Monday, April 8, 2013

Milk Painted Dresser with Hand Planed Wood Top

Hi there!  Hope you had a good weekend.  Things were pretty low key around here.  My hubby has been sick and I am really hoping I don't get it.  It was mostly rainy (shocking in WA state) with a few sun breaks.  My tulips are just about to bloom.  I love spring.  You can see in the photos I have some weed killing to do in the driveway.

Here's a dresser I've been working on.  I went with Milk Paint because this piece had the perfect finish for it.  It had an old worn varnish that wasn't super shiny.  After applying two coats of milk paint(no bonding agent) it chipped just a little here and there and adhered well everywhere else.  Perfect.  My plan was to paint it Miss Mustard Seed's Shutter Gray then maybe do a stencil or hand painted design in Ironstone on the front drawers.  But then, 

Do you see the line around the drawers?  There was a dark detail line painted on the original dresser and the Milk Paint chipped all along the line.  It's hard to see in the photos but it looks really cool in person.  It was just enough.  No need for a stencil, I loved what the Paint did itself. 

I was excited because Milk Paint can be a bit unpredictable and then I noticed an issue with the top.  All the experts say don't buy furniture with veneer problems to refurbish because it will take too much time.  (and frustrate the heck out of you which will also effect your productivity)  I don't normally buy things with veneer issues but I really liked this piece.  Also it was one of those times when I needed something to paint.  It was solid, clean inside, dove tailed drawers, nice existing hardware, annnnd had great feet.  

All very good things.  Only a tiny little veneer issue on the top.  Or so I thought.  Sometimes you can just fill little veneer problems with wood filler and after painting and distressing they look fine.  Not this time.  This piece had veneer, then another thin layer of wood, then the top it has now.  The moisture from the paint made the thin layer under the veneer were I put wood filler bubble up.  I didn't bubble until I painted it.  I thought I was done.    

So what to do?  I was a little irritated so I started scraping off the veneer and the thin layer underneath the veneer with a putty knife.  I should have stopped and used either a heat gun or wet towels or something but I didn't and there were some gouges when I was done.  No problem I will just bring on the wood filler again.   

The new plan for top was after the wood filler drys, stain the whole top then apply a coat of hemp oil, then milk paint.  Did you know that hemp oil can be used as a resist technique for milk paint?  It works great.  You can layer milk paint colors that way too.   Just apply hemp oil to surface (bare wood, stained wood, existing paint) let it dry then apply milk paint.  I've used it several times and it has always chipped for me.  

But then surprise after I stained it I loved how the stained gouged top looked.  Except it needed more gouges so I used my little hand wood planer to make more scrapie gouges.  Yes I did.  

Here's what my little planer looks like.  Just a cheap one nothing fancy.  I ran the planer along the top here and there until I got the look I wanted.  I started with the blade barely out then pushed it out farther to get a little more gouging. 

Then a little more filler.

Then re-stained. 

Then used hemp oil to seal it.  Done. ;) 

It's a process, painting furniture. Just gotta roll with it.  It really sounds like it took forever but I did each step in between other projects (and yes it did kind of take forever.)  I think it looks cool.   

Hopefully someone else will love the look as much as I do if not I can just paint over the hemp oil finish with some more milk paint and it will chip and look fabulous.  Or I have a new dresser.  Either way.  

So would you buy furniture with veneer issues?  To be honest I probably will again but not for awhile.  I am happy to say I found three pieces this weekend all of which have no veneer issues. 

One time I bought a beautiful empire style dresser for cheap because it had a really bad veneer top. I noticed that the top unscrewed so I just flipped it over.  Perfect new top ;)  So look for screws before you pass it up. 

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  1. OMG could I use a hand planer to scrape paint off my dining room table top?? Would that work or be, like a whole year's worth of scraping? How well does it work?

    Please tell me I have my solution!

    ps your piece looks magnificent. Sorry I got sidetracked on the planer...

  2. love the way this turned out and the top is gorgeous!

  3. I'm loving how it turned out. Such a unique look to it now. I have my grandfather's planer and I love using it. It makes me feel like he's standing right there with me. :)

  4. I too find it charming and love the natural look of the top.

  5. Wow what a great job you did. Thanks so much for sharing maybe now I will try it.
    Have a great week.

  6. I love the way every imperfection turned out. You were lucky this time ;)

  7. This is gorgeous! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Love yours and can't wait to stay awhile. New follower!

  8. Hi Mimi, thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. I love some of your furniture redo's. New follower.

  9. I LOVE it...that finish on the top is beautiful!!

  10. I love the way the top turned out! And a perfect candidate for milk paint! Nicely done!

  11. Beautiful. I love how you left the top natural!

  12. Love the contrast of the dark wood against the shutter grey! The top is gorgeous - I like imperfection in my pieces. After all they are old!!

  13. I think the top looks beautiful, too. The whole piece is absolutely gorgeous!

  14. looks great! I don't "buy" furniture very much... but if the price was right..veneer doesn't bother me. I've dealt with it in so many different ways. :) hey, that sounds like a take 2 tuesday post.... bad veneer.

    the dresser (chest of drawers) looks fabulous!!!


  15. I really love it! The top is beautiful!

  16. It really looks awesome. I can relate with a piece taking foooeeevvvaaaa! You do just have to roll with it. Found you via MMS. Congrats on being featured for FFF.

    Cheers, Lisa Jayne

  17. Looks great! Damaged veneer is a real pain to deal with but my it's kind of our specialty-my husband and I refinish furniture and get decent deals for the more damaged pieces. I came from Miss Mustard Seed after seeing your beautiful work. After reading your about me page, I think we have a lot in common-I'm 30, married to my best friend, adore my 2 pups, love to repurpose and thrift..and my husband and I are always using the motto that you have to take things apart to make them better. So, it's nice to meet you!

  18. I am anxious to try shutter grey, it looks like it has quite a bit of blue in it-at least thats how it looks on my computer. Is it more blue than grey. Love the finished piece by the way!

  19. I just saw this post on hometalk. I think the top is great! Fantastic that you gouged and scraped some more to 'fix' your problem :)

  20. Many homes are enhanced with Shuttering Oil.Some are actually functional, while most are simply decorative.Because shutters are prone to damage from wind,pests and sun exposure, many homeowners wonder whether they can be repainted.Fortunately, most shutters, whether aluminum, vinyl or wood, can be repainted with a small investment of time and money.

  21. Love this dresser! Quick question- what brand/colour stain did you use on the dresser top? I love it!


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