Sunday, April 8, 2012

Painted Swedish Secretary from Lone Ranger Antiques

If you saw my post last week about Jeffree Turney and Lone Ranger Antiques, you saw the picture of Jeffree, his sidekick and MH loading something into our car.

I went to Lone Ranger Antiques to see Jeffree's beautifully painted Swedish antiques and to search for small side tables. I left with a new secretary! I've always wanted one of these and have the perfect spot for it in my great room. I had to move a small chest but this larger piece fills the space better and is the perfect scale to offset the large painted French armoire on the other side of the room.

Painted French armoire on opposite side of the great room.

Like most of Lone Rangers Antiques pieces, this secretary was purchased by Jeffree at auction in Sweden, taken back to his workshop and restored.  Jeffree's signature restoration process consists of stripping the existing paint or finish (usually done in Sweden by another shop that strips furniture),  painting with milk paint, sanding out the highest edges with sand paper to create a distressed look, and then finishing the piece with furniture wax and stain.

On my secretary, Jeffree used Oyster White milk paint for all but the inside back of the hutch. The inside paint is a grey shade of latex paint. In the picture below you can see the subtle color differences. In my home the back appears to be a very soft blue color. It is perfect in this room and the color is a great backdrop for my leather books, deer antlers, oyster eggs and white porcelain.

I love all of the drawers and compartments on this secretary. I especially love the scalloped wood detailing on either side of the middle compartment and the graduated sizes of the four drawers on either side of the piece. There is even an open compartment in the bottom middle that is the perfect size for a laptop computer. (I am not sure but there may have originally been a drawer in this area.)

In May, 2010 Jeffree Turney was a guest of the Martha Stewart Show where he demonstrated his furniture milk painting and distressing techniques. You can view Martha and Jeffree painting and waxing an antique Swedish Mora clock at

I've also copied and pasted below Jeffree's milk painting instructions from the Martha Stewart website.

The Martha Stewart Show, May 2010
Give any piece of furniture a beautiful Gustavian finish with this milk painting technique from Jeffree Turney of Lone Ranger Antiques.

Tools and Materials
  • Any wooden item, new or old
  • Paint stripper, if necessary
  • Milk paint
  • Water
  • Large recycled plastic container, such as an empty iced tea or lemonade jug
  • Plastic fork
  • Paintbrush
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • 300-grit sandpaper
  • Howard Feed-N-Wax furniture wax
  • Minwax in Dark Walnut
  • Latex or Rubber Gloves
  • Socks
  • Long plastic-bristled scrub brush
Milk Painting How-To1. Strip item to raw wood.
2. Mix 1 cup milk paint to 2 parts water in a large recycled plastic container.
3. Paint trim and base coat in one stroke from end to end, along the grain.
  • Use fork to continually stir paint and keep it evenly mixed.
  • Don't let milk paint drip on itself (don't hold paint container over painted surface).
  • Paint fast because milk paint dries quickly -- especially in dry, warm weather.
4. Use 100-grit sandpaper to distress highest edges (where wear and tear would most likely occur over the years). Use 300-grit sandpaper to smooth flat surfaces.
5. Mix 20 percent "Howard's Feed 'n' Wax" furniture wax to 80 percent "Dark Walnut" Minwax.
6. Wearing latex or rubber gloves covered with socks, apply wax. Use a paint brush for tight spots. Rub off excess wax immediately with a long plastic-bristled scrub brush.
ResourcesGenuine old-fashioned homemade milk paint is available from Howard Feed-N-Wax is available on Amazon. All other tools and materials are available from The Home Depot.

Au revoir, Mitty

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