What do you call a tricycle with eight legs? Clumsy? Wobbly? Improper?
Let’s walk through how we came to have an eight legged tricycle and then you decide.
It was in near perfect condition and had such striking form. But like so many pieces that I am drawn to, it was missing something… As it sat, it was a classic beauty, ready to sit off against the wall, complacent in the safety of it’s ability to hold a few pictures perhaps, maybe a vase of flowers… Just complacent… But can you see the spunk lying just beyond the classic beauty? The spunk that comes when you slap on some red lipstick instead of your usual lip balm? It was missing the pop of life that lay just beyond the classic, waiting to be revived. It wanted to fling up those drop leaves, stretch out it’s gates and host a party in the center of the room! It wanted to hold secrets inside it’s pretty little drawer, rather than just an old, forgotten phone book! It wanted to have people circle it and admire it’s eight curvy legs!
Miss Mustard Seed’s Tricycle Red Milk Paint. I could go on and on about MMS Milk Paint, but will save that for another post. If you don’t already know, you’ll just have to trust me that it will make you want to sing. Even if singing’s not your thing.
I brushed on two coats, careful to get in all the ridges. Generally, when I paint tables, I do the first coat with the table upside down. It makes painting the legs so much easier and I’m more confident that I won’t miss any parts that no one will ever really see, but I don’t want to forget to paint either – under the spindles and whatnot. I flip it over for the second coat, which allows me to see if I missed any of the important spots. There were so many edges on this table that I had missed a couple. So I quickly went through and covered those.
After the paint dried, I got out my scraper and held my breath. Milk paint has a personality all it’s own, and it’s relationship with each piece painted is unique. So I braced myself and hoped for a chippy finish… And chippy is what I got!
Once I reached the desired level of chippy goodness, I sealed with clear wax to halt the chipping process. And then I stepped back to admire those legs. All eight of them! I debated adding some dark Antiquing Wax, but decided I liked the brightness the way it was. There was enough dark coming through where the wood had chipped.
The table top had a couple of spots of water damage and a couple of scrapes and what some may call “blemishes”. I preferred to think of them as crow’s feet or smile lines – signs that a woman is aging gracefully and living life. I felt like these “wrinkles” retained the character and spoke to the life this old girl had lived through. You could see the imprints of some old math homework, as well as a possible football game play map. This made me smile. The neighbors I had gotten this table from were close to their nineties and any football game play map would have been from their children who were long since grown and had families of their own. I hand sanded the top carefully so as not to completely eliminate these traces of history. I gave it a coat of Minwax Dark Walnut stain and waited (and waited and waited) for it to dry.
Where there had been watermarks, the wood still appeared a little dry in those parts. I rubbed in a coat of coconut oil to saturate the spots a bit and give an even tone. Every gracefully aging beauty tries some wrinkle cream every now and again, right? Once the oil was soaked in, I buffed and gave the entire table a coat of clear wax to seal in all that nourishment.
So, what do you call a Tricycle with eight legs? I call it Gracefully Aging Liberation and Absolutely Gorgeous!
Miss Mustard Seed