Teeny Tiny Tea Table

My DIY projects are being completed at a record pace this month, knowing that Thanksgiving dinner for twenty is fast approaching and our Vintage Thymes Monthly Market will be the following weekend! One of this week’s projects was refurbishing a cute little side table.

Teeny Tiny Tea Table BeforeThe original finish was a shiny scratched shellac with large milky stains on the top over a dark mahogany wood. After several unsuccessful attempts to remove the stains, I made the decision to paint and antique it instead. Since I wanted to show off the pretty delicate floral border, I decided to go with two coats of Annie Sloan French Linen for the base and a specialty deeper gray color that I created. (I’m calling it CDH Parisian Gray : ) I have been mixing my own colors and creating a chalk-like paint using a recipe I recently discovered online. LOVE it. Blog for another day.

CDH Parisiian Gray Paint

For the finishes, I used some Martha Stewart products I discovered in a 50% off mark down bin at MichaelsCrackle Effect for the center, Antique Tintable Glaze for the contrast and a Satin Acrylic Finish. 

Martha Stewart Glazes and FinishesHere is the How-To:

1. Cleaned the table and remove cobwebs and dust (it was in the barn…).

2. Painted the base coat with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The beauty of ASCP is that you don’t need to prep or prime anything. Just paint and go. Two coats. 3. Sanded the edges to give the table a more rustic appearance. (You can skip this step if you want it to be a bit more refined : )

Annie Sloan French Linen Paint- 2 coats legs4. I had left the middle circle untouched, thinking that I would just add the crackle medium and then paint over that to allow the dark wood to show through. (For more info on using crackling medium, check out my Big Rack Attack Towel Rack tutorial)

Martha Stewart Crackle Medium over shellacFAIL. The crackling medium dried, and when I painted over it for the contrast, it looked fine.

Martha Stewart Crackle Glaze Over ShellacUntil I started to add the glaze. What a mess. All of the paint started coming off with the rag! Apparently the crackle medium did not adhere to the unprepped and shellacked inner circle. So I scraped it off,

Scraping off Crackle Glaze and Paintcleaned it well, sanded it down,

Sanded Table toppainted it with my CDH Parisian gray,

Painted Inner Circle of Tea Tablecrackle glazed and repainted that inner circle again, allowed to dry thoroughly,

Repainting inner circlethen proceeded on to the next step.

5. Mixed the Antique Effects Glaze with my darker gray paint.

Martha Stewart Antique Glaze and paintRemember, the more paint you use, the darker the glaze effect will be, so just use a small amount of paint. Paint it on, wipe it off with a damp rag. Do one section at a time, as this product dries pretty quickly and you want it to be blended smoothly and not leave streaky lines.

Painting on Martha Stewart GlazeI started out with a fairly dark mixture of paint and glaze, then added more glaze to lighten up as I went on. The great part about this product is that it is water based, so just taking a damp rag to it removed the excess perfectly. You can see how the glaze enhances not only the crackling effect in the center, but also the medallion of flowers along the border. So country pretty!

Wiping Off Excess Glaze6. Allowed to dry, then added the Martha Stewart Satin Finish for protection. Done. Overall, I give the Martha Stewart products two thumbs up! They go on smoothly (the crackle fiasco was my bad, not Martha’s), clean up with soap and water, are essentially odorless and a little goes a very long way, so it’s inexpensive as well. But the refurbishing of this little table cost me a lot of time. Good thing Coach got it for FREE-99!!

Table with Martha Stewart Satin Finish7. So, where could you use a Teeny Tiny Tea Table? How about next to a pretty pink victorian rocking chair in the Parisian-inspired guest room?

