Bread Box Makeover (Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint)

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I come across all kinds of vintage things when I shop thrift stores. Some are just more vintage than others.
Like this Bread Box Makeover.

I really like the vintage, vintage ones….the 80’s vintage, not so much.

Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

Like this lovely here with the ducks and heart applique. Nice, huh?
Remember the “country” decor of the late 80’s, early 90’s?
Yep, I had it…everywhere.  ;)

Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

So, let me tell you how I transformed this piece with a little Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, new hinges and an evil knob.
Yes, evil.  I’ll tell you why in a bit.

As I talked about in this post here, I was able to attend a Miss Mustard Seed workshop. It was great fun attending and meeting so many wonderful people in person.Here is a shot of me and Miss Mustard Seed herself, Marian.
She is the sweetest and so full of wonderful knowledge.
Next to us is the tray I made in the class…and the inspiration for my box.

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw both of these pictures long ago. ;)  If not, you can follow me on Instagram here and see things way before they make to the blog!
And random…lots of random. ;)
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

I didn’t want my bread box makeover as ‘chippy’ as the tray so I filled the holes where the old hinges were (I put new hinges on)and then sanded it lightly all over so the milk paint would absorb better into the wood.

Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

I used these two colors for the outside of the box: Kitchen Scale & Ironstone.
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics


I applied 2 coats of “Kitchen Scale” Milk Paint to the outside. Inside I put 2 coats of Old White Chalk Paint.  (first coat of both is shown here):
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

I let that dry and then layered “Ironstone” Milk Paint over that (just like  I did to my tray in the class).
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

I played around with this a bit until I got it looking how I wanted. I went back and added more “Ironstone” to add more texture. (see the evil knob in the background, grrr)

I wanted to add some french graphics so I got on my computer and came up with fonts I liked for the words “boulangerie & patisserie” . That means baker or shop of bread & pastries, perfect for a bread box, right? ;)

I printed those out in the size I needed and lined them up on the box. I used some fun little “star/flower” embellishments for the dot in the “i” and the other in between to make it fun. (you’ll see the “i” star/flower in another photo further down)
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

I used the pressure method to transfer. Sounds fancy right? Just take a sharp pencil (or pen, but a pencil worked best on this wood for me for some reason) and trace firmly over the letters.
This makes a slight imprint into the wood.

Depending on the wood, of course.
Some harder woods would need another method of transfer.

Like so…
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

I then traced over the imprint with a white watercolor pencil.
It was hard to see so I wanted a good outline to paint inside of.
You can see better below how hard it was to see before I outlined it.
(see the word “patisserie” below…it’s yet to be outlined with the pencil)
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

Both words outlined with the white pencil… (see the little “star/flower” now in the “i”? )
You can see more of my favorite transfer methods, here.
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

Painted in with Pure White Chalk Paint
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

And shadowed….because I like my shadowed letters!
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

See what a difference the shadowing makes? Just brings it to life.
My son actually walked by as I was finishing up and said…” Mom, that looks like I can grab that word right off the box”…yep, my beautiful child, it does, it does. :)

I coated the inside with Polycrylic (over the chalk paint). On the outside I used Annie Sloan Clear Wax because I don’t have any of Miss Mustard Seed’s wax yet but I do plan to get some to try.

A little distressing and the wax applied and buffed,  shown below.  The wax really brought out this milk paint’s features. It was sort of flat looking before I added it but the variation in colors just jumped out at me after I added the wax.

Beautiful. I’m loving the effect.
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

Side view of my brand new bread box makeover….
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

And now for the evil knob.
See, I could stop right here and say, all done, isn’t it great??
But no, I’m going to show you how I screwed up and then had to fix.

Because this is real life.

And I really shouldn’t blame the pretty little knob, it was my fault. I thought the box needed a knob.
So I drilled a hole……into my beautiful new finish.
Ugh, I cringe just looking at that.
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

oh my… what a nice little hole I made…
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

And look….with the knob attached….
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

Um, no. It sticks out like a sore thumb to me…..and at the angle it sits, ends up covering up part of those gorgeous graphics. Sigh.
I hate when this happens….but it does.

So here’s what I did to fix it….
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

I filled the stupid hole back up.
And painstakingly (ok, not really but sorta) repainted and waxed the area where the hole was.

That was fun.

