Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Special Not-Back-To-School Project

So, a few weeks ago, on a whim, I picked up this desk at an estate sale for five bucks and decided to try my hand at furniture refinishing.  It was in pretty rough shape, but it was solid and sturdy, and I had a picture in my head (inspired by Pinterest, of course) of what it could look like with a little love.

After searching around a bit on Pinterest, I decided to try the Rustoleum Furniture Transformations Kit, which I purchased at Home Depot for $34.98.  It comes with everything pictured below:  instructions, stir sticks (one is not pictured; there were three), deglosser (cleaner) with scrubber pad, bond coat, glaze coat and glazing cloths, and clear finishing coat.

The bond coat can be tinted to any of the following colors.  I asked Monkey what color he'd like his desk to be and he immediately responded, "Green!" (his favorite color).  As you can see there is only one green choice so we went with that.

The first step was to scrub it with the deglossing cleaner.  (I didn't take any pictures of that step because it was not interesting enough to merit photos.)  Next, I let Monkey help with the first coat of paint, although the perfectionist in me insisted on doing the rest myself.  He really enjoyed this part, and I'm glad I relaxed and let him do it.

How it looked after the first coat was done.  I applied a second coat later.

The next step was the glaze coat.  I was nervous about it, but it was actually pretty easy and I thought it really added dimension to the color.  I didn't glaze the insides of the side panels or drawer faces because I was planning to paint them a different color.

After glazing.

Next I added some dark blue to the side panels and drawer faces for a nice contrast. I had planned to use a dark blue and then I remembered I had some left over from a project I did about 2 years ago and it was exactly what I had in mind.  So no need to buy more paint - yay!  Note:  I did not glaze the blue parts because that paint was high-gloss and I didn't think the glaze would adhere to it properly.

Finally, I painted on the protective clear topcoat, let it dry overnight, and first thing the next morning we reinstalled the drawers and handles.  I had thought about getting new handles, but came up with a cheaper solution:  I lucked out and found a spray paint that was super duper close to the green paint on the desk and sprayed the old handles with it.

Oh, and here's a crazy coincidence:  the very same day I brought home this impulse buy, a friend showed up with an old school desk chair, saying "Here, I found this & thought you might be able to use it."  I taped off the wooden parts and let Monkey go to town on it with the spray paint I used for the drawer handles.  He REALLY enjoyed that part - sorry I didn't get any pics of him in action doing that.  

So, there you go!  I am very happy with how the whole thing turned out and I would definitely recommend this kit to anyone.  It was easy for a beginner like me and I think the finish looks very professional.  Next I'm going to be keeping my eye out for a couple of captain's beds and maybe a dresser for the boys... I'm itching to do more!

Once again, a before and after comparison:




  1. :) - really nice! (Laura)

  2. Your letting them work with you = unschooling points!

    Wonder if that stuff works for kitchen cabinets. That may be next year's summer project.

    1. Jennifer, Rustoleum has another kit called Cabinet Transformations. Basically the same thing but in larger quantities.

  3. It turned out great! Love it.


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