My, You’re Looking Mustardy Today

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  August 15, 2011 — 12 Comments

Somehow between getting back from the beach last weekend and heading off again this weekend (this time to Houston to visit my friend Sarah and shop at Ikea), I managed to transform my $60 thrifted coffee table from this:

To this:

It was late afternoon and the sky was overcast by the time we got home yesterday. I struggled to get nice pictures in my already-sort-of-dim dining room. I wish I could truly capture the effect of this mustard yellow in the space because it is so delightful. This vintage book inspired the color. I brought it to Lowe’s and had it color matched to a quart of Olympic interior flat paint. The worker was all worried about it coming out too dark, but it’s my experience that color matched paints usually do come out a bit darker so I reassured her that I felt comfortable mixing in a little white at home to get the exact shade I was looking for.

You can see here the difference between the paint straight out of the can and after I added a little white. After I knew the color was right I mixed up a big batch. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s smart to mix more paint than you need.

The yellow didn’t offer very good coverage over the dark wood and the detailed wood wasn’t easy to paint. Check out how awesome this side was looking after one coat.

I love a little mustard on my hot dog. I actually don’t love paint on my pets, but since they all insist on being all up in my business it happens from time to time. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of chasing down a cat with paint on her paws and I don’t recommend it.

We moved it outside for me to paint so that I could visit with Nick while he did some yardwork. When we picked it up I was surprised by how heavy my end was and it tipped to the side a bit. Then I noticed something I hadn’t before.

A drawer! Most of my furniture-painting experience is in dressers. I usually don’t paint the insides of the drawers because there’s just so darn many of them and I’m too lazy. But just like how my Nanny’s armoire got indulged with a fancy Anthro knob because it only needed one, this little drawer got the VIP treatment with a custom-mixed coat of paint. I knew it would only take a few minutes to paint just the one drawer and I love the result.

To get the inky blue shade I used here (which, again, is not captured in nearly all its glory), I took some light blue paint left over from another project and added purple, black, and gray a little bit at a time until I had what I was looking for.

I just love the pop of mustard yellow I’ve got now. It plays off the blue dresser and adds to the eclectic feel I so adore. Also, I was surprised to discover that the brass details are actually more noticeable now that the wood is painted!

Thanks to Cassie for suggesting the mustard yellow! And a shout out to Ms. Joanne–I heard from Sarah you’re also a fan of the mustard + blue combo! Great minds think alike. Anyone else loving yellow and blue together lately?

P.S. I’ve got a lot going on over the next few weeks and am considering publishing some guest posts. Do you have an awesome project or idea that you’re interested in posting about here? Email me at

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


12 responses to My, You’re Looking Mustardy Today

  1. The table looks fabulous! I still can’t believe that it was only $60. What a find!

  2. This looks great! Can’t wait to see it in person!

  3. Love how that turned out! It totally lightened up your room. It looks great in there!

  4. Just a tip for you: Prefinished things like that are easier to paint (AND they cover better too) if you give them a coat of KILZ to start with!

    • Charlotte | livingwellonthecheap August 16, 2011 at 7:03 am

      I rarely use primer because A) I hate it and B) if I decide to distress a piece I’d rather have the wood show through than the white, but you’re right that maybe it would’ve been a good first step for this project.

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