Tag Archives: tough coat

MMSMP Whitewash Technique – Designs by Donnie

We are beyond excited to share this post with you today! One of our MMSMP Featured Artisans, Donnie Galli of Designs by Donnie, is sharing how he creates his characteristic whitewash technique using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint products!

Yep, that’s right! He’s giving you a tutorial on how to create that gorgeous finish above. Oh happy day!

Before we get started, in case you missed our featured post on Donnie’s work, you can catch it by clicking the photo below.

Featured Artisan Designs by Donnie Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

So without further ado, you can watch Donnie’s tutorial video below.

The products that Donnie used in this tutorial can be purchased from your local retailer. Ask for Farmhouse White Milk Paint, Hemp Oil and Tough Coat. You can buy Hemp Oil by the gallon if you love it as much as he does! Our Milk Paint also comes in larger bulk sizes as well.

Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint Designs by Donnie

To find a MMSMP retailer near you, use our map and see who is in your neighborhood! You can special order the larger sizes of products too. Stop in and chat with a MMSMP retailer for more details!

Now if you don’t have a retailer near you, check our fabulous online shopping options by clicking here. Several of our retailers also sell online and offer wonderful customer service. You can also pick up MMSMP products on Esty, Ebay and Amazon.

So what do you think? Isn’t Donnie’s technique fabulous? We seriously swoon over the exposed wood grain!

Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint Farmhouse White Designs by Donnie

To learn more about Donnie and his work, follow him on Facebook and Instagram. His website is another great resource for more information about his creations!

Whitewash Technique Designs By Donnie

We’re definitely excited to be along for the ride!

Donnie Galli

MMSMP Finishes – Hemp Oil & Tough Coat

Today, we’re continuing our tour of the fabulous finishes in our MMSMP collection.  We’ve already covered the wax options, and now it’s time to learn about the liquid finishes.  One is an oil and the other is water based.  Both are incredibly versatile and must-have’s in your MMSMP stash.


Hemp Oil is our deepest penetrating and most absorbable finish in the MMSMP line.  It deepens the color of Milk Paint the most of any of the other finishes and it  created by cold pressing hemp seeds and collecting the oil.  The process is very similar to olive oil, but not quite because you use Hemp Oil for finishing furniture and not baking cakes.  Plus, Hemp Oil will not go rancid once it is applied, which is what would happen if you used Olive Oil or Canola Oil on your pieces.  So don’t go to your kitchen cupboard for a substitute!

The hemp seeds that are used to make Miss Mustard Seed’s Hemp Oil are grown and pressed in Ontario, Canada without the use of pesticides.  It’s solvent-free and food safe, so it’s ideal to use on surfaces that will come in contact with food.

Photo via Eight Hundred Furniture

As a note, this is a food safe product, but it’s not a food grade product.  Hemp Oil is used for food and health purposes, but we do not recommend our product for that, since it is processed to be a finish, not to maximize flavor and health benefits.   If you would like to use Hemp Oil for cooking or medicinal purpose, purchase it from a grocer.  If you want to use Hemp Oil as a finish, you can buy that from one of our fabulous retailers!

Depending on the pressing that is bottled, Hemp Oil may take on different colors ranging from dark green to light yellow.

One isn’t better than the other and the color difference doesn’t impact the performance of the finish.  They are simply different crops and/or different presses.  Neither of them will yellow (or green) your finishes – even the whites!  They both perform the same when it comes to bringing out the rich color of natural wood or hydrating antiques that have dried out.  Both are applied in the same manner, dry the same and cure the same.  The only difference is literally the color!

Hemp Oil is incredibly versatile and has tons of practical applications.  It can be used as a finish over Milk Paint as a topcoat that seals your project and gives you the deepest and richest color of all our finishes.

It looks fabulous when applied over our darkest colors like Artissimo, Typewriter, Curio, Boxwood and Flow Blue!

You can also apply Hemp Oil on raw wood or antique pieces that are made of wood that have a dried out finish.  Miss Mustard Seed applied Hemp Oil to the dresser below, and the difference is like night and day!

Here’s another example on an old tool box.

Photo via Eight Hundred Furniture

Hemp Oil also works wonders on metal too!  Use it on cast iron skillets, dutch ovens, buckets, wagons and sewing table bases.  Miss Mustard Seed used it on her goat bell she hung over her rocking horse.  It hydrated the metal bell and the leather strap!

It even works on leather shoes too!

Photo via Breida with a b.

You can apply Hemp Oil with a bristle brush or a soft cloth.  It’s as easy as brushing it on and wiping the excess off!  Our favorite method of applying it is to pour a small amount into a cup and brushing it on.