Teeny Tiny Tea Table Vignette PMOK, I am off to decoupage the world! Or, at the very least, some more stars… Have a super Sunday everyone, and GO PATS! Susan 

Jelly Jar Soy Candles

Nothing like a fun DIY project to get ready for the upcoming holidays! I had a box full of vintage jelly jars kicking around,

Jelly Jars Empty Stackso I decided to make some candles as stocking stuffers. This is really quite easy, as most of the products I used from Country Lane

Candle Making Kitcame with very explicit instructions on the packaging. I purchased the starter kit, plus all of the additional materials including the colorants

Country Lane Candle Colorant

the scent bottles (so many yummy flavors to choose from!!)Country Lane Candle Scentsand extra wicks

Waxed Wicksat AC Moore, but you can also buy in quantity from various candle makers through Etsy or Ebay as well. I figured I would give it a try on a smaller scale before I got into wholesale lots of wax and wicks. Here is the How-To-Do-It:

1. Wash the little jars or whatever you are planning on using. In my case, if the tops were really rusted, I spray painted them so you could see the embossed Jelly Jar writing.

Jelly Jar Pre-Washed2. Bring water to a boil in a pan large enough to hold the candle melting pot, but with only enough water to submerge the bottom of the pot!

Pot of Simmering WaterThe melting pot has a handle so it hangs onto the edge of the pan of boiling water. Once the water is boiling, reduce to simmer. Place pot filled with wax chips into the hot water, making sure you don’t splash any water into the melting pot!

Melting Wax3. Leave the pot in the simmering water until the wax melts completely. DO NOT ALLOW THE WAX TO BOIL!!! Soy wax melts very quickly on the lowest setting, so it only takes a couple of minutes to melt the entire bag.

Soy Wax Chips4. Get the little wicks and dip them into the melted wax, then adhere them centered in the bottom of the jar. Allow to cool completely!

Jelly Jar EmptyThat way when you go to pour the wax in, they will stay upright. Nothing worse than a crooked wick!

5. Add scent and colorant to the desired colors and scent levels. Obviously, the more you add, the darker the color and the stronger the scent. The melted wax appears darker than when it cools and sets, so color accordingly.

Adding colorant

6. Pour melted wax carefully into prepared jars, making sure you avoid the centered wick, so it won’t melt and warp. Allow to cool.

Pouring Wax7. To create some labels, I went to Staples and got these cute little Martha Stewart Brown Kraft Paper labels numbers 72428 and 72429. (If the packages look a little ink-stained to you, that is not your computer screen. They were in a bag with a jar of black grout and I was fumbling for my keys and dropped the bag in the driveway and…you can guess the rest.)

Martha Stewart Brown Kraft Paper Labels8. Go to Avery.com Design & Print Online, and plug in the label numbers in the search box.

Avery Design and Print

A template will pop up and you can design it however you would like your label to look. Remember, these are enlarged on the computer screen, so when you actually print them in sheets of 6, the print will be smaller!

Jelly Jar Label Reverse9. I have a pretty old printer, and it doesn’t take kindly to adjusting for different size cards and papers. So I simply taped my labels onto a sheet of standard copy paper in the proper position,

Labels Taped to paperthen printed them-perfectly placed and spaced!

Jelly Jar Candle Label

10. Add the printed labels to the jars and put the tops on. Cute! And they smell great too! If you have questions or are looking for additional information, go to Soap Expressions.com and they have lots of candle-making tutorials using their Country Lane product line.

CDH Jelly Jar Soy Candles

Have a fab Friday, everyone! Time to start preparing for Turkey Trot Thursday!! Susan

Todd Farm Dawning

Sunday morning, Coach and I ventured to Todd Farm in Rowley, not as shoppers, but for the first time ever, as vendors.

Todd Farm Sign

Coach had been yard and estate-saling all summer long, and the barn was bursting at the seams. This weekend was the last available one for us (but the flea markets are still going on until December 1) where we could try to move some stuff, to essentially make room for more stuff. Alarm went off at 4am. Groan. Pitch black outside, damp and freezing cold @ 31 degrees.

31 Degrees at Game Time!

Fortunately, we had packed both cars the night before so we were ready to travel to Rowley, arriving at 5am under the cloak of darkness. We were ushered to a row of parking spaces marked with orange cones, next to the lovely Lisa from Rita Joes Vintage, who was already set up and ready to sell! As we began untying the ropes to take down our display tables from the roof of the car, we noticed flashing lights in the foggy distance,

Flashlight Posse

reminiscent of an old western where the sheriff and his posse are desperately searching for the escaped fugitive. The only things missing were the baying bloodhounds. An amazing and surreal sight. And simply AWESOME. These were the many dealers with head lamps and flashlights swarming the incoming vehicles,

Dealers checking cars

checking the interiors for hidden treasures and asking “any old toys, any old artwork?”

