My love for The Real Milk Paint Co.

I am so excited to share some details of a few products that The Real Milk Paint Co. sent me! First I have to say… I just love them. Their partnership has been beyond what I ever imagined. I was first contacted maybe two years ago and offered a sponsorship for one of my Milk Paint 101 classes. It was such a generous offer. I think its really valuable especially in a class of that nature to have a ton of product to play with. I teach my classes from my perspective, things I have learned, tools I find valuable. Its important for me to share a process that I feel saves me time, money AND patience. I stress the importance of trying a lot of product and making mistakes. Milk Paint takes time to learn and master, and is still a process unlike any other paint. Making those mistakes will make you a better painter and artist. This time around The Real Milk Paint Co. had some new products that they are rolling out and I got a chance to test them. This kick started a inspiration surge last week like no other. Which was a good thing, it being the week of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday I had a store to fill (and still do!).

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They sent me a number of colors..some old favorites that are my staple colors and some NEW ones I had never tried (along with Hemp Oil, Chippy Paste, 3 different waxes, t-shirts, bags, brushes, etc.) . They have a great line of new Blue Tipped brushes that paint like a dream and come in 3 sizes. I love the small detail one. I used it the most on a buffet I did and it minimized the brush strokes beautifully. If you are not familiar with their paint packaging, it comes with the bag of powdered paint inside, and a small marble. You add equal parts water (start with just a 1/3 of the bag), seal and shake well. It creates a really nice thick foam. This is my favorite part! The brushes bristles are close together and thick, so the foam rests on top of the brush which makes the application flawless.

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Another great product that is new is a “Chippy Paste”, we played with this in class and it seems to do a great job a repealing the paint in the areas that you have applied… for those of you that love chippy furniture, this is a great way to obtain that look. I encourage you to play with this and let me know what you think! I plan to try it on a larger piece to get the full effect.

Finally one product that I am SUPER excited to talk about is their new Soft Wax… I am willing to admit that I am very picky about wax. Especially over Milk Paint! I look for a few things… it needs to go on smoothly with a rag (a simple process, like applying lotion), I like to gauge how much of the color it will change (some wax can drastically change the original color), and finally a CLEAR finish… a lot of wax can create a white or foggy haze over that pretty color and change your finish. I have to say this wax blew me away. I love it. I think I may have over shared my love for it in my class. I was sent a full can, and used it on 4 large pieces… I still have half a can but I will be bugging them soon to buy more to add it to my stash of favorite products. Well done RMPC!

Here are a few pieces I did the past week before my class… (I had to test colors of course ;))

The first is in Stillwater Cove Grey sealed with their NEW Soft Wax.

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This is painted in Earth Green and sealed in their NEW Soft Wax.

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And this one is Arabian Night, I sealed this one in a dark brown wax. ( I like to do this over all my black painted pieces… it deepens the hue of the wood and paint for a more seamless finish).

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A huge THANK YOU to The Real Milk Paint Co.for your continued support and generous sponsorship. This class was so fun and each person left with 2 cans of paint, brushes and other goodies!

Hope you are having a great week!
Amanda

*All content in this post is my true opinion and I was not compensated to share my thoughts. I just really love it and know you will too! Enjoy!

Another Yellow Empire

About 3 years years ago I painted a empire lowboy in a pretty mustard milk paint and I just fell in love with the design. Every time I run across one of this size, this shade always runs through my mind. I painted another one very similar about a year and a half or so ago…(the one on my header). I scored this one a few weeks ago and naturally I thought of reinventing it once again. I actually have the matching oversized desk as well. I have no design in mind for that one though so I am waiting for some inspiration to kick in. It might sit for a little while.

The great thing about milk paint and probably my favorite part is that it is unpredictable and kind of does what it wants… most of the time I really encourage that, and try to stay open minded in my vision. I didn’t sand, or add a bonding agent on this one… I thought it would be great if the paint went chippy and equally great if it ended up more solid. Surprisingly it really held on well to the wood and sanded back really well too. I ended up doing 4 coats and still had a pretty translucent weathered look (which works nicely on these empire styles).

