Thursday, September 15, 2011

Heavily Distressed Desk

Ever since I saw this gorgeous piece that Miss Mustard Seed did a while back, I have been dying to create a super distressed piece myself.  When I found this antique desk on ksl the other day for $25, I didn't feel so bad about experimenting on it and not being terribly sad if it didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.

 The desk had certainly seen better days but was just pleading for some TLC.  That is just what I gave it.

 Let me tell you, the experiment worked.  I am absolutely 100% smitten with this piece.  My intention of course was to sell this to help fund the living room makeover I am working on, but I just don't know if I can let it go.  Wouldn't this be the perfect desk for me in a craft room someday?  Hopefully sooner than later... ahem...My Sweets are you listening? 

In terms of speed, this was the fastest transformation I have done yet.  I picked up the piece in the afternoon, got home around 2 pm with it and was completely finished with it that evening.  You can totally do this yourself, my friends.

Soooo, here's how I very quickly achieved this look. 

First, I sanded the surfaces with a coarse paper on my ryobi corner cat sander.  I intentionally didn't sand all of the previous stain off.  I wanted it to look splotchy and aged.

Next, I painted the whole thing with one coat of very watered down Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (the same combo of Old White and Paris Gray that I used on my dining room table)

The key here is to let the wood still shine through with a very light coat.  Don't spend a lot of time trying to achieve a perfect coverage. In this case, less is more.

Then I went over the full piece again with my sander, focusing on the high points.

I followed this with Annie Sloan dark wax on all the areas where the wood was exposed and then covered the full piece in Annie Sloan clear wax.

I cleaned off the hardware using my wedding ring cleaner, and replaced the top two pulls with little glass knobs.  I would have used all the original hardware, but as you may have noticed the piece was missing one pull so I opted to replace the center drawer and am very pleased with the touch of feminism this added. 

I also lined the drawers with some leftover wallpaper I had from the cute little antique dresser I did back HERE.

What do ya think?

Sigh... pure love over here.  I think I'll just keep this little photo shoot in my living room for the next month or so just so that I can stare. 

In case you haven't picked up yet on my number one message that I hope to convey by writing this blog, that is to remember that you don't have to spend a lot of money to make your home look good and reflect your style... not your neighbors or your moms or sisters, yours.  Have fun, be creative, and go into a project with an open mind.  For me each piece is like an artist's blank canvas when I begin.  I have an idea in mind of how I would like the piece to end up but it evolves into its own beautiful piece as I begin "painting".  You may even end up with something you absolutely love in the end.

Thanks so much to all who read and continue to leave such sweet comments about my work.  I appreciate each and every one more than I can say.

Sending so much love from Penny Wenny.


The DIY Show Off


Domestically Speaking


Transformation Thursday

Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. Stunnig, and lovely, and inspiring! I like to give back a new life to old ( and cheap ;-) ) things. Thanks for the precious detailed pics and directions, now i feel more motived to work on that old framed mirror placed in the box; i found it at the second hand shop for €20,00 ( the value of the mirror itself it is € 350,00 can't believe someone had get rid of it!!! )

  2. Oh my, this is gorgeous! I love the clear knobs and the sweet look they add. You're inspiring me to go ahead and buy some chalk paint to finish my desk :)

  3. Absolutely stunning!! I love it!

  4. Very well done, and I'm loving that it has such nice legs.

  5. I LOVE how it came out!!!!I love that look so much. You did an amazing job. I am your newest follower because I can't wait to see what else you come up with:)
    ~Debra xxx
    Capers of the vintage vixens

  6. Your 'experiment' turned out so great! Love it!

  7. I think it looks fabulous!! I want to try this paint technique myself! It looks shabby and wonderful!

  8. As I continue to are amazing and my inspiration!

  9. What a fabulous job you did on this desk! I would be delighted if you linked to Potpourri Friday (in progress) and giveaway!

  10. This looks absolutely fantastique! I love coming up with new ways to use Chalk Paint. I have a linky party every Friday, it is open until Midnight tonight. I would love for you to link this up. Thanks! -K

  11. I love it...but it just further confirms that I need to bite the bullet and buy some ASCP! I wish someone local sold it.


  13. @Kayla


    Is this location at all close to you?
    Di Lucca Designs
    Michelle Green
    Bensenville (Chicago), Illinois
    Phone: 630-774-0417 /

    If not, try contacting my Utah stockist, Mindy (you can get her contact info from my post about the ASCP giveaway about a month back0. She may be willing to give you a deal on the shipping.


  14. very nice piece of furniture and you certainly did a wonderful job at restoring the beauty.

  15. You did such a good job on this desk. It looks just wonderful!

    Thanks for linking for Potpourri Friday!

  16. It looks wonderful! Such a brave step to sand off all that paint you just put on. Experiments are great when they work out like this one!

  17. This is so beautiful! I love the makeover!

  18. wow its gorgeous, it looks amazing you did a great job xxxx

  19. I love it! I just used ASCP for the first time today! It's amazing but I need to get me some wax like you have. It turned out amazing!

  20. Beautiful job! I love the technique you used and the gorgeous results! :)

  21. WowWoWwoW! New follower and fan saying how yummy this is :)

  22. I love the glass knobs you put on it. I also love the unique blind of colors on the desk. You really gave the desk lots of tender love and care.

    -Zane of ontario honey


I can't wait to hear from you! If you have any detailed questions, please feel free to email me- Thanks!