Dealers at Dawn

 So once we set up shop,

Its A Sign

I strolled around to take a few photos as the sun began to rise over the fields.

Todds Farm Truck At Dawn

Pink sky at morning…

Pink Sky at Morning

Finally in daylight, I was able to see what some of the other vendors were offering, and discovered a few of my favorite things:

A very jaunty Mr. Snowman

Frosty the Snowman

I have never seen a mannequin like this one, but I would be happy every day if I had her in my dressing room…

Laughing Manequin

This is an entire Marionette’s traveling road show suitcase.

Marrionette Suitcase

As the breaking daylight illuminated the quickly-occupied fields, it became apparent that there are many levels of sellers. Those, like us, who packed their mini vans and SUV’s with household wares and crafts,

Mini Van Unloading

and then there are those who press their company trucks and vans into service for the day.

Junk Removal TruckAnd then there are the big guns, the vendors who we see every time we shop at Todd Farm, with large cargo vans

Unloading vanand trailers packed to the rafters with furniture and goods.

Unloading trucksI love the Christmas vignette from this vendor with the antique sleigh and vintage life sized Santa…Holly Lane…Ho Ho Ho!

Holly LaneIf you happen to be searching for anything unusual, like an antique circus wagon

Circus Wagonor a weathered stone mermaid,

Mermaid of Stoneor a box of gorgeous bright blue bulbs from an airport runway,

Blue Bulbs

Todd Farm is the place for you! And if you are interested in selling some of your prized possessions, they make it so easy. You drive up, park your car, pay your $35 and you are in business! Just remember, the early bird gets the worm,

Early Bird with Wormso getting there before daybreak is the best way to showcase your wares to dozens of dealers before the general public arrives. As for Coach, what exactly did he sell? The signs in the above photo? Pretty much gone. As a matter of fact, some of the old metal auto and cigar signs were purchased by another vendor who promptly walked across the pathway and resold them in his booth! Shades of Killer Stuff and Tons of Money.

Market Tasco SignThose antique coffee grinder wheels we scored at The Elephant Trunk? Sold.

Enterprise Coffee Grinder WheelsThis antique retro table with the cool graphics. Gone to a good home. Top included, just not in the photo.

Retro Rocket TableThis gorgeous aqua metal trunk? Sold. (That one killed me. I loved that thing! But just had no where to put it!)

Market Aqua Steel BoxCoach did alright selling his stuff, and I loved the people-watching, the photo-taking, getting rid of a bunch of stuff and the donuts from the canteen truck that was conveniently situated nearby. The amazing Marty’s donuts. OMG.

Marty's DonutAnd since Coach did so great selling his finds, I think we have may have just found his new summer job! But for now, it’s time to get out there and find some new stuff to sell! Happy treasure hunting, everyone! Susan

Stenciled Sign-Make Your Own!

Merry Christmas Sign HGTV

With stenciled holiday signs being so popular this season, I decided to decorate an old pine box for the market. The trouble with pre-made and purchased stencils? There are only a limited number of fonts available with the letter stencils.

Stencil PileSometimes a 3″ Times New Roman or a 2″

Arialwon’t do the trick. Also, the pre-made ones that have specific sayings and designs can be quite pricey, even with a coupon from your favorite local crafts store! You can order custom stencils online as well, but again, the price could be prohibitive for one project. Unless you are planning on making a ton of signs with the same design, it is difficult to justify spending upwards of $30 on a large pre-cut stencil for just one creation. So, I decided to try a do-it-myself stencil with stuff I already had in my workshop. Success! This is the “how-I-did-it”: Tools you will need: regular copy paper, printer (ink or laser, doesn’t matter), plastic sheet protectors

Sheet Protectorsor transparency film,

Transparency Filmspray craft bond (the kind that is temporary and moveable, like this Elmer’s),

Elmers Craft Bondan X-acto knife, razor cutter or small sharp scissors, a cutting surface (I used an old sewing cutting mat) scotch or any transparent tape, paint and stenciling sponge or brush and, most importantly,  a pattern or idea for the design.

