Painting primitive patina | Maine Country Home

I love old primitive paint. The beauty that time brings, the lovely patina grabs me every time. I saw this photo on the internet and just lusted after this dresser. It looks old, cracked, and worn. It’s the real deal, old furniture and old paint.


We all dream of having this look, but the real deal is often really expensive. Working with decorative paints I realized that achieving this look was far easier than anyone could imagine.

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The chippy look using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint with a Hemp Oil resist is well documented on the internet. But this finish is much, much more. It is cracked and chipped and a special new aged patina.

At my last flea market I found an old antique chest. One big issue, someone had cut the back legs off to make it level on an old floor. So for anyone with even a remotely level floor you had to rebuild the legs. Mr. MCH took care of that pretty quickly but the damage to the piece as an antique had been done.


Enter Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. I started out by using and undercoat of Ironstone. This took two coats because we had a good amount of the “dreaded bleed through”. I cleaned that up with clear shellac, and then painted the second coat.

Then using a combination of a Hemp Oil and a Wax Puck resist I prepped the surface for the second coat of paint. First, I waxed the piece with vigor with the Wax Puck. Then, I gently brushed the tips of the brush over the entire piece with very light coat of Hemp Oil.

The second coat was a custom mix of  two parts Grain Sack, and one part Artissimo. This color combination is a lovely federal style blue.  Finally, while painting the second coat I dried the paint immediately with a hair dryer, getting the cracks in the paint.

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The resist worked to perfection. Streaky with a few larger chips. The second coat that stuck was cracked by the hair dryer.

I lightly sanded the piece to both remove the chips and smooth out the surface. Light is the word here because we did not want to sand out the cracks. The final product was then waxed with a mixture of Furniture and Antiquing Wax.

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So what do you think? I think the look of the inspiration piece was achieved in spades. Now I need to find that lovely chair!

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