If we have the time, we let it sit overnight to soak in as deeply as possible.  Use a lint-free cloth to rub it gently until the excess is wiped away.  If you want additional sheen and protection, add 2-4 coats.  You can only apply as much as the surface can absorb though, so there is a limit to how much product can be applied.  There should not be oil simply laying on top, so make sure you wipe away all of the excess.  Otherwise, your surface will feel sticky and tacky.

Just like the rest of our finishes, Hemp Oil takes 20 – 30 days to fully cure.  Now during this cure window, remember that this finish is an oil, so we recommend caution when placing linens and papers on top of surfaces that are curing.  Excess oil may leach out from the surface and be absorbed into your fabric or paper.

To maintain a piece of furniture that has been treated with Hemp Oil, simply apply a light coat every other year as needed.  To remove scratches, lightly sand the blemish and then reapply the oil.  This product is not suitable to use outdoors or in moisture prone areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

Watch this video to see how to apply Hemp Oil and get some tips on how to use it in when finish sanding to get a buttery soft finish on Milk Painted pieces!


Tough Coat is the second liquid finish in our collection.  While Hemp Oil is an oil finish that is designed to soak into the surface and cure, Tough Coat is a water-based acrylic polymer resin that is formulated to lay on the surface and dry hard.

It comes in one size (500 ml) and once you start using it, you’ll wish it came in gallons!  Tough Coat is our favorite finish to use on pieces that have a chippy finish.  Whether that chippiness comes from original paint or a MMS Milk Paint finish, Tough Coat is the perfect finish to keep chippy paint in place for good!

Here’s an example of a project where Tough Coat was used to keep original chipping paint in place.  Jenn of Eight Hundred Furniture found a killer antique mantle with lovely chippy paint.  To seal it all up, she applied Tough Coat.  Jenn poured it into a small dish and carefully brushed it on, taking care not to overwork the product.

Tough Coat may darken the look of dry old wood, but see how it created more of a contrast?

Here’s all of that original crusty goodness that was sealed to perfection.

Tough Coat is low odor and is safe to use indoors.  It’s UV tested and will not yellow over time, even when applied over white paint.  If any yellowing does occur, it’s not Tough Coat that is causing it.  There’s something under the surface that is being pulled out.

Tough Coat is ideal to use on high use pieces that will receive a lot of traffic like shelves, headboards and table tops.  Miss Mustard Seed used Tough Coat to seal this Eulalie’s Sky hutch.

Tough Coat dries to the touch quickly and like all of the other finishes, it needs 20-30 days to fully cure.  It should not be used in addition to any of our other finishes, but rather it’s to be used instead of our other finishes.  It should not be combined with waxes or Hemp Oil.  Tough Coat is a stand-alone finish that is intended for interior use only and is not food safe.

The best method of application is with a bristle brush or a foam applicator pad on flat surfaces.  Watch this video to learn how to apply Tough Coat.

Tough Coat can be likened to a clear coat of nail polish.  It is meant to be applied over top of a surface and should not be over worked.  It is designed to lay down and dry hard on the surface.

It has a lovely matte sheen, so you don’t get a shiny finish.  When you open a brand new bottle of Tough Coat or one that has been sitting on the shelf for a long time, gently swirl it in the bottle to combine all of the ingredients.  Shaking will result in bubbles, and those will dry on your finish, leaving a bumpy texture.

Whichever finish you choose to use in our collection, each one will provide you with a beautiful and durable surface that beautifully compliments the old world feel of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.  Remember to give the finishes 20-30 full days to set up and cure so they can be at their most durable for you.  Be gentle with your pieces during this cure window and take care to protect them from heat, water and scratchy/heavy objects.

If you have any other questions about our finishes, you can contact us via our website or comment below.

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.”


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.  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 jenn@missmustardseed.com 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?

may color of the month

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!

aewing Cabinet-7

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

aewing Cabinet-2

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

aewing Cabinet-6

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.

aewing Cabinet-9

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!

aewing Cabinet-22

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.

aewing Cabinet-27

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.

aewing Cabinet-10

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.

aewing Cabinet-26

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.

aewing Cabinet-16

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!

aewing Cabinet-5

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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aewing Cabinet-3

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

aewing Cabinet-4

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

aewing Cabinet-15

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.

aewing Cabinet-1

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

may color of the month

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.


 Bonding Agent

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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Tough Coat

Marian has used it to seal her crusty counter.


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.


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


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.


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


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.