Thursday, July 30, 2015

DIY Chalk Paint Desk

So in my last post, there was a bit of that desk that I got at Habitat for Humanity Restore back in the winter, all glammed up and ready to be a sewing desk! Now that I've had it for a while, I can honestly say this was an amazing purchase, and I'm so glad I pulled the trigger on this desk.

Let's take a look at what it looked like before the white out:

There was so much potential just crying to be let out of the dated dark oak...

I wanted to play with some homemade chalk paint recipes that I'd seen floating around the blogosphere. I found this little chart, which really helps.

I tried the Baking Soda recipe first, and it was ok, but wasn't ideal. It felt a little grainy, and it has a creamier look to it, which is still beautiful, but it wasn't what I was going for. My old nightstand from my childhood was my baking soda guinea pig. And it's still in my craft room, being used, but it'll likely be gotten rid of at some point. The bottom drawer doesn't work quite right....

Anyway!! I decided to try the plaster of paris recipe on the desk. I picked up a carton at my local craft store, and got to work puttying up all the dings and scratches in this desk. And there were a lot...

Winry and Dresden were supervising.

That poor drawer front had apparently been the victim of a lot of chair side-swiping. Wood putty does wonders. That same drawer also hinged (I'm guessing for a keyboard). I didn't want that because it made the drawer front tilt inward at an awkward angle. So I took off the hinges and nailed it to the drawer with finishing nails. Puttied up those nail holes too, and after putting contact paper in the drawer bottoms, you'd never know it was anything unusual! I did forget to take photos of that though. My bad. Please let me know if you want more details and I'll be happy to go into it some more.

Once everything was puttied up and smooth, I gave it one good wipe down with a slightly damp cloth, made up my plaster of paris mixture, and got to work. I only did a little bit of paint mixture at a time. Basically enough to use in one evening. It doesn't save well (at least, mine didn't) and it spreads better when fresh.

As a side note, I painted the walls that would be behind the desk in the week between paying for the desk, and the next Saturday when I got to bring it home. I knew once that desk got in place, it would be there for all eternity. And no painting would get done behind it. I know myself that well at least.. You can see where I decided that was far enough in the below photo, on the far left side under the window.. It's a bit embarrassing how long it took me to finish painting this room, you guys. But it's done!!! And I don't think I'll want to paint in here again for a loooooong time... Because this desk is not moving. At all.

Back to the desk... This is about 2 or 3 coats. I think I stopped at 3. At that point, I had good coverage and an even white tone. Also, no I did not use primer or sand before painting (I did do light sandings between coats on the top since I wanted it to be a brushstroke free as possible). And after 6 months, it is holding up beautifully and there is no discoloring (although there was on the baking soda mixture experiment), so I love this stuff! I hate sanding...

I did one section at a time, so I could have a "mini-goal" instead of a massive project. I need mini-goals to get extensive projects done, even if they're made up. 


I never did figure out how to remove the drawers, so they got painted while attached. It wasn't that bad.

And I did distress it a bit. Not a lot, just on the edges and corners. Not on the big surfaces. I didn't want to cry the first time I dropped something on the corner and made a mark. =P In the end, I love how that looks. The dark stain and the actual wood color against the white looks very striking.

Here are some closeup shots of the distressing:

And then I slapped on a few coats of polycrylic (not polyurethane, since I didn't want to risk yellowing or deal with the long cure time. I'm impatient when it comes to stuff like this. Instant gratification...) and let her set for about a week.

Really I should've let the paint cure for a bit longer, but I couldn't stand waiting any more..

Btw, don't you just love that peacock wall hanging?! My mother-in-law gave it to me, and I think a proper word for it would be "glorious."

That big gaping hole used to have a door on it, judging by the places where hinges used to be. I got a cheap tension rod and put up a curtain out of the same fabric I made my window drapes from (which my mom found on sale for like.. $1/yard. I don't know how she does it. I just tell her what I'm thinking of, and she's found it on clearance within a month).


 And got some contact paper from walmart to put in the drawers!


And thus! My sewing desk is complete and ready for action!!

Don't mind the mess.. I'm working on it, I swear. =3

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