A Makeover for an Empire Dresser-Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint

I have been on the hunt for one of these dressers for my living room for ever. I have seen them priced any where from $350 up to $800 dollars. This one was a steal at $140. My husband scooped this piece up quick as a bunny and hauled it away quickly before they changed their mind on the price. ¬†It is stunning, but as always for me, simply to dark and heavy looking. I adore the style and grand appearance of the piece, and the fact that it is so substantial. However, for the look I am going for, I will need to paint it. I am going for a pop of color. I have been working on¬†changing everything to a neutral color, and now I am ready to add in some pops of color. I will be painting this Empire Dresser with Miss Mustard Milk Paint, ………………………………… . I am super excited, as this will be my first milk paint, piece ever. I had worked with milk paint many years ago, but it was on walls not furniture.

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Here is the before.

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……and after one coat of paint.

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and then three coats, it took four coats on all.

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Here is the paint I purchased, oopsie, I exchanged this paint for the color Iron Stone, Bonding Agent, and Hemp Oil.

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…a little chippy is a good thing.

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As you can see this Empire Dresser turned out beautiful, the white makes it look so elegant. It did take 4 coats of paint, because the piece was so dark. I did mix the bonding agent into the paint with the first two coats because of the high gloss finish it had. There is still a little section here and there that is chipping, but I like the look. I am anxious to do some styling soon.

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Tammy Damore


  1. Hi Tammy!
    I love this piece! I’ve been wanting to try Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint for over a year and haven’t been quite sure how to use it. I’ve painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and General Finishes paints. Did you sand th empire dresser prior to painting with the milk paint? Also did you add the bonding agent to all 4 coats? Last question did you seal the dark finish with shellac prior to painting this white?? Some people recommend to seal with shellac on a dark piece of furniture before using white paints???
    Thank you
    Patricia Miller

    • Hi Patricia,
      this was my first try with the Milk Paint, and I love it. I did do a 5 minute sanding just to rough it up, as Miss Mustard Seed suggests. I did add the bonding agent to the first 2 coats. And I finished it with hemp oil. I adore it. Oh and No, I did not use any shellac. Hope that helps.

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