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I have so much fun with this color. Its so bright and cheerful and really brings a piece to life. It did take me a little longer than usual (the dark wood, made it a bit of a pain) but it was sort of nice and made me really slow down and enjoy the process. I was waiting for this great paper to arrive anyway as I knew it would be a perfect compliment to the knobs and paint. I don’t think I have a  lot of pieces that I redo the same like this… so its kinda fun to see the progression in my work…. maybe the next time I come across one in another year or so it will be a sign that I should keep it. But for now.. this one is for sale!🙂

xo

Amanda

Furniture Season

Furniture season is in full swing at the shop and pieces have been finding homes left and right. So last week was a little bit crazy in my world. Most of the time balancing life as a mom with two very busy littles and a growing business is manageable (sort of). I try to be good at limiting how much I say yes to and knowing what my boundaries are…. with that being said, last week was a stretch. I completed 7 pieces of furniture, a few candle orders, my daughters fundraiser, preschool, swim lessons, dog training… blah blah blah. This list was so long and I had a mild moment of panic and had to remind myself that I don’t want this to turn into a force of stress for me. I started this little business as a therapy or “Ferpie” for those of you who know my story behind my name. And I want to make sure that I stick to that. Its so important. I know its not realistic all of the time.I feel like I am striving to allow myself some grace while at the same time gaining confidence that I can handle the challenges. I was able to get so much done and everything turned out great!  The first piece that I wanted to share is a cute little highboy with tall legs. I painted this piece with Trophy by Miss Mustard Seed. I haven’t used this color in a few years and it really is a wonderful shade. The original finish on this piece was so different, it made me want to pull out some of that character. Milk Paint is a great choice with pieces like this, it has a transparent effect when watered down and sanded back. After 2 coats I sanded heavily with only a 400 grit.. it created this really smooth but a very visually textured finish.  If you look closely the piece almost looks like watercolor and goes from a little darker on top to a lighter shade on bottom. Another reason why this paint is so fun. It gets creative for you, and all you have to do is sit back and be open to it.

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Next up I received these unique bedside tables from my picker the day before I painted them. I was totally drawn to their character and wanted to get started on them right away. I chose Seagull Grey by General Finishes. This is just a very clean, crisp light grey. Perfect for simple nightstands. Matching anything, is a score. Most often they are hard to find. I really love that these are extra tall and I think they will work perfectly with a oversized bed. When staging photos I thought I would jump in one of the pictures to give a good idea of how tall they really are. I am 5′ 4″ but I would like to think that my boots add maybe 1″.😉

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With this next piece I instantly thought DIPPED. With its great existing separation detail above the bottom drawer made it a clear vision. Mike thought a pretty blue would be the way to go… but I just love the crisp contrast of wood and white (or off white in this case). This piece had some character flaws and it just added to its appeal in my mind. I could have filled over it but I really like it. I think its the imperfections of some of these pieces that draw me to them in the first place.

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I had this great empire in my back stock for waaaay to long. I want to say maybe 8 months? I actually have another one even bigger and just picked up 3 more in a variety of sizes. I am so drawn to this style as I think most antique lovers are. They are very handsome and bring a dramatic presence to the room. I usually choose milk paint for these guys to bring out a naturally aged appeal but I wanted him to be powerful, simple and clean. The knobs are actually not original to this piece but came from another empire I completed earlier this month. I saved these in hopes of reusing them at some point and they just made sense on this one. I used another General Finishes color in Lamp Black. My secret to a very rich dark black is Maison Blanche Dark Brown Wax. It is the very best dark wax and really adds a nice sheen but also deepens the color.

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My last two projects of the week were these great “nightstands” which oddly enough started as a vanity. I was hesitate to buy another vanity especially this style. Vanity style tables usually sit for awhile. I think its too specific of a customer and its usually not a huge interest piece.  With that, I was still impressed with its detail and wondered if I could pull them apart to create matching nightstands. Much to my surprise they were only held together with 4 screws and a board across the back. After I pulled them apart, I filled the holes and sanded well. I posted a photo on Instagram and offered them as custom… they were quickly snagged and requested to be painted green. I love green.

