Wednesday, June 16, 2010

From vixen to virtuous in several hundred steps...

Isn't that how it is? If a gal wants to change her life and turn from a wanton woman to a woman of integrity, it doesn't necessarily happen overnight. There are a number of steps involved. (I'm merely surmising, of course.) That was the case with the gorgeous she-devil desk I bought at Goodwill for $14.99. It was love at first sight, but when I actually got down to pealing off all four layers of glopped on paint, I just wasn't sure I was up to the task. Fortunately, I persevered.

In my last post about this little floozie, I highlighted the "the ugly truth about refinishing furniture", so there's no need to replay that awful record again. Suffice it to say that the "painted lady" was restored to her pristine, innocent condition and she was ready to get an appropriate, more conservative makeover.

I'll let you know the process I used, and then tell you what I would do differently (just about everything). I started by applying two coats of Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Primer (spray paint). Then I applied five coats of Rust-oleum Americana Accents Smooth Satin spray paint in Heirloom White. You heard me right. Five. Coats. That desk was drier than the Mojave Desert in July, and it took a total of 7 (light) coats to get her covered sufficiently. I spent hundreds of dollars on spray paint (only a slight exaggeration). After all that paint she was a lovely white and pure as the driven snow, so I sanded down her edges a teeny bit and applied a little Ralph Lauren "smoke" glaze just to bring her back to earth.

Five coats of Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover clear non-yellowing matte finish later and she was a done deal. However, after I applied the third coat of finish I contacted Gail at My Repurposed Life for some advice. I was at my whits end. The top of this desk is made of pine and the clear sealer was soaking into the wood without giving it a "finished" look. I'm here to tell you Gail saved my sanity, and she prevented the desk from being used as kindling for a smore-fest. She suggested I turn the desk on its back to spray the top of the desk. That way the can would be facing up, and I might be able to get better coverage. She is a genius. That's all it took and with two more coats of the clear sealer the desk was complete. Some new knobs from HL finished her off. Ok. So here's the unveiling. She's not perfect, but I love her all the same...

I know I've railed on this little desk of mine, but I must admit she is absolutely perfect in this bedroom. I love her. I just didn't love the process. Next time I would do as Gail suggested, and I would roll on a latex semi-gloss paint which would take a fraction of the time. Live & learn.

Before:

After:



Linked to:
Visit thecsiproject.com
Furniture Feature Friday @ Mustard Seed Creations
Hookin' Up with HOH @ House of Hepworths
Show Off Your Stuff Party @ Fireflies & Jellybeans
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Get Your Craft on Thursday @ Life as Lori
Show & Share Day @ Just a Girl
Garage Salen @ Debbiedoos

57 comments:

Gerry's Soap N Stuff said...

My goodness, this is an awesome piece...I just have to love this desk.

Chris said...

I've been through tough refinishing before...way to get through it and make something beautiful.

Green Willow Pond said...

Oh Suzanne. I know exactly what you mean. I named my cupboard that I stripped "The Beast!" I spent hours stripping it. I still have a little more paint to get off, but I had to take a break to get ready for our church camp/VBS week. I think I will never strip paint again!

Your desk turned out beautiful!

Blue Artichoke Interiors said...

It turned out so beautiful. I wouldn't have been able to resist that desk even in its 'before' state. I love the pink knobs and the over the feminine look the knobs give this fabulous refinshed beauty!

Renee said...

It looks like a million bucks!!!

gail@myrepurposedlife.net said...

ohhh, it's perfect! 100% all girly girl! I love everything about it. thanks for giving me "props". :)
I hope this piece stays in your family for many, many years! They don't make 'em like this anymore.
great job!
gail

Becky said...

Glad you persevered cause she turned out beautiful!

Decorchick! said...

wow, this is gorgeous!! I can't believe it's the same desk! I wish I had that desk for my vanity. Visiting from Fireflies and Jellybeans and a new follower. Your blog looks great can't wait to see more!

Julie Harward said...

That is just awesome! She's a lady for sure now. Looks like a bit of hard work but so worth it...really nice! Come say hi :D

MiaKatia said...

It really did turn out fantastic! Love the knobs, they are lovely.

Uska B Hope said...

Nossa, ficou tão lindo!! E esse detalhe rosa dos puxadores, um charme!!

Danielle Renee said...

She turned out lovely!!
Doesn't the process always turn out to be longer then you think? I once bought a 20 dollar dinette (I was young and naive) at Goodwill and had a vision of a grand adventure. Well after 25 dollars worth of spray paint, a chair that had to be welded and other surprise purchases. I finally had a good looking table and chair set, even though it took me two seasons to complete the project!

Chloe' said...

wow..she's beautiful! You've done an amazing job =) I'm glad i read this post before starting my own project!

I'd love to find a piece like that to restore once i have the room =)

Chloe x

Sandy said...

Your desk is a very nice piece.. the way you went about it was indeed alot of work and the cost of all those cans of paint.. but you know, it did turn out beautiful..
I've done several old pieces this past month and I used a paint brush with primer.. one coat,, it was faster and covered the first time..
No matter how you did it, it turned out spectacular!
Sandy

Fern Valley Farm said...

Wow Suzanne! This is amazing! You were so lucky to find such a great piece at a great price, and then you did an awesome job refinishing it. Well done!
~Elissa

Kinzie Sue said...

Haven't been on your blog in ages and I love all of the fun projects you've posted!! I feel your pain with this project, I stripped down an old bed (I swear it's 100 years old) and it had tons of gloopy layers. Your redo turned out fab- it's so shabby chic! Can't wait to see more pics of the room.

