Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Refinishing a Desk - Before and After

I think the photos will speak for themselves. 

After -- The Finished Desk



 What do you think of the new desk?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Part 3a - Refinishing a desk...

I'm sure you're wondering - "Did she finish the desk?"  or  "Show us already!"

The truth is... I'm still working on it.  I've painted, sanded, painted again, and painted any touch-ups in spots that needed it.  I've also painted the INSIDE of ALL the drawers, to make it prettier.

What really slowed me down in this process is the drawer pulls.  I had decided from the beginning that I would throw out the old ones and get new ones.  But then, I started looking for new ones, and some were nice, some were beautiful, but none felt like they belonged with the style and paint job of this desk.  Until NOW.

Today (JUST NOW), I purchased a set of Fire Orange Vintage pulls on Etsy, and just can't wait to get them on the desk!  Here's a sneak preview...  what do you think?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Part 3 - Stripping and Painting

Now it's time for the FUN part - the desk has been stripped, sanded and primed - ready to PAINT!

Currently, I look to Pinterest for inspiration for everything from dinner to art, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found a ton of great DIY before and after images that involved refinishing furniture.  When I came across THIS photo (courtesy of Jesse Nine Red), I stopped in my tracks.  I turned to Jason and said "this is it." He smiled and said "that's AWESOME!"  I bought the paint the next day.

So, I've only just begun to paint. The above table was a jumping-off point for me, an inspiration. As you can see, my desk is starting out primarily Aqua/Turquoise (which I love!), but the cobalt just doesn't look "cobalt" enough for me. I painted the drawers anyway, hoping that after they dried, I'd like it better.

I don't.

So here we are in a holding pattern.  I'll be heading to Lowe's to get my paint darkened sometime this weekend.  I'll also be shopping for drawer knobs.

After seeing how great the wide drawer looks, I plan on painting the inside and outside of all the drawers now.

Your thoughts on the cobalt dark blue?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

First Time Stripping (Furniture) - Part 2

Day 2 of stripping! Drawers are done and ready to prime, the next step is the beast of this desk. I started this at 11:30am by spraying the stripper all over the desk, coating it as evenly as possible.

(Note: let me remind you how harmful this stripper is - use protective gloves, and don't spray against the wind.)

I used nearly a whole can for just the drawers, so I was concerned that I might need more stripper for the desk body.

As expected, within about 5 minutes, the paint was already bubbled.  My suggestion: WAIT at least the full 10 minutes before you start clearing the paint off, or longer if you have the patience.

Again, the multiple layers of paint were a challenge.  The desk only had 3 layers of paint over the wood finish, and was easier to go through than the drawers.  Areas that didn't have as much stripper didn't bubble up as much. 

These legs were torture.  Using a flat scraper across a curved surface will make you a little nuts.  For tight corners, angles and curves, use a wire brush, tooth brush or steel wool. I used the paint scraper first, then followed up with a super scour pad.

At this point, I was ready to apply more stripper...

... and it helped! more of the paint was coming off, but it wasn't good enough, and I ran out of stripper.

Hours later...

When all else fails, grab a power tool.  As you can see from the shadows, this is much later in the day, around 5pm.  I broke down and used the power sander, which worked brilliantly.  I started with a 50 grit paper (very coarse) and finished with a 110 grit.  (Higher number = finer sandpaper)  My makeshift dust mask protected my air passages, but my glasses really weren't enough protection from getting bits of sawdust in my eyes. I'm ok.

All stripped, sanded, and ready to prime!

Since the sun was going down, I flipped the desk to prime everything except for the top.
I also primed the drawers, and since I was planning to paint the inside of the wide drawer, I primed that too.  I used about 2 cans of Valspar primer on all of it.

Coming soon: Part 3 & 4 - Painting and Finishing the desk!