Here is my totally re-done grandmother's secretary desk. I am smitten with it and I hope you are too. If you are interested in reading the story behind this desk, click on this link to my blog from April 1st and get the lowdown.
So, I took the knobs off and sanded the finish off all the surfaces.
I then wiped down the desk to get off the dust and grime, then added a coat of Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel Latex Primer. Had a little mishap with the primer dripping on my paver patio. If you click on this link for my April 4th blog entitled "Oops! No.....no Problem," you will see how I remedied that problem.
Then, for a little surprise! I will be placing a few red accents on this piece and red will play a role in the motifs that I have loosely planned for this desk, so I decided to spray paint the inside of the desk. I used two coats of Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover spray paint in Satin Colonial Red. It's a rich, dark red that will go well with the motifs I am planning for the drawers. I love surprises. Nothing like a little surprise for when someone opens the desk!
I let all of this set up for about 48 hours. I then came back for a full day of work on this bad boy. (Yes, secretaries can be men. Get up to date, will ya?!)
I found inspiration for the motifs I hand painted from a series of my paintings that are hung in the adjacent dining room. But I laid it out in a pattern that was more conducive to the style of the desk. I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about this.... I like to work intuitively....quickly mixing colors and changing out brushes frequently. I don't use marks or pencil. I find that restricting. If I make a mistake, it's acrylic paint! I wait for it to dry and paint over!
-A painting from the series I used for inspiration -
Okay....so...something funny here. I needed to make sure that each design motif fit properly between the handles, so I loosely attached them back to the drawers. (Image to the right.) It wasn't until after I finished that I realized that I put them on upside down! Frantically, I switched them around. I was totally freaking out because I thought they would definitely cover part of the motifs. PHEW! It still worked and I counted myself one luck puppy.
The below image shows the amount of stain that I used on a single surface. There were areas that I came back to and added a second layer of stain making sure to rub it into my distress marks.
I don't wear gloves.....Yes, I know that I should. But I just don't have the same control with gloves on my hands. This stain does wash off pretty easily with a little bit of Goof Off. (not Goo Gone) But alas, my hands are just not ever going to be all pretty and dainty. Nothing that a quick trip to the nail salon can't take care of in the event they need to be presentable for....whomever. Does that really matter anyway? (That's a conversation for another day.)
So, at this stage I realize that the drawer handles are going to need some distressing. They just won't look right in the original, dark finish. I take out the Mouse and give it a little spin.
There, that looks better......
So, I let the stain set up for 48 hours and come back with Min Wax Finishing Wax in Natural as a sealer. Make sure that you let the wax coating dry completely before buffing. It makes a difference.
So the final results! Yeah!
Here it is all dressed up and back in it's spot!!! So happy with the results!