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That was a loaded post! You can see why last week may have been a bit of a stretch. This week is much more mild. I have a yellow piece that I started a few days ago, hoping to finish up by the weekend. This one is a keeper for sure!

xo
Amanda

Navy and Grey … for a new arrival.

Custom work is about 80% of my work load for sure. In the past years I have thought about limiting the amount of custom clients I take on… and I think I do that to a certain degree. For my mental health and also for my quality of work. But I have to say I enjoy bringing a vision to life. I feel like people that seek out a custom painted piece of furniture from me are looking for something really special for their home. I love being apart of that. It is sometimes much more work on my end design wise and hunting for the knobs and paper that they need to coordinate but in the end its always worth it. At this point in my journey, a lot of clients are seeking pieces I have already done or similar designs so I feel like I am still doing me… just tweaking the design a bit. I love the idea of living simple and small with pieces you really love. I am learning this even in my own home. Creating pieces that I will love forever.

With this particular project we were working together on a design for a new little baby boy. The new momma knew that she wanted navy and grey… so we pulled together some of my past pieces and came to the end with a navy highboy and a grey color block with navy bottom lowboy to match (but not match). The color block design was from a orange and grey piece I did a couple months back…

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And here is the new grey and navy….

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I used this adorable truck paper…  I didn’t have a  lot so the top drawer is actually old maps  (that also match the paper I used for the highboy).

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And the matching but not matching highboy…

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This client was a lot of fun. Mike and I met her husband to drop off the pieces last night and they are just the sweetest. Im so excited for their new addition.

Im off to pack for Portland. We leave tomorrow!

xo
Amanda

Dipped… my new favorite thing.

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I bought a really great bedroom set a few weeks (maybe months) ago and it came with the cutest chair for the vanity. It was very similar to a dining chair but the back was a bit shorter than average dining chairs. I kept that chair in my mind while I painted both dressers and vanity… I kept thinking how cute it would be to dip just the back to accent how cute it was. I finally pulled it out the other day and thought I would do a quick project. It is so funny how sometimes the smallest projects turn into a point of major inspiration for much bigger projects to come.

After I painted the chair I was hooked and had to do a larger scale … the cabinet was a perfect choice because the wood is in great condition. Lately Ive been searching for different. I wanted to do something that would inspire me to try new and make one of a kind pieces that really motivate me to push myself creatively.

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Maybe it was the contrast of the wood and white… or unusual design but I think its so fun.  I taped everything off carefully and primed first… I wanted a very bold white.  When I pulled the tape away after painting 2 more coats of paint the line was less than perfect so I actually sanded along the line with a nail file… great tip if you are looking for something to get in a small area that your sanding  block can’t reach. It worked perfectly. I then restored the natural finish rather than using stain. I lined the inside, to add just a little more simple character.

I think I might be on a dipping craze for awhile. This week I am hustling to finish 5 custom projects (some close to being done) … hoping to finish before we leave to take the kiddos to Portland before school starts up again. So excited to show them all the fun things we found on our last trip.

Happy Monday!

Amanda

Franklin Falls

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I wanted to write a quick post about our  trip the other day to Franklin Falls. Living in the PNW it seems there are scenes to be seen, hikes to be hiked, and new adventures to be had, that kinda pop up all over. I have lived here my whole life and I still hear about new places that I just HAVE to see. I love that. 10 years ago Mike and I got married in North Bend, WA near Snoqulamie Falls, since then we have been crazy about it up there. If you are not local… we get rain pretty often around here. The Seattle rumor is true, but we love it. It feels like Fall about 80% of the year. And because of all that rain, the trees are the best green, and there is a lot of them. Something about being up this way towards the waterfalls is extra enchanting. Just driving in I had to stop the car, get out and take some pictures. We have had a pretty mild Summer so far. So being August, around noon the mountains still had the morning haze of fog and the air was crisp and cool.

