My largest chalk paint project to date was recently completed and I’m pretty satisfied with the result. I wish I could say that I knocked it off in just a few hours, but the truth is that it took me over two weeks. I’d work on it when I could and being the perfectionist that I tend to be, I re-did it several times. Yes, you read that right. Talk about using a lot of paint! So anyway, the desk in my study got a complete overhaul and was completely transformed from its previous dark finish. I’d been trying to find just the right desk to no avail and actually had plans to order one on our buying trip to the High Point Furniture Market next month; but the more I thought about it, I decided to give painting it a whirl. I’m so glad that I did. Here is the end result- a new two-tone finish. Was it worth the two weeks? You bet!
The finished look incorporates a combination of paint colors for this project, including ASCP Old White and Graphite. Knowing that I wanted a bit of a distressed look, I did quite a bit of sanding to the body of the desk. I used a little more restraint with the top of it. After two coats of paint, (the first time) I went over it with a coat of clear wax and then a coat of dark. I wasn’t crazy about the splotchy look so I used more clear wax to pull off the dark. I still wasn’t happy, so I re-appled the Old White, once again. I applied the clear wax and then another coat of the dark wax and thought it still looked awful, ( I admit to not having completely mastered the dark wax technique) so I employed my own method of removing the excess dark wax – I rubbed the entire desk with a rag dampened with mineral spirits. The end result was some darker shading in the sanded areas and a yummy shade of creamy vanilla on the body!
This is the only shot I had that shows the original color of the desk- I had already begun working on the desk when I took this picture. The finish was very dark and worn and I was hating it. I wanted a cleaner and fresher look and felt that the Old White would work well for the look I was after.
The desk top has a lightly glazed look but there are also areas where I sanded back to the original dark finish in a few spots. The round opening in the desktop is where I drop my monitor, speaker, and lamp wires through to the electrical outlet inside the knee area of the desk.
I was after more of a smooth factory finish with this project and this glazed look fit the bill perfectly. Obviously, my unconventional method of cleaning up the excess wax worked beautifully to create this finish.
Here’s a closer look of the apron at the bottom of the desk.
I thought that a completely light-colored desk might be a bit stark for the darker hues that are going into the study, so I entertained the idea of using a darker shade on the drawers. They are a taupe-y gray and they look wonderful against the lighter desk body. Since I didn’t have the linen ASCP to mix a custom color and I was too impatient to drive 45 minutes to pick some up from a local supplier, I pulled some butterscotch brown latex paint from the garage and created a batch of my own “chalky” paint. I simply added some calcium chloride and a bit of ASCP Graphite to it. It changed the color significantly and I was very happy with my custom mixture. Just like the desk body, I finished it off with a coat of clear wax and then a light touch of the dark wax. I had absolutely no issues with the dark wax on the drawers. Go figure!
This was my first experience creating faux “chalky paint” (you notice I am not calling it “chalk’ paint) and I’m anxious to see how the finish wears. All I know is that the look is very similar to the ASCP.
As for the drawer pulls, I’ve grown tired of an oil rubbed bronze finish, so I remained a purist by leaving the heavy brass hardware in its original state. Brass is back, haven’t you heard?
I love the color that I achieved when I created my custom mix. Inside the knee area of the desk, you can see that the finish is much more distressed. I must have been simulating banging my legs and feet around in there!
This is the hand that I bought last year at the The French Hen Farm barn sale up in Marysville. Looking forward to Linda’s spring sale, once again! It will be May 11-12.
I like using a desk mat under the monitor because of the protection it offers messy ol’ me! I must confess that I like to bring in my cup of coffee or glass of Coke when I’m in here. Oh, and sometimes (?) a snack….
Since my desk is always so cluttered with “stuff,” I don’t usually keep to many decorative items on it. But in preparation for Easter, I put together a bunny cloche and placed it on top of a small suitcase. I was shopping at our newly opened Home Goods Store last week and found this beauty for only $29. It called to me when I saw it, so I listened and put it in the cart. Aren’t I obedient?
The bottle brush tree behind the bunnies says “Spring has sprung!”
Both bunnies have filled baskets- Mr. Bunny has tulips and Mrs. Bunny’s basket holds carrots.
The glass finial of the cloche dome is topped with a little bird.
I love the footed base of the cloche which features a wire edge on top. I’m contemplating a paint job for the metal parts of this cloche. White? A fun color? Silverleaf? What do you think? I need to strike while the iron is still hot! LOL
I’ll be gone this weekend for a furniture show in Indiana, so I’d like to get it done by then. Let me hear from you!
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