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Sewing Cabinet Makeover with Milk Paint and Mod Podge Transfer

My name is David and I am your Plaid Craft Ambassador.

I promise to keep things civil, try to hear all sides of the argument and I hope we can come to some consensus on the issue to prevent an outright craft war.

OK, actually, I want to reiterate that Plaid provided me with craft supplies for this project but all the opinions and experiences are my own.  Other than receiving the craft materials I was not compensated for this project and any  links I provide are purely to be helpful – I don’t receive an affiliate kick-back or anything.

All the products I used are new(ish) and are now available in most craft stores or via the Plaid Enterprises site.

With that out of the way lets get on to the project.

Geralyn asked me if I could fix up this woebegone little sewing cabinet thingy. Sewing Cabinet Makeover Tutorial

I happily said yes, put it in the garage and then pretended not to see it for….. several years.

As you can see it was damaged on that front corner and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it.

So I kept hoping inspiration would strike (or that Geralyn would forget about it).

Happily it struck!  (and I don’t know if Geralyn forgot although if she didn’t she did display great patience)

But that repair is the subject of different post.

So, just bear with me as I fast-forward.  I fixed the problem and now it’s time to spruce the little guy up a bit.

I used the following productsSewing Box Makeover Tutorial by Cheltenham Road

  • Folk Art Milk Paint – Petticoat
  • Folk Art Milk Paint Bonding Primer and Sealer
  • Mod Podge Transfer Medium
  • Folk Art Milk Paint brushes
  • A reverse printed image from the Graphics Fairy
  • Glass cleaner
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • damp towel (for the image transfer part)

After cleaning the whole piece with glass cleaner (new idea for me but recommended by the Folk Art directions and it worked quite nicely) I primed it with the Folk Art Bonding Primer and Sealer.

The Primer goes on with and looks slightly milky but dries clear.  Actually, it almost made me not want to paint the thing because it made the finish look much better….but where’s the fun in that?

Up next, my first experience with milk paint.

Like all of you I’d heard about it for a long time but hadn’t tried it.  Plaid has come up with a version that comes pre-mixed and ready to go.

I brushed on an initial coat using the designed for the purpose.

A minimum of two coats is required for this paint and, as you can see, the first coast went on a bit streaky.
1st coat

But, it’s ready for it’s re-coat in 30 minutes  and the second coat gave a beautiful finish.Folk Art Milk Paint Furniture Makeover by Cheltenham Road

Up next was the image transfer.

As you know I’ve experimented with a lot of different image transfer techniques.  What I’m discovering is that each one has it’s advantages and disadvantages and I like having kind of an arsenal of options at my disposal.  I’ve had very satisfactory results with Mod Podge Image Transfer in the past – it’s easy to work with and produces the perfect, slightly distressed, vintage look I wanted.

I printed my image in reverse on my laser printer.

To do the transfer I lay a good thick coat of the transfer medium over the printed side of the paper*sewing case makeover with Mod Podge Transfer by Cheltenham Roadand then place it, Mod Podge Side, down on the surface of the furniture and smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles.

You also want to have a damp towel on hand to clean up any excess MP Transfer that squeezes out because it’s much harder to clean it up when it dries.

I applied it to the cabinet and let it dry overnight (the long drying time is the only disadvantage of this technique – I’m just seldom that patient).

(*spreading the transfer goo on the paper can be a bit messy.  Mod Podge makes a really great silicone mat that you can buy – you can kinda see it in my picture- that works great and is easy to clean up.  If you don’t have that (I bought mine a few years ago) though, lay down a piece of plastic wrap or something to protect whatever surface you’re working on)

The next day I dampened the image with a cloth and then, using the same damp cloth gently rubbed away the paper to reveal the image underneath.Image Transfer with Mod Podge Transfer Medium by Cheltenham Road

With all of these transfer techniques keep in mind that you’re not transferring just the image but also a super thin, pretty-much transparent layer of the paper that the image is attached too as well.  If you rub too hard you’ll just rub off that thin layer of paper along with your image (I did that in one spot you’ll see in a sec) so “gently” is the key word here.