Leading down the trail you can see this incredible river to your left, which to be completely honest had my “momma bear” on high alert and was hard for me not to be a little on edge with my kiddos. I had the “you could fall and leave me forever ” talk to my youngest about half way down… begging him to PLEASE stay with me and as far right as possible. Given there was a ton of children on this trail and most parents seemed (oddly) relaxed.

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Even with my overbearing momma brain this trail was fairly easy to climb and pretty kid friendly. It stretches about 2 miles to the Falls and back. We stopped along the way to grab a few photos of the river… I think this was my favorite part. The water was crystal clear, and the rocks were so unreal.

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Once you reach Franklin Falls… it is up close and personal. I think the major difference between this one and the more tourist spots, is that you are there, so close you could actually swim at the bottom.

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This summer is shaping up to be the best yet! I can’t wait to take the dogs back! If you are local and have not gone to see Franklin Falls… pack a lunch, a camera and go!

I am off to thift with the kiddos today.. we are looking for some good props for the back to school window at the shop! Have a great weekend!

Amanda

Matching White Bookshelves

Working with antiques, there always seems to be popular pieces that everyone needs and rare pieces to find… and they are usually one of the same. Matching pairs fall into that category.. it seems like whenever I stumble across a pair of matching nightstands they don’t last very long. So of course, if I find them I always, always buy them. Plus they are so fun to paint. These particular ones are a double WOW… mini bookshelves that MATCH. gah! The moment I found them I ordered paper… because the inside needed something really fun. I choose a great print from Spoonflower called  Navy Waves by mgterry. I like this one because it is subtle and modern but still pretty classic… slightly nautical. Mike said he thinks it looks like necklaces.. I like that too. The wood was mahogany and they had a leather detail on top, so I primed before painting and went with General Finishes Snow White, its a nice bright white and matched the white of the paper perfectly.

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Pretty simple but fun makeover for you. I have a good and very busy line up the next few weeks. The shop is busy and my custom calendar is pretty full so I am excited to share more with you soon!

xo
Amanda

Sweet Mustard Buffet + Summer Days

Summer is in full swing and around my house that means planning fun days for my kiddos while trying to get in a little (just a little) time to paint. This summer has been a little easier than  I thought.

I really like a good back stock of furniture, it helps with my creativity and is very helpful when working with clients. But that usually means my studio (a 2 car garage) is full, at least it has been this past Winter and Spring.  A few weeks ago we reorganized and played the stacking game. It cleared a lot of space! It is so nice painting out there again. It feels like my own world, even if its not nearly as organized as it used to be. So for the past two weeks I have been able to play with the kids and  work for a bit throughout the day. Its working nicely.
I feel like with most shades of yellow its important to put on a few extra coats and pay some attention to coverage. Its a harder shade to get right. Speaking of shade, this is my first time using this particular one… and I think Im a little shocked myself because of WHAT shade it is! Its Miss Mustard Seed’s –Mustard Seed Yellow. I ordered it a few months ago…Ive been eager to try new shades and explore some newness altogether.  I was really happy with it! My usual go to Mustard is a bit darker so it was a slight change but much softer. I really enjoy Marian’s color palette in general, I am so drawn to her greens and have used them quite a bit in the past. This yellow is a perfect mix of soft subtle cottage-y yellow with a bold mustard tones.

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Paper is a huge part of what I love about painting furniture. I think its so fun to open a piece and see a fun pattern inside, and it really cleans it up and makes it feel new. Im working on a little more info for you on this topic so stay tuned. This print is one I ordered a long time ago from Spoonflower.com (more on that later too).

