Vintage Desk Make-Over | Sugar for Breakfast: Vintage Desk Make-Over

Monday, January 7, 2013

Vintage Desk Make-Over

I am back in college. It is true. But for some reason in my house we do not have a desk. We have laptops, an iPad, counters, and a dining room table, but no place for me to sprawl out my outrageously overpriced textbooks, keep my notebooks and pens and all my other "school" stuff in one place. Oh, and all my blogging materials. It seems to be spreading all over the house...
So I have silently been on the hunt for a desk. That's when one day this thing appeared on the local For Sale page on Facebook:

The owner was asking $35 for it, and it has only been sitting outside in a shed/garage type place since she bought I knew it needed some work. 
YES! A project!!

The top of the desk when I bought it

Now I have never redone a piece of furniture before, so this was all just me guessing my way through what I should do. I'm sure I could have done things much differently, but I actually like how it ended up when finished.

I should have stripped the paint off outside, but the week I worked on this it was single-digit lows and highs in the teens, so it was too frigid for me to be standing out there. I did it all in my kitchen. 

I went to the local hardware store and bought:
  • a plastic drop cloth
  • paint stripper (in the spray can)
  • plastic putty knives
  • a little brush for scrubbing out the paint from the knobs
  • a little can of white paint
  • sandpaper sponge (you can rinse and reuse them)
I already had paintbrushes on hand :)

I put the plastic cloth under the desk and taped the sides up to the wall and sprayed the desk with a thick layer of the paint stripper. It is safe for indoor use with no harsh fumes, however it isn't the best smelling stuff, so I had the oven fan on, a window cracked, and the ceiling fan on.
Let the stripper sit and work its magic for about half an hour, then using a plastic putty knife, scrape the stuff off.
I knew I wanted a "used" or "vintage" look to the desk, so I really wasn't worried about perfection.
When it was stripped off it looked like this:

Now I let the desk sit and dry for an entire two days. I wanted to make sure the paint stripper was dry in any area I may have missed.

I then painted the entire desk with just a simple white paint. I put on three coats over the top. It was a really dark desk under there!

Again, I wasn't worried about perfection with the paint at all. It was kind of sloppy...
But I let that sit and dry an entire day.
Then I brought out the sanding sponge and roughed up all the edges, especially the corners. 
The edges of the drawers, and underneath the pull handles I made sure were sanded well.
I also sanded over the entire surface of the top and the sides, focusing on random areas to make it look more worn than others.

But I kept staring at the hardware decorations on the drawers. I knew I wanted to paint them a different color from the get-go. I just didn't know what. I wanted them to look vintage...I settled on using some glitter. My husband was watching me..."umm, who glitters a desk?" he asked me. "Apparently your wife glitters a desk." was my only clever response, because I'm sure there are more people who would glitter a desk, right? Not just me? 

How do you glitter hardware?  It is SIMPLE and to be honest...this will probably not be the last time I glitter some knobs!!

For this part of the project I used:
  • vanilla colored acrylic paint
  • gold extra fine glitter
  • mod podge semi-glossy
  • small paint brushes
  • small bowl
  • cling wrap (Saran wrap)
I wanted them to look classy, so I settled on using gold colors. I used an acrylic paint called "vanilla" which is a odd gold/mustard/yellow color and painted the knobs and the flower design:

Again, I knew I was covering the paint with gold glitter, so I wasn't too worried about perfection with it. I let my daughter help paint also, because she was begging non-stop...

Then I wrapped some of the cling wrap over a little sauce bowl, poured in some mod podge and a good amount of the extra fine glitter:


Mix the glitter and mod podge together and brush heavily over the paint.
I put on two coats over the paint to make sure that there was going to be a good coverage of glitter. I want to see it shimmer when I walk by!

After the mod podge dries, it will make a great seal over the knobs and the little design and it created a great vintage-inspired look that I am definitely pleased with!

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