After several attempts I think I finally matched it up fairly well.
Of course, my eye is drawn to the exact spot….but here it is finished, hole repaired and repainted.
Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

Not perfect….but whatcha gonna do? Day in the life of me. ;)

Much better than the 80’s ducks & heart motif don’t you think?
I love how it turned out. (please excuse the yellow color in this photo from my under cabinet lighting)

The Milk Paint is certainly different than what I’m used to with other paints, for sure.
But it was fun to use and I can see a place for it on some of my work.
I just need to work with it a bit more to get a better feel for it.

PIN this bread box makeover for later!

Bread Box Makeover Before-After Tutorial / Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint #breadboxmakeover #breadbox #milkpaint #frenchgraphics

Have you tried any milk paints yet? What do you think? Do you like them?

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  1. Just love that color! Im wanting to paint it on everything lately, where I live in Canada I to try the milk.paint, and the chalk paint but we only have two store in our province,( state) that carries it, and very limited colors. Looks like I will have to mail.order before I can get my hands on it

    1. Hey Shauna! Me too!! It’s now all over my house is one shade or another ;) I am the same way!! I don’t have anyone local who sells it (although I am told there will be by the end of the month) so have always had to order mine as well. It’s really worth a try! I love the different effects and looks you get with the chalk paint and milk paints.

  2. Oh my gosh! The ducks! So funny, I think my mom had those in the kitchen growing up. Great transformation. I just have a bread “bowl”. I think I need to upgrade to a great box like this!

    1. Hi Jeanie,
      The Milk Paint sure is different in the way it reacts…putting it on and afterwards. It takes some getting used to but I like the effect you can get with it. I want to do a larger piece of furniture next! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. Nancy, I love your breadbox now! It is really hard to match paint and do repair work isn’t it, but I don’t see where you did the repair at all. You just know it’s there. If you really wanted a knob of some kind you might put it on the bottom left side of the top where there isn’t any writing. I like it just as it is!!

    1. Hey Krista! Isn’t that color fabulous? I did that on my little “tester” door/tray at the MMS class and loved it! I tried hard to recreate it. It really does have depth to it that I love. :)

  4. Love it! Isn’t milk paint fun to work with? And you got to meet the Queen of Milk Paint…how cool is that! Thanks for the tutorial on transferring graphics. I will definitely try this on an upcoming project.

  5. Another great piece! I love what your son said about the lettering. The first thing I was thinking is that they almost looked raised! That shadowing trick is so cool. I love every creative part about this, how you added the graphics, the different kinds of paint and wax, and even the evil knob story! LOL! Girl, I can relate. I’ve done similar things like that, changed my mind afterwards and had to painstakingly fix it. That’s just part of a creative girls cross to bear I guess. :) xoxo, Sharon

    1. Thanks friend! :) Ha I know you can relate!! It never fails to happen I tell ya! ;) But it all works out in the end!!

  6. It’s so prrreeeetttttttttyyyyy! I love it! That color is amazing, and as always, I am in awe of your masterful detailed painting skills—you are incredible!! Thanks so much for sharing yet another brilliant transformation with us!! Have a great weekend!

    ~Abby =)

  7. What a difference! I remember the duck and heart phase LOL we had it in the kitchen I grew up in :) I love your re-do far better ;) You did a great job!

  8. That is the cutest little bread box, and wow, what an improvement from the little duckies! I love the colors. Cute picture of you and Marian too!

    1. Thanks Karen! It was so fun meeting Marian! I actually got to see and talk to her again yesterday at the Luckett’s Spring Market :)

  9. Gosh, I remember having ducks and hearts everywhere, too!!! What were we all thinking? Your bread box turned out gorgeous!!! Those letters really do seem to jump out. I don’t know much about milk paint, but it looks really fun to work with, I’ll have to give it a try one of these days!

    1. I know, right?! Who knows….but I’m hoping that’s one design trend that won’t be returning ;)

    1. Thanks Kim!! We can only hope! They all come back around but so far so good. Thanks for saying you can’t see my silly little repair! lol

  10. This is so clever! I never would have thought to makeover a bread box and will never look at an old 80’s bread box the same, haha. Plus your hubby can’t complain about more words on one of your pieces when the before and after is that dramatic :)

    1. Hey Katie! I had been looking for a bread box for my kitchen and although this was not the exact design I was looking for I knew I could do something with it! And yes, he likes this one! ;)

    1. Thanks Stacey :) It is definitely different to work with but fun! I am always up to the challenge. ;) and I love paint!

