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Vintage Milk Paint Dresser…My newest love

People ask me all the time “So is your house full of your vintage items?”  The answer may be surprising…but, no, it actually is not. My husband is very “Western” like in the cowboy sense…or at least he used to be when we built our home, so most of our decor is  natural woods, lots of earth tones, etc. Now don’t get me wrong, my girls’ room is vintaged out in white and turquoise, vintage dresser,  and so on, as well as I have little things here and there such as vintage books, antique kitchen decor, and a vintage distressed dresser that serves as an entry table. I refurbish so much for “work” that I am just  too tired to do my own furniture 🙂  Great problem to have, so I am thankful for this “problem”!


I am getting better about keeping pieces I fall in love with though, or knowing the instant I find a piece if it is going to be a keeper.  For example, this desk below was just what I was looking for and from the moment I saw it, I knew I was going to love “her” for quite some time! I really wanted to have “my own” space in our bedroom where I could craft, blog, or just work in general.  However, our bedroom has kind of an odd shape with funny nooks here and there due to our large furniture inside this odd layout.  So, the desk had to be small, yet functional. Enter this beauty:



I apologize I did not get a “before” picture, however I am still trying to get into this blog groove! This desk had a beautiful shape, a beautiful “natural” wood shinning through its chipping stain, and the coolest part?? It is collapsible!! Yes, collapsible! The top can fold down and the sides can fold in for “flat” storage. It is so amazing because this thing is OLD and is all done with these really cool vintage hinges.  Since it was already such a beauty in it’s rough state, I really did not want to cover her in paint, plus I needed some natural wood-like finish for it to match our current decor.  Here is the process I used from start to finish.


This piece had a lacquered finish, with some minor peeling, so I sanded the entire piece with an electric sander. I sanded it as lightly as I could with the electric sander, as I wanted some of the natural wood and wear to be seen.   It was in really good shape, so I did not have to do any filler, gluing, etc (Hallelujah!!!)   I then took Antique White Milk paint and painted the legs and body ONLY.   This piece was so chippy on its own that the milk paint just stuck to it perfectly and after one coat, I knew I had made the right choice.  I let that dry and then applied a second coat of milk paint. This piece had such a desirable distressed look to it that I did not have to put the milk paint on perfectly. I even used a brush and let my brush strokes show.  I then let the paint dry over night just because I was exhausted…I know, not very professional, but midnight at night months pregnant seems more like an all nighter!!!  The next morning, I took 220 grit sand paper and went over the entire body and legs, really focusing on the most distressed areas.  I then took tinted brown wax and waxed the ENTIRE piece…I did the and drawers to bring out that natural darker stain of the wood. I wanted the natural wood parts to really show its age and enhance it’s beauty…also to seal and protect it.  I then applied  the wax over the milk paint, really focusing on bringing out the more distressed areas.  The most  fabulous part of wax is that it really lays into the texture of the paint and draws out the areas that have been distressed, making it look so natural. Really rub it in and work it over your entire piece thoroughly.  To finish the piece out, I let the wax sit for 2-3 hours and then I buffed it down with a clean, lint free rag.  TA-DA…it really was easy and I am hoping you can see her beauty in the  picture below (yes, it is crooked and the light is not the most desirable, but hopefully you can still see its form and finish)!!!


This beauty is exactly what I wanted and it fits perfectly in our space.  I know I should probably sell it since that is what I do, but I love her and am already attached 🙂 


Happy Painting and I hope you find your own beauty in all that you do!


Fun Spring Project: Butterfly Wreath

When I decided to leave my full time job to be a full time mommy and work full-time growing Southern Charm Designs, there had to be sacrifices made financially. No more commission checks=no more shopping whenever I wanted. I LOVE Pottery Barn (who doesn’t??), but there are many times their merchandise is just not in […]

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Please follow our new blog!

Please head over to to read our newest post on liquid milk paint and creating a planter from an old dresser!!!  We will stop updating this site very soon!

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New Blog Address!!!

Please add my new blog to your Blog Roll! I will not be updating this one any longer.  I am kind of sad to see it go, but I’ve been working on a different format for a while now and it is finally up and ready! You can now follow us at:   Thank […]

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My First Milk Paint Experience…

Well, I tried it! After reading so much about milk paint and how it finishes out so nice, I HAD to give it a go.  I bought a package of white milk paint from WoodCraft (on May) in OKC.  I will say that next time, I will probably order online from Homestead as WoodCraft was […]

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Painting Workshops now available!

Southern Charm Designs now has painting workshops available!!!  I have spent a lot of time reflecting on how I want to grow Southern Charm Designs, my overall goals and what part of this business I love the most. All leads back to refinishing, painting, and teaching.  To be very honest, painting became a life saver […]

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Give-A-Way Time!

We hit 1,000 hits on our blog yesterday, so it is time to show our gratitude!!!! All The Juicy Details:    Enter to win either a Private Painting Workshop ($135 value!)  OR a CeCe Caldwell’s Clay and Chalk Paint 4 oz. Color Sample 4-Pack (in colors of your choice).   There will be one winner for each prize! We will choose the two […]

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Project of the Day…Refinishing Picture Frames

One of my favorite, quick projects is to redo a picture or mirror frame.  It is simple, quick, and takes few materials (for solid wood frames that is)…if you are working with plastic or metal, there are a few steps I would do differently and I will cover that at the bottom of the post. First, […]

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Why I share…

Today’s post was going to be about refinishing picture frames, but after some interesting questions and  much thought into this process, I thought I’d answer questions as to why I share tutorials, or tips I find useful.  So all of you interested in refinishing picture frames, come back and read all about the process on Wednesday 🙂 […]

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