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 our budget. So thankfully, there are lots of creative people out there who share their talent on Pintrest.  Here is a project, originally shared from TatorTots and Jello (which you need book mark! Such a great site!)

Here is the picture of inspiration from Pottery Barn:

Here is the my version and what you’ll need to make your own!

SUPPLIES:  Grapevine Wreath (use Hobby Lobby’s 40% coupon and you can get for $3.00)

2-3 Bags of Super Moss


Glitter dust (optional)

Spray Adhesive  (optional)

Hot Glue Gun and glue

Ribbon to hang (I used burlap ribbon)

Simply take the super moss and hot glue it around the grapevine wreath. It comes in sheets, so it is very easy to simply wrap around and glue.  Next, I chose to spray the butterflies with spray adhesive, then dusted them with some silver and iridescent glitter dust just to make them a bit more detailed than the off-the-shelf butterflies.  I let them dry for about 5-10 minutes.  You can then attach them using hot glue or wire. I chose to use hot glue as that is what I had on hand.  To finish it up, you simply add a ribbon to the back (again, I attached with hot glue) to hang it!

WORD OF ADVICE: I had read another post on this about using loose moss around the edges of the wreath, so in the picture above, you can see I tried that…I DO NOT RECOMMEND using the loose moss. It is much messier and every time I moved the wreath, so went the loose moss. Plus it added almost too much dimension in random spots.

This project is super simple, super fast (less than 30 minutes!), and very inexpensive (I spent  $9.36, which did not include the hot glue or ribbon I already on hand).

Here is the original post from Tator Tots and Jello!


Make today a creative one and happy crafting!



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!

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 you and happy days!

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 almost too much of a “man’s man” place and they kept telling me I wanted something else…an almost $20 MORE something else.  Other than that, I was excited to get started.  So, here is the process I used from start to finish.

Step 1:  Prepping your piece

Milk Paint will adhere  to porous surfaces without sanding or priming, however, for less porous surfaces, experts recommend you use a milk paint bonding agent.  You can normally buy this where ever you buy milk paint.

My step 1 was priming the piece I was painting. This table was a nasty, nasty Texas burnt orange color…and you know how us Oakies feel about Texas orange…so I primed it with a coat of Killz first to ensure that color did not come through. I did not invest in a bonding agent since the table I was working on was so scuffed up and I really wanted to keep that look, versus sanding it out and making it smooth.

Step 2:  Mixing the Milk Paint

This was the un-fun part.  Milk Paint comes in two varieties (or two that I know of): liquid or powder form.  I chose to use the powder form for no other reason other than it was less expensive and I wanted to make sure I liked it before making a larger investment.    With the powder milk paint, you mix equal parts of the powder with water. I knew I was going to use the full amount, so I mixed 1.5 cups (the entire package of powder) with 1.5 cups of water. You can mix this in any amount, in any container. I chose to use an old mason jar incase I didn’t get to use it all at one time, it would be inside an air-tight container.

Now, here is the biggest down fall I found with this Milk Paint…it was HARD, and I mean HARD in all capitals and a few exclamation points (and a few unlady like words I must admit), to mix.  A paint stick was not cutting it, a spoon did not cut it, so finally I robbed my utensil drawer of a whisk and went to town inside that mason jar. It honestly took a lot of whisking, but I did finally get it to a desirable consistency…or so I thought.

Step 3: Applying the milk paint 

Milk paint can be applied with a brush, roller, or sprayer.  Most professionals recommend using a sprayer to apply milk paint as it gives it the smoothest finish.  Since I was just trying it out on one piece, I did not want to mess with the sprayer.  I first tried brushing it on, really just playing with it to get a feel for its texture, etc. It is very thin and milky…so it showed every brush stroke and I quickly put the brush away. Next I tried the foam roller and this did give better coverage, however, after 2 coats, I could still see through the milk paint to the dark wood underneath.  I also noticed as I rolled, that the paint was still clumpy. I mixed and mixed this paint, but it was still showing little clumps randomly. That was a little frustrating, but not a deal breaker.

Step 4: Top Coat

After 3 coats of milk paint, I just did not like how the dark wood was appearing, almost streaky, from underneath the paint. So I do what all us DIYers do, I decided to experiment and prayed for the best! 🙂 I took 1/2 cup of CeCe Caldwell’s Santa Fe turquoise paint and added it to 1/2 cup of the milk paint.  I honestly have no idea if this is “ok” or if it is a little unknown “no-no” but I did it and I love how it turned out!! I applied one, thin, top coat of this.  I let it cure about 6 hours (it did not take that long to dry, I just began working on other projects).  You can see how thin the top coat is…now this is actually shown after I distressed it, but hopefully you can make out how light the turquoise is.

Step 5: Finishing

To finish out this piece, I took a 220 grit sanding block and really distressed the turquoise out.  I was a bit more careful around the outsides of the dark wood spots…with milk paint, known for its ease and classic distressed look, I wanted each spot to  look as though it was slowly worn off over time, pulling away from the worn spots.  An example is shown below:

Once I was happy with the distressing, I applied my usual dark wax mix (CeCe Caldwell’s clear wax tinted with Hershey brown) over the piece. I did NOT apply the clear wax by itself before or after this…mainly because it was such a small piece, and because I am comfortable with the dark wax (so not worried as to use too much or about streaking it).

Here is the finished product:

Overall, I am very happy with how the project turned out.  I really wanted to do the whole piece in milk paint, but sometimes you just have to go with it and be creative as you go! As for milk paint, I am glad I tried it and I do have a dresser that I am ready to tackle next…but this time I am ordering my milk paint from Homestead, mainly because they have MANY, MANY more colors to choose from and because I am hoping their milk paint is easier to mix.  Please leave any suggestions you have for milk paint!!! I would love to read about your experiences with it.   Also, be on the look out for Ms. Mustard Seed’s new line of milk paint…she is the queen of everything paint, and I am confident anything with her name on it will be great!

Happy Painting!

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 for me in my darkest hours. It gives me an outlet and helps me contribute to my family financially without having to be on job site for a set number of hours each day. After many years of practice,  learning, work shops, and trial and error, I am ready to begin teaching others how to become a DIY Warrior too (with paint that is) !

Here are the details:

  • Private sessions held in my workshop or your home (outdoor space or garage required)
  • 3-4 hours of one-on-one hands-on learning time (time depending on how big your piece of furniture is)
  • I supply all paint and paining supplies
  • $135 within 25 miles of Weatherford,OK…$155 for workshops outside of this mileage area.

I prefer to stay West of the OKC/Edmond area as I have some great painting BFF’s that offer workshops in these areas and out of the spirit friendship and professional courtesy,  I choose not to cross territories 🙂 If you are in that area or East, I am happy to get you in touch with these amazing gals!

I also love to buy other people’s “junk”…which I normally see the beauty in. Now I’m not talking your dirty ‘ol mattresses here! I mean more along the lines of dressers, night stands, metal, vintage doors and windows, etc. I love to search through scary barns and estates, so please let me know if you have either!

Please feel free to email ( or call (580)515-6494 for additional details. Thank you all so much for stopping by and happy painting!!