Last spring I tried MudPaint for the first time, and fell straight in love. But I was up to my elbows in another paint line, and not ready to commit to a new one.
Flash forward eight months, and I am happy to say that I now have the line in the shop! To celebrate its greatness, I decided to take the most awful piece of furniture I could find, and make it over with MudPaint.
This desk belonged to a friend who passed away a couple of years ago. Recently, her husband asked if we would help him out by taking it off his hands (he was moving). Well, wanting to help a friend, and seeing the deeply hidden potential in this piece, you know what I did! So here it is, pre-MudPaint:
One side wasn't even painted, which was just fine with me!
The hardware was not completely painted over, but it obviously hadn't been removed when the piece was painted.
It was also pretty dirty, inside and out, having been neglected for quite a while.
After giving it an initial cleaning, I started to sand. Sanding isn't always "necessary" when using MudPaint, but I wanted my piece to be as smooth as possible. In fact, I always sand before I paint, regardless of the paint used! In this case, the paint came off pretty easily, perhaps because of the quality of the products used to finish it way back when.
When I started to uncover that beautiful mahogany, I knew I had to strip the top back to the original wood. Now I HATE to strip furniture, and I don't do it very often, but I had a vision. So I got started, and pretty soon I had that lovely soup that only stripper and old paint can make (YUCK).
But look at that mahogany! It was so worth it.
There was a lot of gunk in the crevices, so I decided to hit that with stripper, too. After some rather tedius digging (with a vintage knitting needle that I just knew would come in handy one day), it began to take shape.
Next I cleaned it up with some Simple Green, and sanded again.
I decided to salvage the hardware, so I sanded the old paint off and prepped it for the new paint. Now I know many people who have used Rustoleum Universal spray paint with no problems, but I've had it scrape off my pieces in the past, so I wasn't taking any chances! My go-to prep product when dealing with metal, glass, or any other slick surface, is Ultra Grip, from the Fusion Mineral Paint line. This stuff goes on easy and fast, and gives the new paint something to stick to. I let my hardware dry overnight, then it was ready for the next step.
I'm not "allowed" to paint in my garage (or anywhere else at my house), so I waited for my husband to leave for his music lessons, then I whipped out the Rustoleum. Before long, I had beautiful "new" hardware, and a really serious paint smell wafting up to my husband's study (which is over the garage). *sigh*
Back at the shop, I debated about what color to go with, and decided that Suede Blue was it.. The paint was pretty in the can, even before I applied it to the desk. And oh, that creamy, dreamy texture...
(Side note: this beauty was a bleeder, so before I could start applying the MudPaint, I had to apply two coats of shellac over the entire piece. I enjoy this about as much as I enjoy stripping furniture, but, as we say up here in the North, it is what it is.)
The coverage with this paint is unbelievable--one coat almost did it!
I also ended up with some groovy crackling! This had to be the piece because I've used the paint several times since, with no crackling. But wow, it's cool.
I finished the top with hemp oil, and a bit of furniture wax from the Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint line (best wax in the world...just saying). And man, is that mahogany gorgeous!
And the finished product!
Bottom Line: I'm more in love with MudPaint than ever!
(And with my other "helpers": Hemp Oil and Furniture Wax from Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint; Ultra Grip from Fusion Mineral Paint; Rustoleum Universal Metallic Paint; and even Citristrip Stripping Gel, which made this stripping job about as painless as it could possibly be.)
Stora Montgomery Kamens is the owner of Curiosity & Co., a shop in downtown Laconia, NH that specializes in furniture refinishing, as well as many other fun endeavors (like procuring cool gifts and home decor). A former English teacher, Stora teaches a number of different painting workshops and is always awed by her student's projects (because the possibilities are endless, and the creativity is inspiring)!