’m anxious to see how you tackle the piece with way too many coats of paint bc I have a similar piece camping out in my garage.

    1. Breida

      I’m so glad you liked it, Robyn! It’s one of my favorite pieces to date. (I think maybe I say that about all of them…can’t help it!) Good luck with the piece in your garage!

  3. Debora Cadene

    It looks amazing!! Love the black and wood tone combination. I have a wash stand I’d like to do this to. I’m wondering if you kept track of how much milk paint it took with this piece, and how many coats of paint you added.

    thanks bunches.

    1. Breida

      Hello Debora –
      I did not keep track of how much paint it took but I’m pretty sure I only used one coat. If you’re using Typewriter over a darkish surface – it covers REALLY well. Remember that I also added the bonding agent this time – and that stretches the paint a little further as well. (If I had to guess I’d say I probably mixed 8 tablespoons of paint – that’s a half cup).


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