Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Executive Desk Makeover

No matter what project I'm working on, I am always keeping one of my closest friends, Angie up to date.  One afternoon we were chatting it up infront of my house and I brought up the fact that I had to hunt down the perfect desk for my new art room.  She then dragged me to her house (We live in the same cul-de-sac) and showed me an old desk she was getting ready to donate to the DI (Deseret Industries - These are thrift stores that are all over Utah).  I squealed and jumped up and down when she said I can have it for...... FREEEEEEEEEEEE!

It took me awhile to decide on paint color.  I envisioned my art room to be romantic, with french antique touches, but extremely fun.  I was grocery shopping one day at Walmart and fell in love with "Peacock Blue" by Glidden.  I bought a quart of it for $13.00.  Score!  And guess what?  It was paint and primer in one!  Double Score!

I then took a detour to Lowes and found this: Paintable Wall Paper by Allen + Roth.  I thought, "I could use this!"  Here's how:

First, I measured the drawer faces and cut out the sizes and glued them on.  Just follow the instructions.  You'll need a bucket of water and a lot of patience for this project.

Then I did the same thing to the back of the desk.  Again... be patient.  I promise it's sooo worth it!

Then I painted it.  Oh and a word to the wise, unless you're going to eventually paint your garage floor with some epoxy paint, lay some newspapers down underneath whatever you're painting or you'll end up with a lot of squares and paint splatters all over.  I painted two coats and let it dry over night.

I wanted to make the wallpaper design pop so I decided to use Gemini Van Dyke Brown glaze.  I used this to antique the wall panels in our guest bathroom over white paint.  Here's how to antique a piece of furniture:

First, apply the glaze with a rag you will never use again (you do not want to try to wash these in your washing machine) to a section of the furniture.  Oh and make sure you use Nitrile Gloves!  The glaze will eat or soak through anything else.  Let it sit for a minute or two and then wipe off.  Continue to do this until you glaze the entire thing.  For the top and sides, I wanted it to look like there was woodgrain showing through.  Since the top was laminate, I couldn't achieve that naturally, so I faked it!  When I was wiping off the glaze, I bunched up the rag into a ball in my hand and dragged it all the way across until I got the result I was looking for.  Let this dry over night.

Here's what it looked like right after I finished with the glaze.  Glaze dulls the paint down a bit, so applied a thin coat of Polyurethane Indoor Gloss over the finish.  I prefer the Rust-oleum brand, it's cheaper and works just as well as the more expensive stuff!  Please apply the gloss with care, because it dries very quickly!

I replaced the drawer pull with some singles I found at Lowes for less than a $1.00 a piece.  And... Ta-daa!  All finished!

I must say, I am extremely pleased with how this piece turned out.  I love the detail that the wall paper added to it and the touch of fun the color brings to the room.  I already had the glaze and gloss, got the desk for free (I love you, Angie!), so this project cost me about $40.  Can't beat that!

Here's a quick look at my next post:

I can't sit at my fabulous desk without an equally fabulous chair!  See how I transformed this antique gothic looking chair to fit my style.



  1. Wow Abbey! I'm very impressed! The desk looks awesome, you have give me some ideas even! lol! Keep up the good work!


  2. Hi Josh,
    Thank you! That's sweet of you! That is definitely my goal - to give everyone ideas so they don't have to go out and spend so much damn money!
    Oh and how long have we known each other? Almost 20 years and you still don't know how to spell my name? Sheesh!

  3. oh wow! at first I wasn't sure about that bright color, but after the glaze it looks amazing! you have a great imagination! *two thumbs up*

  4. Oitai- yeah, I tested the paint and glaze on a square of wallpaper first. I was scared at first and then I thought what the heck, it's only paint. Lol.

  5. You did an amazing job on this looks so rich...custom made. I am a big fan of paintable wallpaper and have in in several places in my home...this is truly a unique idea. I'm your newest follower. Please follow me back for a chance to win a great driftwood sailboat. Looking forward to hearing from you. Sherron

  6. Sherron - Thank you so much! I am so flattered by your post. Your whales are amazing! I hope I win one!!

  7. I just used this exact same paper on some cheap laminate bookshelves I was redoing. I love how it turned out on your desk. It looks fabulous.

  8. Krista - thank you so much for the comment! I'm so excited to meet other bloggers like yourself! I'm going to go check out your blog now! Maybe I can get some ideas from you! ;)

  9. I really like this! Normally not a fan of glaze but in this case, it works great with the wallpaper.

  10. SO pretty! Would LOVE it if you would link this up at my turquoise lovin' party!