The Accidental Tea Cart

Creatively Tuesday is still LIVE!  

Go link up here and come right back… please!  🙂

As I sat outside painting, enjoying the cool breeze and the sunshine on my face, I thought of everything I wanted to say in this post.  It was creative, clever, and wonderful.

Then I ate lunch.

I’m pretty sure my lunch ate my brain cells.  There’s nothing left.

So, I’ll try to recover what I can as I type about this lovely tea cart transformation.

I know it’s not so lovely right now.  This little tea cart was sitting in the storage unit where I went to purchase my antique buffet.  It called out to me, “Buy me too!  Get me outta here!!”

I bought her.  I feel quite guilty actually.  I pretty much stole her, in a not so evil kind of way.  The man just wanted to clean out his storage unit and so I got her for a song.

If I told you how much I paid, you’d gasp, you’d scream, you’d cry.

So I’ll spare you the gasping, screaming and crying.

I mentioned that this was an accidental transformation.  You have to find out why!

It started out with me buying some of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Lucketts Green.  This was my first time to use it, and I was super excited to try it out on this cart.
~I just HAVE to interrupt to tell you a story about when I went to buy this paint…….~ 
So, it was Saturday, our garage sale day.  In order to get up and get going early, I got out of bed, threw on some makeup, blue jeans and a hat, and we were out the door.  
It wasn’t pretty.  
On the way home, I beg Hubby to let me run into a store to buy some Milk Paint and ASCP.  I spend quite a lot of time in this lovely store speaking to the ladies about paint, finishes, opening up my own store.  I feel like I’m bonding with these sweet ladies.  I feel empowered.  I’m going to be a painting queen.. quite possibly own my own store.  I’m on cloud 9!  
So, we walk out to the truck and I lean over to put all my newly acquired painting supplies inside, and hubby starts laughing.  He says, “Stay bent over.. I need to get a picture of your butt.”  To which I’m thinking… oh great… he loves me.. can’t get enough of me…
I play along.  He takes a picture of my butt all the while laughing.  
I finally yell, “WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT??”
He turns his phone around to show me the picture of my butt.
There it is.  A HUGE rip in my jeans.  Right where the pocket is attached… WAS attached.  The hole pocket had ripped from the jeans leaving a HUGE hole where you could see my pink polka-dotted underwear!!!  
I would like to take the time to apologize to everyone I flashed my pink undies to.  I think I blended in with most of the garage sale crowd, but to the sweet ladies at the paint store.  So sorry!
The instructions say to mix 1 1/2 parts water to 1 part dry paint powder.  Hmmmm….  Have I mentioned that I’m NOT a mathematician and that this wording is REALLY confusing??  (It did mention that if you are new to milk paint, that you should watch a video on milk paint.  I’m too impatient for that.)  
So, I guesstimated it.  
I measured some water… it was cold… it’s supposed to be warm.  I can’t help it if there was a water line break somewhere so all I could get out was a trickle of cold water.  I had a tea cart to paint after all!
It just didn’t look right!  Kind of like muddy water.  Surely that’s not what it is supposed to look like!
In the end, I dumped all the powder in and made a quart of milk paint!  I still don’t know if I mixed it right.  
Here is my cart after 3 coats of milk paint.  

It was not was I hoping for.  After more reading about milk paint, I realized ONE (I’m sure there are more, but for now, there’s just one!) thing I did wrong.  Although you don’t have to sand to use milk paint, if your piece is not porous, then you need to use the binding agent.  Mine was not porous.
So, I decided to use ASCP in Duck Egg Blue and just paint right over it.  (Hubby thought you should get a shot of me painting.  Thank goodness I just colored my hair the other day!  Don’t my roots look fabulous?)

Little did I know what amazing things would happen after I painted over the milk paint! 

Ever wonder what would happen if you added Miss Mustard Seed to Annie Sloan?  It equals chippy goodness!  (I was going to say if you ever wondered what would happen if they got married, but then realized that was just too weird!)


After a little distressing and some clear wax, she was complete!

Oh so beautiful!!

Here she is with two of my garage sale finds from Saturday.

 See… I told you I’d paint that serving dish!  Doesn’t it make a gorgeous chalkboard?



