A Sheet Music Washstand

Hello milk paint lovers!  This is Jenn Baker of Eight Hundred Furniture, LLC.  I wanted to share a project I recently finished that harkens back to a project that Marian completed a few years ago.

Do you remember her beautiful sheet music dresser she created back in 2010?




I loved it so much that I have replicated the look not once, but twice!  My first project was a dresser that I created in tribute to a wonderful woman named Evie.  She passed away this year from cancer and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor her than to adorn a dresser with sheet music from an 1800’s hymnal and call it by her namesake.  You can read about that project here.




My second sheet music project turned out just as beautiful, all thanks to Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint products!


My subject was in pretty poor shape when I purchased it from Craig’s List.  Marian finds a lot of her pieces on Craig’s List and I’m finding that her tips and tricks are super helpful in my own personal searches.


I started this project by stripping and staining the top.  Personally, I prefer to refinish the top of my pieces before I paint the body.  That way, if you dribble some stripper or stain onto the body, you won’t ruin your paint job.




After that, it was time to decoupage the fronts of all of my sad drawers and the little door.




I used the beautiful sheet music from the same hymnal I used on my previous project.  It has the best natural patina.








Can you see the date on the bottom?  Looks like 1896 to me!




To decoupage music, decorative paper, or any other type of material on the fronts of drawers, start with a decoupage medium.  Using a chip brush, brush it on the area where you’re going to apply your paper.  I highly recommend working in small sections to prevent your decoupage medium from drying.




Brush some medium on the back of your paper, and then lay it down, smoothing as you go to get rid of air bubbles.  I actually purchased a brayer (rubber roller) from my local craft store, and it works like a champ.




Just be aware that as you smooth, the extra medium will ooze its way out of the edges, so use your brush to spread it out.




After your surfaces are all covered, I like to take a piece of sandpaper to “cut” the extra from the edges.




I run my sandpaper perpendicular to the edge, and it works like a charm every time!




After your edges are all trimmed up, apply a few coats of your medium on the top to seal and protect your beautiful handiwork!






Decoupage can be quite messy, but it’s worth it.  Trust me!




After my drawers and door were finished, it was time to turn my attention to the body of my piece.  Because the base color was black, I didn’t paint my desired color, Linen, on right away.  Instead, I mixed up some Schloss first and painted on one coat.  Not only is Schloss one of the colors of the month for October, it served as a primer base color in between the black and Linen!

Of course I had to mix it in something pretty, like this ironstone mug.






See how Schloss acts as a primer?  Not only did this act as my base, it helped me reduce the amount of coats of Linen I needed to apply.




While my coat of Schloss was drying, I brushed some Hemp Oil on to the drawers to revive them.  See the difference it made?  The drawer on the left is untreated, and the one on the right has the Hemp Oil on it.  The wood soaked it up immediately!




I painted on three coats of Linen next and was so happy to see that I got natural chipping and crazing!  This is what using milk paint is all about.  You have to allow yourself to “go with the flow” and let it do what it does.




I felt that the milk paint added to the old feel of this piece.  I’m so happy it didn’t dry perfectly.  I just wouldn’t look right otherwise.




Just one more picture…




To seal all of that lovely chipping and crazing from further distressing, I used Tough Coat.




Yes, I used my ironstone mug again.  Sometimes, using pretty things to help with your transformations makes you feel good inside.




Tough coat really shines when you use it as a sealer for chipping paint.  It brushed on beautifully and was just the trick to give my piece a little extra protection.





The last step was to rub a Wax Puck on the runners and tracks of all of the drawers.  This helps them slide in and out easily, and I NEVER forget this step on my pieces.  It really makes a difference.  If you don’t have a Wax Puck, you can use some Furniture Wax.  The lavender scented wax would smell lovely every time you open a drawer!




And here is the grand reveal!




I staged this piece with a simple ironstone platter rimmed with gold,






and an ironstone pitcher filled with wheat and branches.




I picked up this lovely pitcher with Marian when we were on our way up to visit the Purple Painted Lady a few weeks ago.  She has an eye for spotting good ironstone deals, and I was more than happy to benefit from it!




I just love decorating with natural elements, especially in the Fall!




I can’t express how pleased I am with the look Milk Paint allowed me to achieve, and how well all of the products worked together.  It seemed that for every need I had on this project, there was a Milk Paint product to meet it.  From the Tough Coat sealer to the chipping of Linen, to the Hemp Oil-hydrated drawers…I’m more in love with this product line than ever!




I even used some Hemp Oil to give the original handles some luster.




Well, not all of the hardware is original, but this subtle glass knob allows you to open the door without a hitch.  (And I even rubbed the side of the door with my Wax Puck to allow it to close smoothly!)




Here’s another yummy shot of that chipping Linen paint.  I’ve never painted with this color, and I really like how it complimented the color of the sheet music.  It’s a beautiful off white option for any project!




Thanks Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint!  You really made this piece come alive again!




4 thoughts on “A Sheet Music Washstand

  1. Krista

    This is beautiful. It gives me an idea for a piece from my grandma that I’ve been thinking about lately. When you used top coat, did it make your chippy really rough and flaky? I used it on a piece that had chipped perfectly, I lightly sanded it and loved the smoothness. But when I top coated it, the smooth feel was gone. Any suggestions?

  2. Jenn Baker

    Hi Krista!

    When I used Tough Coat, it didn’t leave the surface tough and flaky. I find that with any water-based top coat (be it MMSMP or any other brand), if it feels bumpy or not smooth after one application, a light sanding with 320 or 400 grit sandpaper and a second coat usually takes care of that problem.

  3. Jauquetta

    Love pieces! Just elegant in that old, used and loved look! My style completely. Am about to order some productes, your piece was so fortuitous.


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