Stenciling Supplies

Step 1: On my Paint program on the desktop, I found the font I wanted and created the sign I needed: Pine Cones 5c. Saved the file. You can use your own favorite program and be as elaborate as you like as long as you can print it out and cut it out.

Pasting Together Stencil Pieces

Step 2: Go to Blockposters.com

Blockposters.com

and download your file. It is easy and free! They customize your sign to whatever size you need. In this case, I needed a long narrow horizontal sign, so it printed out on four pieces of paper. Print it out. Cut apart the words and tape them back together with the correct order and spacing to fit.

Stencil Cut To SizeStep 3: Take the plastic sheets and cut and tape them to the same size as the paper sign.

Cutting Stencil with T-squareYou may need more than one sheet of plastic, depending on the size of the sign you are making. Use the scotch tape to piece together.

Sign Adhered to Plastic

Step 4: Spray the craft bond to the back of the transparent plastic sheet and adhere that to the paper pattern, front side up, so you can see the print. Make sure it is solidly in place there are no wrinkles!

Elmers Craft BondStep 5: Take your razor cutter or knife, or scissors if you don’t have those, and cut out the stencil. (Yikes! Looking at this pic I realized how rusty that razor is! And no, that is not my blood on the mat…)

Cutting on Mat BoardRemember, when you are stenciling, you need the little middles of the round letters to have some definition! You can do one of two things: leave a small line attached to the middle piece, or cut it away completely.

Cutting Out Whole LettersKeep the little middle pieces and glue them onto the piece separately before you paint. Cut Out Letters CloseupStep 6: Once your stencil is cut to your liking, you can peel away the white paper pattern in the back and that will leave the plastic stencil.

Stencil 5c cut

Or you can leave it on, as long as it is adhered solidly. Now spray the back of the stencil lightly and press it onto your prepared piece, making sure you press firmly along the cut lines so the paint doesn’t bleed underneath.

Step 7: Paint inside the cut stencil areas. I actually started with a base of spray paint, then added layers til I got the look and color I wanted. You can use spray paint, or a damp sponge or an actual flat stencil pouncing brush with acrylic paint, whatever you have available (if you have never stenciled before, then you might want to check this out for more details.)

Step 8: Stand back and admire : ) Stencil on Box Completed Cute, right?! Now, I realize this is a lot of steps, but I wanted to make sure I covered all of the bases. This is actually quite simple, and allows you the flexibility to create whatever style stencil you want or need for your specific project! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask here or drop me a line @ countrydesignhome@gmail.com. And if you do create a project with your own design, please send it to me or post on my Facebook page-can’t wait to see them!  Happy stenciling Saturday, everyone! Susan

The Crompton Collective

A few blogs ago, I wrote about a road trip out to Signature Finishes in No. Grafton to pick up some Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. While there, I also traveled into Worcester (pronounced “Woos’tah, for those of you not from the Boston area) to visit the Crompton Collective,

Crompton Placea collection of local artisans and vintage vendors housed in a beautifully renovated brick mill building in the canal district. The Collective is the brainchild of Amy Chase,

Amy Chasewho also owns Haberdash Vintage, America’s very first mobile vintage shop and she is a co-founder of The Swapaholics-quite a resume! You enter the Crompton Collective store through the pretty fancy lobby of Crompton Place, go down the stairs (just follow the antique signs), but once inside the Collective you feel as if you have stepped into someone’s vintage home

Fire King China Set

and an antique parlor wrapped in the warm glow of lace and lamplight.

Lace Window Vignette

The store is separated into 70+ loosely defined vendor spaces,

Vintage China Cupboardeach one offering unique,

vintage

Transformational Divas Dressersrepurposed

Simple Home Life

re-loved

Scrabble Cupboard

items for sale.