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I live a bit in the country here in the Pacific Northwest, down the street from my house there is a gravel path about a half mile long leading to our favorite lake. Most summers we spend our days swimming with Clementine in the water. This summer has been idling in the 60’s somedays and we are lucking for low 70’s, so we haven’t been able to enjoy it as much. But between coats of yellow we ran up there and took the dogs off leash and let them play. Charlie is growing fast and testing Clementines limits of patience.  Here is a very quick post I did a few years ago when we took Clem to the lake to swim. IMG_4311

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I actually really love the low temp summer we are having… It’s like Fall or an extended Spring. I have some fun pieces planned for the next few weeks! Have a great Sunday!

xo
Amanda

Empire dressers really are something special. Just like buffets, sometimes they are hard to find while other times I feel like I can get them pretty easily.  I love them because the bones are so detailed and over stated so you can really do any color and create a pretty neat statement piece without doing any over the top designs. With this piece I wanted to just do a simple clean light grey. The paper was one I ordered a long time ago and had in my stash, Audrey thought it was pretty so we went with that.

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For about the last year my studio has been stacked with my back stock so I have been painting in my dining room. Plus its so cold out there! I got in another huge delivery and reorganized the space and ended up with about a 1/3 of my studio back. Which was kinda odd, considering I added 15 pieces!  I was so excited to paint in there again. I have shelving with all my supplies, it always inspires me to try new things and create different designs. Its like a personal Pinterest board in my own home. Im excited to take it back over. This piece really shines in person. the lines are clean and smooth but still has a aged feel.

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I called Mike on his way home on Tuesday and asked him to grab flowers (and ice-cream). Having flowers around the house make me happy, and I just needed that this week. When he came home with hydrangeas I cringed because I am not great at keeping them alive. I mean Im not great with any greenery but Im particularly bad with hydrangeas. But I recently read a post from She Holds Dearly about how to keep them fresh. I am happy to report it is Friday and they are still alive! Thank you dear friend for your advice. (Sarah took my paint class over a year ago and she is so delightful).

This past weekend I went to Snohomish, WA with a good friend that told me I HAD to visit. Such a great town, filled with antique shops, artisan food, and handmade ice-cream. We had so much fun taking it all in. Among other treasures, this cute little metal hand came home with me. I liked how odd it was and its perfect for my little photos.

And finally those flash cards that say “beautiful daughter ” hang on my daughters door … and it makes me smile every time because raising girls is SO full of heart. Her and I are working on kindness, and empathy. I want her to grow up with love in her heart for others. Even if its hard. Even if it feels better not to. I want to teach her to not be a victim but to have understanding for everyones journey. I think even as an adult I am learning with her. Learning to grow my heart and faith in people. Love, is really important… to pretty much everyone.  She is such a beautiful girl. Hope you all have a happy weekend.

xo
Amanda

Stillwater Grey by The Real Milk Paint Co.

About a month ago I received a surprise package from one of my favorite paint companies inside was a really nice new color that I was excited to try. I was surprised and flattered that they chose a color for me that couldn’t be a better fit. It is a nice warm neutral grey with brown tones. I’ve taken the last week or so off, so I was really looking forward to some painting time.

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My experience with The Real Milk Paint Co. has been wonderful, anyone who asks me about paint has probably heard me say that I adore them. They are incredibly friendly and have been huge supporters of me. Not only is their packaging eye catching but it is also functional. If you are a milk painter I think you would appreciate the little marble that they include in their cans. It helps mix and froth your paint.  Its like painting with foam, the coverage is amazing, and it just feels good on your brush.

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I wish I had a good before picture of this buffet. The last few months I was really heavy on dressers in my back stock and didn’t really have a lot of buffets… and now I am over loaded with 6! I am always inspired by them and I feel like they are really diverse, so people can use them for anything really. I like to work up a little design board. It helps me see the colors and patterns together.

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I did very little prep work other than cleaning the piece, I was planning to let the Milk Paint run the show and decide to be chippy or solid. It ended up adhering really well. I did two coats and sanded back with a 220 grit to get a nice smooth finish and take off just enough. I decided to seal this one with Polyurethane (crystal clear, satin finish) to give it some added protection but also a little sheen. I chose to swap out my original knob choice because they just blended the tone a little too much. I think the simple white ones look a little better.

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Im off to enjoy the 4th with my family! Have a great holiday everyone!

P.S. Those sweet silhouettes I found at the street fair on our trip to Portland. I had no idea who they were until after we bought them. Can you guess who they are? You can follow the maker on IG @outnerdme.