My name is Claire and I am behind the blog... The Rustic Pig. I am a wife, a mother to 2 boys, and I just might be addicted to Craigslist. I love to buy antiques, paint them, and give them a chance to be loved again! Please feel free to pull up a chair and stay for a while. If you ask a question or leave a comment, I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible!


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Texas gal, wife, mother to 2 boys, author behind the blog The Rustic Pig, business owner, antique lover, and Christ follower!

Latest posts by Claire (see all)


  1. You’re right, it was long, but it was fun! So glad the pink polka dot undies incident happened to you and not me! Love your little tea cart. Well worth all the adventures you had to go on to make it happen!

    • Ha ha! Ok.. I took out the whole pumpkin carving part and will do a Halloween post tomorrow! It just didn’t seem to fit and made it entirely too long!

      I bet those ladies had a good laugh after I left! Geez!

      Glad you stopped by! Hugs!

    • UMMMMM! I didn’t know you are a total mess like me ;D. I have absolutely walked around with my underwear tucked into my skirt. I totally wanted to try Milk Paint, but my local carrier still didn’t have it in, so I tried chalk paint first. Now I feel like I really want to go get some!!!

      WEEEEEEE! What a fun post! Great work!

    • Beja,

      Thanks! You are hilarious!

      I really like the milk paint.. I just need to keep working with it until I can figure it out. I probably need to watch the video tutorial too! 😉

  2. This tea cart is adorable! Can you post the serving dish chalkboard? I need one 🙂

  3. Lovely, my favourite colour, good work.


  4. his is a “DAZZLER” Id love to find one of these! Great job:)

  5. I’m so glad you bought her! She deserved to be in loving hands like yours… What a wonderful transformation! What a great idea to put her on the porch! So inviting….
    hugs ~ Crystelle

  6. It’s a beautiful color! I love how it turned out!

  7. I love the color! It turned out great! Thanks for the entertaining story! LOL!

  8. Oh Claire how cool sorry about the undie part but it was a great story. I am fixing to bring home a tea cart just like it from my mothers been waiting for enough room for it. It’s finish is perfect but I was planing on painting it white. You’ve inspired me! I can’t wait now to get it now that I have seen yours.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a Beautiful weekend.

    • I think white with a dark wax or stain on top would be gorgeous!! That’s what I thought about doing originally, but this Duck Egg Blue paint was just begging to be used, so I used it instead! I’d love to see it when you are done! Hugs!!

  9. What a beautiful accident!!! And what a beautiful piece to start off with!

  10. Janice Huston says:

    Hello, I am new to your site. I happened upon it from facebook and haven’t gotten anything done since!! I am reading everything and enjoying it imensely!! I absolutely LOVE everything you have done and HOW you explain it. I am really hooked and hope to do some of these items myself. I am so looking forward to garage sales, estate sales and flea markets when the weather warms up, can’t wait, it’s like I went into a state of depression, of sorts, when it got cold and no more sales. I hit the antique stores, but it’s just not the same, you can’t get that ‘awesome item for a steal’ there, but it’s fun looking for now. Goodwill is my place of choice for now. I’m such a fan, keep up the awesome work!!

  11. Hi Claire,Im back,love the tea cart and the tray turned chalk board you realy do pretty work and you enjoy it also.I love it to i keep my little great grand daughter Emma.She keeps me going lol and makes my day i did make a chalk board and very happy with it. Hugs Peggy

  12. Hi Claire,
    Loved the platter you made a chalk plate, loved the teacart, very cute.:)

  13. I have a very similar tea cart (in fact, I’d say they are twins) & I’m now inspired by your post-can’t wait to get started to create an artsy plant stand (or something like that!)

  14. What a beautiful difference! I have an old tea cart too and am looking for ideas:)

  15. Hi Claire,
    Your blog was a sweet surprise for me. I have the exact same tea cart which is special to me because it belonged to my Mom who passed away this year. I am getting ready to paint it and was looking online for examples when I found your blog. Well, here was the extra surprise. In your picture at the end with the teapot, I see the exact same teapot that I bought for my Mom about 45 years ago! It was a Mother’s Day present and I just recently brought it home as a keepsake. What were the chances?! Thanks!

  16. Robert Moody says:

    I have a tea cart but I need rubber covers for the large wheels. Anyone have an idea?

  17. shirley tate says:

    I have this Tea Cart. I paid 25.oo for it is that about right.only know I love it.

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