  11. I got the opportunity to take a Milk paint class from Miss libbertigibbet aka…Lorraine in Va Beach. I had a great time and learned a lot about milk paint from her. I too had the whole 80’s -90’s country theme going on, esp. the ducks. I am slowly getting into more of a painted furniture. I’m really loving it.

    1. Oh that’s so great Sheila! So you are a local girl then. ;) I haven’t met Lorraine in person yet (but will soon!) but have gotten to know her ‘online’ and think she is a fabulous person!
      The milk paint was fun, different but fun. I look forward to using it on another larger piece and trying some different techniques with it. I love painted furniture…probably not hard to tell that around here though. ;)

  12. I really love how your bread box turned out. The color is great and so are the graphics that you chose! I have not used milk paint yet. I’ve only just started using ASCP for my nursery. Visiting from the Twelveoeight link party. Have a great day! ~ Jamie

    1. Thanks Jamie :) I love the color…and the milk paint is so great to work with to get those little variations you see there. ASCP is also a favorite of mine..I’ve used that all over my house! ;) Thanks so much for stopping by!

  13. This incredible! I come across these 80s boxes at Goodwill all the time. I saw one that had carved country designs but I wonder if I could use a filler and sand over the carved areas if I see another one like that.

    1. Aw thanks so much Beth! Yes, I too come across these quite a lot (and had passed up many before I picked this one up). Yes, can fill that in and just paint right over it! Grab the next one! ;) Nancy

    1. Hi Kim,
      Thanks so much! I just go around the the letters where there should be a shadow and paint a thin “edge” with black/gray paint. You can print out the graphic and add shadowing in some programs and that helps to see where the shadow should go also.
      Hope that helps!

  14. What a great bread box! Its something I have always hated, but yours look supercute it makes me what to make one! I love that it could actually be used anywhere in the house cause its that awesome :) I think you did a great job on shaddowing the letters as well, looks a lot better.

    I have never tried milk paint and I have no idea what it is haha!

    1. Thank you! :) I suppose I wasn’t really a bread box fan myself. 22 years of marriage and I’ve never had one! But I love mine now. :) But you are so right, you could use it anywhere actually.
      I don’t use Milk Paint much…just don’t has much a feel for it yet. I am sure I will do more pieces with it in the future though!


      1. Hi Nancy. I am on a mission to restore our Bread Bin and found your site when looking for ideas. And I’m glad I did as you’ve made such a good job of it. Our Bread Bin is of similar wooden construction to the one you have; it has a drop down front with a not so evil (?) knob! Only big difference is our kitchen has a red theme (kettle, storage jars etc) and I thought that a red to pink Bread Bin would be ideal. I’m guessing Tricycle over painted with ironstone would give the required effect. What do you think? Oh, and one other thing, I’m in the UK and not sure if we can get milk paints. That’ll be another mission!

        1. Hi Barry!
          I’m not sure about this brand of Milk Paint over there but I would think maybe you would have something available. Hope so! :) If not, Chalk Paint (watered a bit) would give you a similar look. I know that’s available there. ;) And yes, I would bet that would give you exactly the look you are after (those colors)

          Good luck!!:)


  15. Nancy,
    I love this, too, and can’t wait to try the milk paint. But I can’t imagine being able to paint the letters as neatly as you did. Did you use an artist paint brush and if so, what size? Did you just look at the print out as you painted to know where to go wide? Thanks, Dena

    1. Hi Dena,
      Oh the milk paint was fun…but definitely different than anything I’d used before. I have still yet to use it on a large piece but plan to at some point! :)
      I don’t know the size of the brush. I have a bunch here but it was one that has long bristles and is fairly thin. You need it to be thin so that you can control the paint better.
      As far as the print out, I transferred that to the front of the breadbox and just basically “painted in the lines”. :)

  16. What a great transformation on your vintage bread box. I haven’t tried milk paint yet. I am obsessed with strolling through flea markets looking for vintage treasures I can upcycle, paint & transform. My latest mission is to convert all my plastic storage bins in my craft room to Industrial chic. Would love for you to visit and see my latest find.


    1. Thanks Doreen!
      This was my first (and last!) time using Milk Paint. ;) But I do plan to use it again…just haven’t had a chance yet!! It was certainly different from what I am used to but I loved the effects I could achieve.
      I’ll stop by your place!

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