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Photo: Thomas J. Story

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The softly weathered, two-toned drawers of this tall bureau have a well-used charm found in many antiques. Yet the bureau is an inexpensive pine model purchased at an unfinished-furniture store. The character comes from layers of milk paint that have been sanded and then sealed with a final layer of beeswax (an alternative to beeswax is any paste floor wax). This paint-and-finishing technique has been used for many centuries.

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