Do It Yourself Projects

Rustic Farmhouse Chest of Drawers in Tricycle Red

RED!! It’s a colour that I have been dying to try out for a long time but hadn’t found the right piece for such a bold colour … until now … enter old tired looking antique chest of drawers…



As soon as I got hold of this piece I knew it would be the perfect candidate to paint in Miss Mustard Seeds Tricycle red .. I chose to go with milk paint because I was hoping for a rustic chippy finish to go with the bold colour choice …


So I mixed up some milk paint and got painting … the paint went on super fast and after 4 coats I had the depth of colour I was after … the surface was super chippy in some areas which was PERFECT … I was super dooper excited and so I distressed all the flaky paint off and sealed the piece with dark wax … I literally went to bed that night smilling with the mental image of the chippy goodness of the piece in my head! The next morning however DISASTER STRUCK!!


I do love milk paint for its unique finishes and chippy goodness but this piece was a disaster. Over night the paint had continued to chip despite being waxed and was literally falling off in mounds all over the floor around the piece … even areas that hadn’t been chipping when I waxed the piece were now peeling off in huge sections! I was pretty devastated to say the least, nothing like this had ever happened to me before with milk paint. So I jumped online to try and suss the problem out. Normally with milk paint the piece will not continue to chip after it has been sealed with wax. However some surfaces are super resistant to the paint and will continue to chip unless sealed with a polly acrylic or urethane type finish!! To read Miss Mustard Seeds Instruction on how to prevent continued chipping you can go HERE

To read more about chipping gone bad, you can go HERE

After inspecting the piece I noticed that the wood had a rather greasy waxy top coating on it that must have been super resistant to the milk paint, and because I didn’t scuff it up at all with sand paper, the paint just didn’t want to stick (note: I did not use the bonding agent as I wanted to have a chippy finish). After realizing my error I came to terms with the fact that I would have to grab out my sander and sand the whole piece back to clean off the chipping paint and take back some of the resistant finish 🙁

I opted for a medium to fine grit pad for my Makita random orbital sander and got to work. Once I had sanded off all the previous paint and some of the top coat I mixed up some more milk paint and once again got painting. After another 4 coats I stood back to inspect the piece. The paint was flaking and bubbling up on areas all over the piece, I was glad as I wanted the piece to be a bit chippy but at the same time I was holding my breath hoping that the piece wouldn’t be another disaster.

wipe on polly

This time after distressing and knocking off all the loose paint, I grabbed out a bottle of Minwax Wipe on Polly-urethane and wiped all the painted areas over with it. The Polly dries in minutes and so I was able to give the piece 4 coats and let it sit overnight. Going to bed that night was a tad scary to say the least and I was kind of dreading what I would find in the morning.

The next day I lept out of bed and raced out to see how the paint had held up …. and …. it was wonderful. The polly had set nice and hard and the paint was taking to the piece super well. The polly pretty much froze the distressing process and gave the piece and nice hard durable finish. The top I sanded and stained and finished with a dark wax to give it a bit of a worn hand rubbed look.

Tricycle red chest of drawers rustic farmhouse

Now all that was left to do was replace the handles. We really wanted to keep the ones that were on the piece but sadly one was broken and we couldn’t find anything to match so we changed them all … not that I minded because I think the new handles look fabulous!!

triycle red chest of drawers

I am really happy with the way this piece turned out and have to say that despite the hick-up, using milk paint is really well worth it.. it gives such a unique natural looking rustic finish that you just don’t get with other products… I LOVE IT!!

Tricycle red chest of drawers rustic farmhouse

I chose a satin polly … it has a lovely shine to it but not super glossy …

Tricycle red chest of drawers rustic farmhouse

I really love the way the  boldness of the red and the rustic charm of the chippy distressing transforms this plain piece into a standout feature piece, but that is the beauty of taking the unloved and transforming it into the reloved!!

Tricycle red chest of drawers rustic farmhouse




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