My very first before and afters!

This is kind of pitiful, but my life for the past 2 weeks has completely revolved around a desk.

Hey Erika, it’s beautiful outside, want to go to the beach? I can’t I have to paint a desk.

Hey Erika, it’s dinner time, want to come in and eat? I can’t I have to paint a desk.

Hey Erika, you smell REALLY bad, want to take a shower? You get the point…

But it is finally finished! And I LOOVVE a good before and after. Before I had stuff of my own to work on, I just drooled over beautiful before and afters on Pinterest and some of my favorite blogs, like Miss Mustard Seed… love her! But now I introduce, for the first time in public…

MY FIRST BEFORE AND AFTER! (Can you tell I’m really excited?!)

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 (Go ahead… Pin It! You know you want to… aka I want you to. haha)

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So you have seen this desk in an earlier post. $15 at a garage sale…

and now it looks like a million bucks… well, I love it anyway!

Here is what I did (see, normal people can do this too, I promise!):

-I used a paint stripping chemical I bought at Home Depot and a putty knife to strip the varnish off of the top. (You can follow the directions on the bottle or watch Miss Mustard Seed’s video tutorial here.)

-Then, I cleaned all of the goop off with After Wash (also purchased at HD, nothing fancy here) and sanded to a smooth finish.

-Then I stained the top (several times) with Minwax Jacobean stain (available at Home Depot and WalMart). (I had trouble getting an even color- any advice on this?)

-Note: I did not bother to strip the rest of the desk, because it is a PAIN and I was going to paint it anyway. But I did want a natural wood look on the top, so I had to strip. (bowchickawowwow)

-Then, I took the drawers out, took the drawer pulls off and primed the rest with Zinnser Bullseye Primer (the kind that says sticks to all surfaces- it’s awesome!) No stripping or sanding required.

-After a coat of primer, I painted the rest of the desk and the drawer fronts Glidden-Silver Screen. It’s an almost white, almost grey, almost the tiniest bit blue color that I love.

-I gave it a quick second coat and let it dry.

-I protected it all with a Rustoleum matte finish protective spray.

At that point it just kind of looked… okay- very plain and you could see my kind of sloppy paint lines between the drawers and places like that. So  then came the fun part … distressing!

-I used my Black & Decker Mouse sander ($30 @ WalMart) and just went to town on the drawer fronts, edges, and anywhere else I wanted to make pop or blend away some mistakes.

That’s when I really fell in love with the finished product!

-The last thing I did was go back over with the protective spray and haul that baby upstairs into the office!

I did have some trouble with the drawers sticking after I painted them. I tried sanding down the tops and sides of the drawers, and that helped, but just a little bit. So, if you have any ideas on how to fix my sticky drawers/prevent future sticky drawers, let me know!

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