Mary-ham said...

Nice job! And I love the pink touches!

Rebekah said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!

paintedprimrose said...

i love it! beautiful job. sarah

Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

That is AWESOME!!! Great job!

Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com said...

Oh my goodness! That desk is so beautiful.It was totally worth the work - I'm so glad you persevered!

XOXO
Jen

the momma said...

Well, I can see why you stuck with it--the desk is absolutely stunning. I'm sure it didn't feel like it at the time--but it sure looks like it was worth the effort!!! Great job!

Sarah @ Hennessey House said...

wow! this is incredible!! really nice work :)

Stephanie Cameron said...

Oh. How. Beautiful!!! What a great find. Lots of hard work...but then the great projects always are. Great job. Way to persevere!!

Debbie said...

Suzanne, this projects ROCKS! Holy cow though the process...you are very very patient....you just read my post....me NOT!!~:) Thanks for linking up to the partay...I so appreciate it....this is a great project to share too! Have a great weekend.

Jennifer said...

wow! She is just gorgeous now!!!!

Pamela said...

That desk would be perfect for my sewing room. Are you sure I can;t pretty pleas have it!?;) You did a wonderful job and it is soo pretty!

Victoria said...

Oh...BEAUTIFUL!!! If that's not every blogger gals dream desk to sit at then I don't know what is. What an amazing transformation!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

This is an amazging transformation. Well done!

Allison said...

This deck is FABULOUS!! Totally love it! What a find. I am having trouble with a shelf unit right now. Totally looks like your second picture up there. UGH!

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

What a gorgeous little beauty she is!! I just love how this stunning desk turned out!
I have often wondered myself if i was just better off painting a piece my hand with paint out of a can rather then spray painting it!
Congrats on a masterpiece!!
Hugs,
Debbie

shelly @ the familyblt said...

Stopping by from HOH--love this re-do, it came out great!

Lynn said...

Great job, glad you persevered! The desk is a beautiful piece of furniture and I love how you refinished it. Glad you shared about using a brush as I am getting ready to re-do my dresser.

Jillian said...

Holy Moly! The desk turned out to be SO cute!

Tina said...

Wow Suzanne! She turned out beautifully! What a long process to get there, but it was definitely worth all of that HARD work, I would say!!! She is fabulous - ENJOY, you clever lady!! ~ Tina xx

Chris said...

I LOVE it!! She is just beautiful! I know it was a lot of work but the results are stunning! Thanks for sharing. :)

Tolentreasures said...

That is absolutely beautiful! You did a fantastic job, glad she was worth it!

Cathy

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Ahhh - she was worth it! She's just purtiful! (yes I made up that word and definitely the spelling but it just seemed to fit)

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

Stopping by from debbiedoos!! Love how this desk turned out. It had to be a lot of work but you did a great job!

Linda said...

Hi Suzanne~ just hopped over from Debbiedoos~ what a beautiful desk re-do! I've really enjoyed visiting your blog~ so much creativity! I'm looking forward to reading more...I'm a new follower!

Country Mouse said...

What a stunning transformation!!! I LOVE it!!! Love your blog, it's always full of wonderful stuff!

Tiffany said...

So I couldn't help but notice as I was reading all your old blog posts that you originally referred to this desk as "baby" and "little girl". Then came the paint stripping and suddenly she turned into a "floozie" and a "vixen"! Oh how the mighty have fallen (and been relifted to angelic heights)! The new version is amazing!

The Frosted Gardner said...

I love this desk. What a wonderful job and the pink hardware compliments it so nicely. I want one now!

Anita@GoingALittleCoastal said...

I love the legs on this desk! You did a fabulous job on giving her a new life. Sometime we do things the hard way but know better the next time :)She looks great now!

Charlotte said...

Beautiful desk! But if you were going to paint it, why strip? Wouldn't a sanding suffice?

Suzanne said...

Charlotte, I supposed I could have just sanded the desk, but it had four very thick layers of paint already on it. It really needed to be taken down to its bare bones! The details are more apparent now without all that paint!

Danielle said...

The desk turned out so great! In the end I'm sure it was worth all of the tedious work, and a year from now, you'll forget the painstaking process, and have your marvelous treasure to keep forever!

Amanda@The Hand Me Down House said...

You really saved this desk! I love what you did with it! :) Looks beautiful now.

paisley penguin said...

Wow , amazing and beautiful! Great job - I linked over from Gail and Repurposed Life.

La Maison Reid said...

This is absolutely incredible. Love the colors. It truly was a piece worth refinishing. Funny how you always learn an easier way AFTER you've finished a piece? Can't wait to read about your pillows...after all, that is why I'm here in the first place!

Melissa said...

She is lovely - absolutely lovely - love the pink knobs...

LoriLyn said...

Sounds like an exhausting project but it paid off! The desk looks fabulous!

Lisa said...

Awesome desk!! You really brought out her beauty! Just gorgeous.
Lisa

Jenny said...

Wow - you did a wonderful job on this!! I love how you explained the process - thanks for all of the great tips!

I am definitely going to follow your blog - it looks like you have a lot of great stuff here!

Яната said...

Suzanne, you're so brave...and patient! really nice piece of furniture. Should I try? this idea scares me:))))but I'm so in love with off white shabby chick tables and dressers and...you name it...oh:(

Doug Eash said...

WOW! cool desk, it's amazing the things you can find at Goodwill

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

What a beautiful desk! I love the legs and the pretty details. The smoke glaze to finish was just the right touch!