When I spotted the desk at my favorite junk shop, I knew just how I would paint it. There was a pretty detail on the desk that I hoped to save from the paintbrush, and I did!
I paid $40 for the desk. It had lost most of it's original drawer pulls but that wasn't a big deal. Look at all those lovely details on the sides of the desk and the legs - perfect for distressing.
Today is Furniture Fixer Upper Tour Day and we are welcoming a new team member, Natalie from A Ray Of Sunshine. Yay!
The desk was dusty and covered with cobwebs in hidden places. A good vacuuming with the shop vac and cleaning with Simple Green was the first step in the makeover. Prep for painting furniture often takes more time than the painting process.
Next, I removed all the drawer pulls and applied a small piece of painter's tape over the screw hole on the inside of each drawer so paint wouldn't seep inside. You might notice I also taped over the decorative detail on the middle desk drawer. I was hoping it would look okay not painted.
The top of the desk was a hot mess. I sanded the surface just a bit but there was no way I was going to sand down enough to remove all those scars and pits.
I haven't painted anything black in ages and I had this new jar of Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint I wanted to try. The color is Caviar, and it is a deep, rich black. The plan was to distress the chalk paint heavily to give the desk an antique finish. Chalk paint is perfect for this technique.
I brushed on two coats of paint. The chalk paint covers well but there is always an area or two around the details or furniture edges that I miss on the first coat of paint.
Next, I used my power sander to distress around the drawer edges and the details on the body of the desk.
I bet you think the paint doesn't look so good after distressing it. You are right but I have several ways to get rid of that hazy look.
One way is to apply Dixie Belle Terra Seal, a matte finish, over the painted desk.
You can see in the photo above how the sealer takes care of the haze caused from distressing the paint. The sealer is whitish but goes on clear and dries clear.
Selecting new furniture knobs is usually a pain. I sometimes go through several sets of pulls before I find ones I like. In this instance, though, I pulled out the perfect knobs the first go-round. The matte finish black knobs with the raised details in satin black were perfect.
The only problem was that I purchased the knobs years ago at Hobby Lobby and did not have enough for all the desk drawers. I made a trip to Hobby Lobby and was surprised to find they still had the same knobs in stock. That was pure luck.
I screwed all the knobs onto the finished desk and they looked great. I also wanted to mention that I used less than a fourth of the jar of chalk paint on this project. The container is the 32-ounce size.
Some of you are not going to like the heavy distressing. That's okay. I know the look isn't for everyone. I think the chalk painted and distressed desk looks antique and old.
The chair was an afterthought. I finished the desk and started taking photos but the empty space where the chair would be was the first thing that caught my eye. I went shopping.
I found the chair at a local flea market for $12. It was all beat up but I could tell it was a quality chair. Not wanting to ruin the character of the antique chair, I just cleaned it and freshened the finish with Howard's Feed n Wax.
The chair is perfect for the desk but I'm hanging on to it for a while, so the desk went to the shop without a chair. I don't know how much wear and tear the chair can take. At some point a few nails and screws were needed to hold it together.
The reason the unpainted detail on the middle drawer works is because of the distressing on the desk. The distressed wood had a light, raw look to it. If the desk were flat black with no distressing (added character), then the wood detail would probably need to be painted.
In some distressed areas, you can see the original finish instead of raw wood. The sealer darkens those stained areas and makes them shine.
What do you think of the knobs? Are they right for this piece? The matte chalk finish and matte sealer have a flat look which works well when giving furniture an antique paint finish.
If you have time, please leave a comment then take the Furniture Fixer Upper Tour. Just click the tex links below the "before makeovers" photo collage.....
Furniture Fixer Upper Tour:
Black Painted Hutch Using Silk Mineral Paint - Confessions of a Serial DIY'er
Decoupage Art On Wood Nightstands - Salvaged Inspirations
Small Church Pew Makeover - My Repurposed Life
Corner Cabinet Makeover - A Ray Of Sunlight
Desk Painted With Dixie Belle Paint - Petticoat Junktion (you are here)
As always, thanks for being here, Kathy
Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com