Salsa Dancing With My Paintbrush

Before we start dancing to the rhythm of a spanish techno beat, I just want to thank you all of you who commented, sent emails, and wrote messages after my little heart to heart Thursday.  I think I had tears coming out of my eyes ten times that day just because of the overwhelming love and support.  You have no idea how good it was to hear over and over that, even though my life can come across as always neat, always perfect, and always sunshiney via a “pretty blog”, that you don’t take me as some self-centered, creativity junkie with an immaculate home.  Seriously!  You are all so amazing and I thank God for you!  :)

So, dance with me.  I’ll explain why a little bit later.  It involves the desk and that my friends, is done. desk 025

I LOVE how it turned out.  A big, big thank you to Sarah Dorsey and her amazing blog (seriously, if you click over prepare for hours of gazing) for the inspiration, her coral nightstand in particular.  I wouldn’t normally go to coral as a furniture paint color.  It’s bold, real bold, and I love it! 

Before I get to the details of how I primed and painted and all that jazz, here’s a picture I pulled out of the cobwebs of this old HP of the desk in the state Anthony bought it in:guest3 ip
This is how our guestroom looked a few days after we moved in and threw it together for company.  Pretty, no?  Off-white trim, stained walls, and mismatched everything made for a straight shot to House Beautiful.  I kid, I kid.  Anyway, the desk was stained an ugly blackish color with red streaks…perfect for an Anthony Bachelor in college, not gonna fly with me.

Soon after our guests left, it was one of the first things I tackled.  I wasn’t sold on a color and wanted to wait to see how the rest of the room evolved before I chose that, but I took some primer to it which brightened it up a thousand times.  I didn’t care if it was streaky (don’t they call that shabby chic?), it was tons better than the black-red.  Well, that was four years ago and I never did get around to painting that baby…until now.

Here ‘tis, moved to our room (the new workshop in this casa), ready to be painted:  desk 001

One big mistake I made in priming this thing, way back before I knew any better, was that I used water-based primer instead of oil-based.  Nor did I sand it down even the tiniest bit.  Not sanding wasn’t a huge deal considering it didn’t have a sheen to it at all but I definitely should’ve used oil-based primer because it blocks out stains and wood can tend to have spots/stains that seep right through water-based anything.  (Lucky me they stayed put in this case.)  FYI for any of you looking to paint any wood furniture.  Always use oil-based primer!!!  You can used water-based paint on top of that (but you can’t used oil-based over water-based!) and all will be grand.

So, moving on, before I got to painting I made sure to stick some tape over the backs of the hardware holes so no paint dripped through them and into the insides of the drawers.  Two second protection.  You can also see the existing hardware holes I filled in in the pic below.desk 005

Here’s where things got a little dicey.  I used a pre-mixed sample of Coral Reef by Valspar (Lowe’s) to paint the desk.  At jar’s glance, it looked like the perfect coral color.  However, after I got the first coat on…
desk 003  

I had a desk the pink panther would be jealous of.  Definitely not was I was going for.  (Bummer because then a few days later I came across this desk via Instagram that Krista at Goodwill Glam painted with the same exact color.  Hers definitely comes off as a little pink too but doesn’t it look gorge?)

I didn’t even try a second coat but instead loaded the twins up and off to Lowe’s we went where, after much deliberation, I decided on getting a test pot of Valspar’s La Fonda Spanish Dancer.  Nothing like that name to make you wanna dance, no?  I wish I could say I salsa-ed while I painted but I’m not quite that good…almost, but not quite. ;)

Here’s an in-progress picture that shows the difference in the colors:desk 006

One quick aside, I’m really picky about painting furniture and the direction in which my paint brush moves.  Using a roller is a different story since you don’t see “roller marks” but paint brushes can tend to leave faint lines, which I don’t mind, but which you have to work with.  So…desk 004
The above diagram shows how I do.  Generally, I paint in the same direction as the longest part of the area I’m painting.  Makes sense?

So, desk painted and dry, the last step was to put a coat of Polycrylic on just the top of the desk for added protection against coffee mugs, pens, the normal destruction that comes with working at a desk.  (P.S.  I let the paint dry for a whole 24 hours before this step.)desk 007

First I taped off the top. desk 008

Then, using my paintbrush, I painted on one coat of the Polycrylic.  Side note:  Don’t use Polyurethane!  It tends to yellow…I found that out the hard way (sorry Maria!).  Polycrylic does not.  Clear acrylic would also work.

A few hours after I painted the top:
desk 017 

While the poly was drying I wasted no time in putting the hardware back on the drawers.  I found these pretty silver and white darlings on a 70% clearance end rack at Target a few years ago ($3.99 each marked down to $.99).
PicMonkey Collage

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the desk is antique – dove-tailed drawers, casters, and all – so it’s been roughed up in the past, hence why in the above pic you can see some dents and scratches.  Character is what I call it.  :)

 

And finally, you ready for this?  My favorite desk of all time:desk 022 

Here’s a sneak peek of the fabric-lined drawers:  desk 028
Tutorial on those coming up this week.  Super easy.

And now, it’s off to freshen up the chair that’s going to marry it.  Should be fun!desk 023

 

Have a great weekend everybody! 

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P.S.  Anyone else ever painted a piece of furniture?  Have any tips you want to share?  Comment them!  Also, I’m a fool for pictures!  I don’t have time to make this post a link-up so post your pictures on Bean In Love’s facebook page!  :)

10 comments

  1. It looks great! One of these days I'll get brave and motivated enough to tackle Joe's sorry-looking chest of drawers. Of course, first I'll have to decide on a paint color for it... :)

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  2. First time commenter! Love the coral!!! It looks so lovely!

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  3. Pretty! I've been toying with the idea of coral for our daughter's dresser, and your desk is definitely helping to nudge me in that direction. :)

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    1. Ooh! A whole dresser would be amazing in this color!! Can't wait to see it if you do on your blog...a.k.a. you better post pictures! :)

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  4. Love the color you chose! What a fun refresh!

    Colour Me Classic

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    1. Thanks Haley! I'm so in love with it!

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  5. Okay so it took me till nap time to finally get to read through your recent posts.
    Furniture fix ups are my favorite hobby. This is pretty amazing.
    Also, I identify so well with your recent real chat post. So happy you blog!

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