Reclaimed and Resalvaged

At every turn, I spotted lovingly repainted,

Painted Pine Commode

refurbished furniture

Antique Therapy

and home decor accessories,

Antler Table

as well as one-of-a-kind pieces (cocktail table from an old drum? Brilliant!)

Drum Cocktail Table

and this bit of Americana created from old license plates.

Reclaimed and Resalvaged Flag

One of my absolute favorite spaces was The Junk Drawer

The Junk Drawer

The owner created this cozy, welcoming booth that was completely packed with inspired goods.

The Junk Drawer Sign

Have you ever seen a vintage lamp with a shade made of crumpled old sewing patterns?! Perfectly poufy Beehive ‘do!

Junk Drawer Sewing Pattern Lampshade

How about a hot pink deer head? (Had I seen that first, I might have altered my color palette for the bathroom reno…)

Junk Drawer Pink Deer

From there, I ventured into the Haberdash space,

Haberdash Vintage

chock full of fabulous vintage clothing and accessories.

Haberdash Faux Fur

Of course, this was back in October, so the fur coat seemed unnecessary, but after those snow flurries yesterday, I may need to return to grab it! This is a co-operative shop that you need to walk through at least a few times, Transformational Divas Cupboard

there is so much to take in! Stopped short in my tracks when I spotted these letters in the window.

LOVE sign Flea Circus

Offered for rent for weddings and showers and happy occasions, I can imagine that they are well-used and LOVED in each venue they are featured. No gift purchases made today, it was Halloween season, but I did grab my Eulalie’s Sky Milk Paint from the Signature Finishes booth.

Signature Finishes Milk Paint

But now that the holiday shopping season is upon us, it is definitely worth a trip back to the Crompton Collective to see the shops decked out in their holiday finery.

Antique Mason Jar Candle Holder

They are at 138 Green Street, Worcester, MA. Have a wander-ful Wednesday everyone, and if you happen into the Crompton Collective, tell Amy that Sue from Country Design Home sent you! Susan

The Thanksgiving Table

This past weekend, I was definitely caught off-guard at the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market, because I was dreaming of Thanksgiving table arrangements instead of a White Christmas! Now that the market weekend is done, the task at hand draws near: Thanksgiving, which I am once again hosting, is a mere 2 1/2 weeks away!

Thanksgiving-6

That’s a lot of planning in a short time, but I am up to the challenge, as Thanksgiving truly is my favorite holiday. It’s all about getting together with family and friends and sharing dinner and spending time together without the shopping and gift-giving angst that accompanies the December holiday. This year, we will be dining inside, so hats and gloves are optional. (If you are late to this blog party, you can read about last year’s dinner on the porch here : ).

Porch Full View Country Design HomeI started searching online for some rustic table arrangement inspiration that I could use for this year’s feast. There are so many amazing options, but refined rustic country is my style, so that’s the look I am going for: earthy with a bit of bling. Burlap and pumpkins, silver and shine. Here are a few of my favorite vignettes: From La La Linen.blogspot. comes this outdoor farmhouse feast. I adore the single long table with the mismatched chairs. Definitely not going outside this year, but if we were…

lalalinenThe stacked cut logs scattered with pine cones and mason jar candles are simple and charming from Tips from Town. Definitely in the running! I have plenty of jars, and woods across the street from my house with loads of fallen trees and logs.

Tips From Town

The pumpkin stuffed with fall-hued roses from Jenny Steffens Blogspot would make a perfect centerpiece. Love that it’s sitting on a silver tray. Pumpkins and shine.

JennySteffens Blogspot

From I Love Farm Weddings.Com comes this amazing table scape. The white plates and flowers against the rough hewn farmhouse walls is brilliant. A wedding table or Thanksgiving table? Does it really matter?!

ilovefarmweddings

This Rustic Glam Tablescape on HomeTalk.com is from Sophia’s Decor Blogspot. Many natural elements with a touch of gold bling. Great contrasts of black and white and gold.

Sofia's Rustic Glam

These pastel pumpkins create a dramatic centerpiece for this dining table from Miss Mustard Seed for HGTV. Eulalie the cow is resting comfortably, knowing that beef is not the traditional Thanksgiving meal!

