Now comes the fun part of a furniture makeover…..painting! I personally love to paint….all the steps prior to this are to make sure when I paint I have an almost perfect base to start with. As you know I have chosen to paint the outside of this with Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Grain Sack, I actually teach Milk Paint classes so I know a lot about this paint and I will go over a little here but really the best source is Miss Mustard Seed herself, she has her own You Tube channel which has lots of videos showing her working with the paint.
Like I said in my last post in this series I have special plans for the drawers on this dresser. I decided to paint a herringbone pattern on the two large drawers and leave the three smaller drawers unpainted. I will be giving you tips on how I get such crisp stripes when painting furniture. When I am painting stripes on drawers I always line them up together on the ground as they would be when in the dresser, this way I know all the stripes will line up. However, this one proved difficult to do that with as one of the drawers was deeper than the other so I had to place them in the dresser to paint them (if you have to do this make sure you can get them back out again without the handles).
Because I am doing a herringbone pattern I needed a middle point so I decided to paint a thin line down the middle of each of the drawers. To do this I simply measured to find the middle and placed masking tape either side of this.
One of the key factors in getting crisp stripes without bleeding is to make sure you burnish the edges, I use two techniques. First I use my finger to make sure the edges are firmly embedded into the grain, the second technique I will show you further in the post. Look out for bumps and grooves in the grain.
I then painted inside the masking tape.
I painted a few coats and then slowly peeled off the masking tape.
I did this on both of the larger drawers.
Next I am going to show you how to make a herringbone pattern by only making three measurements. I am fairly lazy and if I don’t have to measure I won’t so I worked out a way around measuring. I have seen people do this with a million measurements, I am just not that kind of girl! Before I continue the masking tape I used is the one pictured below, it is the thicker of the two I use.
I place the first piece of masking tape without making a measurement, it is all about the angle I wanted.
As you can see I lined this first one up with the middle line and then just used my eyes to determine the angle and pressed it down. The trick I use to avoid measuring is to use a piece of masking tape as a spacer, making sure I line it up with the last piece.
Then I place my next piece right next to the spacer piece, before removing the spacer.
You keep doing this all the way down the drawer.
Next the top part is done by making one measurement on the first piece of masking tape you applied (see measure here below) and then us that measurement to make a mark on the top part (see mark here) and then place your masking tape (see blue section). As you can see we are doing the opposite on the top.
For the next drawer I changed the direction so the herringbone was pointing the opposite way (just to mix it up a little). You now need to make your next second measurement (same as your first one) this time we mark on the lower part on the top drawer, then use that to place your first piece of masking tape and then use a spacer piece of masking tape to place the rest.
To do the top part of the top drawer make a final measurement (really all the measurements you are doing should come out the same, but when you do measure it is always best to double check) then mark that measurement at the top of the drawer. Use your spacer masking tape to place the rest of your masking tape.
Though I didn’t time myself it took me about an hour to do this (just in case you were wondering). Before I paint I always burnish the edges (twice) I go over the masking tape edges, where the paint will touch with an eraser (yes, an ordinary eraser – I stole my daughters – hehe – again we only use high-end gear here!).
You will be left with the eraser residue, just rub it off.
Additional information you may find helpful when working with masking tape is to avoid getting dust or dirt in the tape and make sure it is smooth with no creases. All of this makes a difference when you want your lines crisp without bleeding. Finally, when painting I paint from the masking tape down onto the wood. Don’t paint from the wood back into the masking tape edge as this will push the paint under your masking tape. I use a small brush here only because I was working in such small areas.
Do this all along the edge before doing the middle.
This is what it looks like after one coat of Milk Paint. This is completely normal, I had to do three coats to get full coverage.
Then the magic happens when you remove the masking tape! YEY!!! It is both exciting and scary removing the tape because I can NEVER guarantee, no matter how careful I am, that I will not get any bleed through. In this case I did have one teeny tiny spot that only I will notice, but overall I have beautifully clean lines. Another technique you can use for getting crisp lines is outlined on this tutorial by Reeves at The Weathered Door, it is a great technique and works really well for her as she regularly works with geometric shapes.
Next I painted the body. When working with MMS Milk Paint I ALWAYS use Bonding Agent, this is personal taste as I DO NOT like chipping. I am a control freak and I want to be able to control how much distressing occurs on my pieces of furniture. I have painted without bonding agent and I still hate that piece. I am sure someone will ask me why I use Milk Paint if I don’t like chipping….well I actually LOVE working with Milk Paint, I love mixing it and how it works with the wood rather than against it, there is something beautiful about Milk Paint that makes it like no other paint.
When painting with a lighter colour over dark timber always expect to do several coats. As you mix Milk Paint by hand from a powdered form you can never get it really smooth so you may get lumps or little bits of grain. Because of this I always give the piece a light sand (22o grit) by hand before doing subsequent coats. Below shows the side of the dresser after one coat. What I love about Milk Paint is that you do not need to worry about brush strokes, I know you can see them here, but they will disappear with the next coat and once you sand you get a beautiful smooth finish.
The first coat is really where it gets worse before it gets better! I always hate this stage….but I know once the second coat goes on it will look beautiful. You just have to persevere. In the next part I will show you how I finish the drawers and seal the paint. If you wan to go back and check out earlier posts, follow these links:
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