Once I was satisfied with the look of the transfer I sanded the edges of the whole piece using 120 grit sandpaper and then gave the whole thing a protective sealing coat of the Folk Art Bonding Primer and Sealer.

Image transfer for vintage sewing cabinet by cheltenham road

You can see, in this pic, where I got a bit to agressive with the rubbing right there in that black circle at the end of the word “Barbour.”  I think it just adds to the distressed, vintagy look but it is a goof.
vintage sewing case makeover by cheltenham road

I think Geralyn will be pleased with the look.

So, I’m happy to report that my first experience with Milk Paint was pretty great.  It went on smoothly, clean up was easy and I really like the look.  This is particularly good because, as you know, I have A LOT of it!Folk Art Milk PaintSo I’m looking forward to more projects (and to mixing my own colors which is, apparently, an option).

I will share a post about how I fixed that banged up corner soon.

David

 

 

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About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

14 responses »

  1. I love this! Great graphics and really good instructional advice and tips! Looking forward to more inspiration!

    Reply
  2. Beautifully done–and agree with Phebe, the instructions are really clear and concise. I love the Irishness of the graphic, too. 🙂 Very pretty paint–any idea why it’s called “milk” paint?

    Reply
    • Thanks Jenni. Apparently “milk paint” – is a very old medium that painters used because it was easy to mix up, dried fast cleaned up with just water and adhered well. A protein called “Casein” found in milk is the key. So this is a a “casein-based” paint. You usually buy milk paint as a powder and mix it up yourself – the Plaid version is premixed and ready to go and also won’t spoil if you don’t use all of it at once (which I, master of paint-stockpiling appreciate)

      Reply
  3. I love it! Thanks so much!

    Reply
  4. Is there a contest to see who can guess how you dealt with that broken bit? If so, write me down for “he turned the sewing storage unit around so you can’t see it anymore”! That’s what I’d do! Gives new meaning to – simple fix.

    Reply
  5. How did you fix that broken section? Thanks!

    Reply
  6. This came out great and I love it! But I’ve got just a few questions. You mentioned that the transfer left a “pretty-much transparent layer of the paper.” If you had used a darker background color, would there be some sort of ghosting (I know strange descriptive term, but I know you have been working on Halloween projects lately so it seemed appropriate) of the paper layer? And also is there any kind of sealer or protective finish for the piece? Thanks so much David!

    Reply
    • I should do a full post about this because that is an excellent question and it’s a bit hard to answer without pictures.
      The translucent layer will make a dark background just a little bit lighter which is fine. The real issue, for me at least, is that with a dark background you can see where the paper stopped. So you have a visible straight line going around the graphic. The problem is easily avoided if you’re working with a reasonably sized surface. So, if you were transferring an image onto a 4″x4″ piece of wood you’d want your print out to be 4×4 even if the actual graphic was only 3×3. I hope that makes sense. I will try to put together a post about it soon. Thanks for the idea and input.

      Reply
      • Thanks so much David. It sounds like matching paper size/shape to the area where you transfer the graphic takes care of wanting more of a “borderless” look. Also did you use some sort of sealer to finish it off? I would think that possibly a coat of regular Mod Podge might actually work. I just really like to make sure there is some sort of protection on the piece. Now I have to find some of that transfer medium and try it out! Once again, you’ve done another winning project!

      • Oops, sorry, just saw your other question. Yes, I sealed this project with the Milk Paint Bonder/Primer. I have, in the past sealed my transfer projects with regular Mod Podge, Hard Coat Mod Podge or polycrylic – so you have a lot of options.

  7. I was out of town and couldn’t respond earlier. Love it! I have a vintage magazine rack with the same lines and legs/feet as that cabinet, and it has a horrible finish on it. This is an inspiring project!

    I hope to see you in my next Plaid newsletter. 🙂

    Denise

    Reply

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