HGTV Marian Parsons

Although these are not traditional Thanksgiving colors in New England, anyway, I am loving the chocolate brown and aqua with punches of orange for contrast! On each plate is a white wishbone. Cute idea from The Inspired Room.

CelebrationsAtHomeBlog

This table setting from Between Naps on the Porch is the perfect combination of rustic and shine. White porcelain turkeys, natural elements like berries and corn, silver and crystal serving pieces. Refined rustic with a touch of bling. Now if only I had 14 of those individual white turkey soup tureens I’d be all set!

Between Naps On The Porch

If I lived in the desert…from Apartment Therapy. Stunning.

Apartment Therapy

If this were my room with the incredible fireplace, every meal. Every day. The white vignette in contrast to the rustic hearth, farmhouse table and high backed leather chairs. A perfect dining experience from Accent On Design.

Accent On Design.net

And for dessert, pie. In pie-shaped boxes. With wood forks. From Southern Living. I am so doing that.

Southern Living.com Pie Favors

So I am off to a good start. I have some great decorating ideas for the upcoming holiday. Now I just have to get organized, figure out which of these decorations I will go with, get a guest list together, send out the invites, make a grocery list for Coach and choose some carpeting for the Hall of Shame project (we’re getting closer!) Piece of cake…or pie.  Susan

Seasonal Scenes from the Market

This weekend marks the November edition of the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market, Farmhouse Holiday.

Stockings Were Hung

It seems like we just wrapped the October show with pumpkins and Halloween, and here we are barreling into the holiday season!

VTM November

I was blown away when I walked through the double red doors

Joy

on Friday morning. So much sparkle and Christmas cheer!

Pink Tree and Santa

(Of course, I was thinking Thanksgiving, not Christmas, because I am most definitely a one-holiday-at-a-time kind of gal.

Country Design Home

So when I conceptualized my booth, I was planning Thanksgiving dinner and making pies! So my space is a little less sparkly

Green Tree Sparkle

and Santa-inspired than many others…

Santas Clogs

but I am pulling out my cans of sparkly snow and adding some bling for the December market!)

Get Your Holiday On

If you haven’t made it to the Vintage Thymes Market yet

Berries in Barrel

and I can’t imagine why not!?!

Skates and Skis

This month’s market is a great introduction

Christmas Country

to view all of the extremely talented artists,

Simplify

craftsmen

Fleurish Home and Garden

and designers

Screen Door Vignette

who create amazing pieces for their magazine-worthy vignettes,

Peace on Earth

using simply vintage everyday items that they’ve dolled up and made beautiful,

Baby It's Cold Outside

and it’s all for sale : ) Something for everyone on your shopping list!

Fleurish Home SIlver

The Vintage Thymes Market is open today, Saturday from 9-6 and tomorrow, Sunday from 12-5.

Owl in Snow

And owl be seeing  you in December! Susan

Signature Finishes

It’s Wanderlust Wednesday, and this week we are off to North Grafton, Massachusetts to visit the fabulous antiques, vintage furniture and home decor shop, Signature Finishes.

Signature Finishes Maureen Bane

Owned and operated by the lovely Maureen Bane, Signature Finishes is the nearest vendor to me for Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paints and finishes. And since I was on the hunt for my “Eulalie’s Sky” milk paint,

MMS Eulalie's Sky sampler

a recent road trip was in order. All of the pieces for sale in the shop have been expertly and artistically rescued and refurbished by Maureen,

Signature Finishes Arch Window Vignette

and she offers several workshops on how to achieve that “instantly antiqued” look using her paints and finishes.

Signature Finishes Green Desk

Stocked on her shelves are two lines of paints for both the the novice and accomplished DIY’er.

Paint Cupboard

The first, Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint, is available in a powdered form that you mix at home with water. (Remember my Mixing Milk Paint Misstep?

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint

Perhaps I should have taken the class before I attempted to mix the paint with my cake mixer!?) The newer line is Paint Couture, a pre-mixed, self-priming, matte finish paint that is available in the most gorgeous country colors-perfect for refurbishing an antique or “junk-tique” piece.

