Thursday, March 15, 2012

Desk and Dresser Makeover

We actually picked up this furniture as our neighbors were walking it out to the trash.  They bought new furniture for their child and were getting rid of this set.  We didn't know what we would do with it at first but knew it would come in handy at some point!  It sat in our guest room for months and then when we found out I was pregnant we figured we would refinish it for our child's room.

(We had already taken out the drawers and started painting them before realizing we did not have a 'before' picture of the get the idea...)

We decided to do an antique car theme when we found out we were having a boy and decided to do the desk and dresser in red.  We were excited to finally get to try the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! 

We went with the color Emperor Silk and then antiqued it with the dark wax.

Since there is no prep work required with the ASCP we got right to painting! We had to keep the original handles on as they were embedded in a few of the drawers.  We chose to paint directly over them and give them a distressed look as well.  We did put new knobs on the drawers that had knobs though.

As you can see there was some brush strokes visible and we went back and forth on doing a second coat of paint.  We finally decided against it since we knew we were doing the antiquing and would also apply the dark wax.  

Once painted, you have to apply the clear wax before doing anything else.  It ends up acting as an eraser for any mistakes made.

After we applied the clear wax (brushed on a thin layer and buffered off the excess with a shop towel) we distressed the edges and corners with sandpaper.

Once everything was distressed to our liking, we applied the dark wax (same concept as before, brushed on and buffered off with a shop towel).  We were sloppy with the brushing on as we did not want it to look uniform.  On a side note, to our pleasant surprise we found out the furniture did not start out white.  When we distressed certain parts, such as the corners below, gold was exposed under the white.  It gave the distressed look a whole new dimension that we really liked!

The dark wax seemed to wipe off too much in certain areas and not quite enough in other areas.  Obviously we were able to apply more where needed and in the areas where there was too much you can apply the clear wax over the excess to use as an eraser.  

We finally achieved the look we were wanting and applied a layer of clear wax over everything one more time to act as a sealant.  

We allowed it to fully dry for almost a week before moving it into the house.  We finished this project at least six weeks ago and have not placed anything on top of either surface yet.  We still were not confident on putting anything on the top surface as it continued to feel the slightest bit tacky.  We ended up giving both pieces a coat of Cabot Semi-Gloss Polyurethane which seemed to make the difference!

We decided to line the drawers when I found this great paper that fit the theme of the room.  We cut out the appropriate sizes of paper, applied a layer of Modge Podge to the bottom of the drawer and placed the paper in the drawer going from one side to the other.  We smoothed out any bubbles as we went and once everything was lying flat we applied a layer of Modge Podge to the top as a sealant.  

We also refinished this chair that came with the desk using fabric found at Hobby Lobby.
We are so pleased with the way it turned out and can't wait to put it to use!



  1. Beautiful job! And best wishes to you with your new little one!

    Thanks for linking up to my weekly Chalk Paint Link Party!

  2. Did you use the Annie Sloan wax while pregnant?

    I'm looking to finish some projects and am pregnant and hoping I can still use the wax since it's so smelly.

  3. Courtney- I did, however I still wore a mask just in case. Good luck!

  4. I love painting too much and love to see others work as well. I loved your work too much. The above red chair with beautiful fabric turned out very well. I got some old pieces and would love to try with white color because, I recently bought some white pieces, please see here and I hope to get great look. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi Heather,

    How often did you paint when you were pregnant? I paint about 4 pieces of furniture per week and just found out I am pregnant. I bought a respirator to wear, but I am still nervous to use the wax...

  6. @ tpot234~ Not that often actually. We did these pieces over a few weeks and painted the nursery. I wore a mask, did it in the garage with the door open and took breaks if I felt like I was still getting too much of the smell. Otherwise, I didn't paint much while pregnant... Best wishes for your pregnancy!


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