Monday, February 3, 2014

Disaster in Back and Milk Paint Mixology

It's hard for me to believe that January is over, 2014 is well under way as are my business plans for this year! Time eludes me and I feel as though I will never accomplish everything on my list.

2014 is dedicated to organization! 

Organization in my storage unit.

Organization in my workshop.

Organization on my computer (anyone else have stray picture files all over your desktop?)

Organization in the store.

And, as with any organizing project, things always get worse before they get better.


That was my pile, emptied out of storage and stacked behind the store. It was a nightmare. Projects that have piled up over the years. Furniture that has been donated. Pieces that were unusable as home furnishings but had salvageable materials to re purpose into home decor. It just got wildly out of hand. 

In an effort to stay on top of things and keep better track of my inventory, I broke down and hired a couple of guys looking for some extra work...about four hours per week who will come in every week just to move things around and tidy up storage. At first it seemed like a waste of payroll dollars, but when I started adding up pieces that have been damaged and the loss of potential profits, I think it will end up paying for itself. Plus, they will definitely help manage my level of stress when it comes to dealing with the mess. 

My lack of organization benefited a number of individuals who got to take advantage of my purging. I gave away somewhere around 20-30 pieces of furniture to furniture refinisher enthusiasts. And, as I was digging through the piles I would exclaim, "I FORGOT I HAD THIS," or "THIS WILL LOOK GREAT PAINTED." 

I set aside two pieces in particular.


A console table in a hideous gold color and a larger round side table with a marble top.


The bones of this piece was perfect for milk paint and I had two interns eagerly waiting to refine their milk painting skills. 

The plans for this table were to do a two-color finish with a hemp oil resist between coats. The top would get a coat of Chalk Paint® so that we didn't have any bonding issues on the stone work. The base and top would then get an antiquing wax finish to show off  the details.


We chose Linen as the base coat and Trophy for the top coat.


Janet was working on this table and did an awesome job. She was a bit hesitant at first, but by the time she finished she was sold on Milk Paint.



The antiquing wax really defines the stonework and Old White is a perfect match to Linen.


The second piece we pulled out of the junk pile was a gold console table. Natalie tackled that project which was a perfect piece to use the Milk Paint Bonding Primer because of its shiny surface.

We made up a custom mix of equal parts Eulalie's Sky and Shutter Gray.


It was a color comparable to Duck Egg Blue with a bit more blue than green.


I had Natalie scuff up the entire surface with 80 grit sandpaper so that the paint would stick. 


It took two coats to cover and then she hand distressed it so that that obnoxious gold would peek just a little bit (not looking obnoxious at all).


She mixed antiquing wax and white wax to give it an aged look and make the plain, flat surface a bit more interesting.


These pieces of furniture were sitting in my storage unit for two+ years. 

It feels good to give them new life and to free up some of my space!

On a side note...

...I just returned from Vegas over the weekend where I spent all day Sunday with about 20 other Milk Paint retailers from all over the United States in a Retailers Training. I always feel revived and refreshed when I meet with like-minded artisans who share the same passion for painting, revival and even business development. 

I'm front and center on the floor

I think I might start an annual Retailers Convention; a place for all of the artisans to meet and gather, to brainstorm, have round table discussions and just talk business; workshops to develop marketing plans and strategize direct mail campaigns. Hmmm...maybe in the fall of this year. We'll see. :) 

My husband calls me "Starbucks" because "I always have something brewing."

What can I say, I can't help it. 

Anyhoo, check back within the week for some expanded workshops to be scheduled in March and April. I'm excited about what I have planned...until then, keep painting! 

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