Paint Couture Samples

Along with the paints, Maureen also offers many one-of-a-kind decorative

Signature Finishes Vintage Tablescape

and gift items.

Signature Finishes Store View

LOVE these amazing canvas and leather tote bags,

Signature Finishes Canvas Totes

and these candles and soaps by Sweet Grass Farm.,

Sweet Grass Farm Products

and this beautiful vintage glassware-you’ll be sure to find something for everyone on your holiday shopping list!

Signature Finishes Glasses and Trays

So if you have a piece of old furniture that you would like to put your “signature finish” on, make sure to visit Signature Finishes in North Grafton. It’s right off 495 near Worcester, and you won’t believe the incredible scenery along the way!

Signature Finishes Scenery

Tell Maureen “hello” from Sue @ Country Design Home, and have a wanderful Wednesday, everyone! Susan

Mixing Milk Paint Misstep

This past week I have been working on quite a few pieces for the upcoming Vintage Thymes Market in November. It’s fun, other than the fact that my house looks like a bomb hit it-I have bits and pieces of projects going on everywhere!

Family Room WorkshopThe smaller pieces I can do in my basement workshop, but the big pieces stay upstairs. Man, I really, really, really do need a studio! For my current project, I decided to use my Miss Mustard Seed’s “Eulalie’s Sky” Milk Paint for the back of a beautiful step-back cupboard I am working on.

Cupboard Back BeforeI read the instructions and set out my necessary tools: air-tight container, measuring cup, warm water, bag of milk paint, mixer-what?!?

Milk Paint Mixing ToolsYup, a mixer. You see, milk paint comes in powdered form, in much the same consistency as powdered milk we used to use as kids when we ran out of regular milk. (I can’t help but notice that in this advertisement, they are using a cocktail stirrer to mix the milk. Those were some crazy times…)

Non Fat Dry MilkInterestingly, when I first opened the package, it appeared to be white.

Mustard Seed Paint PowderUh, oh, I thought, they put the wrong color in here! But once I added the water, the magic began. Now, according to the instructions I had read, this paint needs to be blended for 3-5 minutes, which makes sense, to break up all the powder bits and get them blended smoothly.

Mixing Paint with MixerAnd it says you could use a blended or a stirrer stick. Well, my blended is reserved solely for frozen margaritas, so not using that! And, standing there for 5 minutes stirring paint didn’t seem like all that much fun, so I decided to use a single whisk on my mixer. FAIL. BIG FAIL. I should have stopped once I noticed that my paint was looking more like a blue vanilla frappe than a bucket of paint, but I didn’t. So once the 5 minutes were up, I had this:

Blue Frappe

A big container of frothy blue milk. You cannot paint with blue bubbles. I repeat, you cannot paint with blue bubbles. So, I put it in the fridge for awhile to allow it to settle-it is milk paint, after all! Once I removed it, it looked a lot less frothy, so I attempted to paint the cupboard. While it was actually useable, the color was very sheer, obviously from the aeration still present.

First Coat SheerIf I had wanted it to have a stained appearance, it would have been perfect. So I waited awhile, stirred up the paint again with a stick to smooth, then added a second coat.

Breaking Down the FoamBetter, but still kind of streaky and with a lot of color variation.

Second Coat Milk Paint

So, then I went online and watched all of the Miss Mustard Seed Tutorials to make sure I was doing this correctly.

Miss Mustard Seed Video

(You would have thought it would’ve been a no-brainer to do that first, right?) And I was doing it right, with that one fatal flaw-frothing the paint first. That was most definitely NOT in the tutorial. Oh, well, another DIY lesson learned. One more coat, and now the color is deep and true on the inside of the cupboard.

Final Coat Eulalie's Sky

And, although there are variations and some streaks, it gives the piece some striations and depth of color-much like the sky itself. (I took this from my car yesterday-so beautiful!)

Rainbow Sky PM

Now I just have to finish the rest of it! And I will, while watching the Red Sox Duck Boat Parade from the comfort of our family room  paint workshop. In the meantime, anyone got a studio for rent? Happy weekend, everyone! Susan

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