D.I.Y. Update #2

March 10, 2017

Many of you may know that one of the things I enjoy doing is visiting flea markets, estate sales, and garage sales.  You never know when someone’s junk will become YOUR treasure!  I have quite a few things just stacked up waiting for me to have the time to get to them. (D.I.Y. Update). Here is D.I.Y. Update #2!

My husband has been using an “okay” desk as his computer desk.  It was functional, but had very few drawers or storage space.  We have been on the lookout for something else for him, and found it at an estate sale.  We paid $50 for a very heavy, sturdy desk, with a matching hutch. It has plenty of storage room for him, and the hutch was an extra bonus!  It was very dark, and a tad scarred. But we saw potential in it, so hauled it home. 

I decided to chalk paint the set, and started with the desk.

First, I cleaned it with Denatured Alcohol. I Choose Annie Sloane‘s Old White, as the base color.  It required 2 coats of chalk paint.  This is after the first coat.

It took about an hour to paint. After a few hours of drying time, I lightly sanded it with a fine grit sandpaper.  I used a Tack Cloth (super sticky!!) to wipe away all of the dust.  Next, I applied the 2nd coat of chalk paint.    Another light sanding job, and it was ready to distress.

With a medium grit sandpaper, I sanded away some of the paint in strategic places; i.e. along the drawer edges, on the decorative parts of the legs, and anywhere else that I wanted to highlight.  I forgot to take a picture at this point, but you will be able to see what I mean in the final image.

Next I tackled the hutch.  I had a little help with this one. 

Once both the desk and hutch had 2 coats of paint and had been distressed, I was ready for the antiquing process.  I varied from the Annie Sloan products, using instead Rust-oleum Transformations Decorative Glaze (Java Brown). I put on a pair of thin plastic gloves to keep the stain from my hands. Wrapping an old, soft cloth around my index and middle finger, I dipped my fingers into the stain just a little bit, then dipped them in a dish of water I had ready for this purpose. I quickly wiped over the wood. It didn’t matter what it looked like at this point, I just needed to have the area entirely covered. If the stain didn’t go on smoothly, I added a little more water to the cloth. Once an area was covered, I took a soft cloth, and wiped away the stain, wiping away less stain in strategic places.   If you decide to give this a try, I suggest practicing your technique on the back of the piece you are painting, to get a feel for this. 

Finally, I used Helsman Spar Urethane (Clear Satin) to add a nice protective coat to the project.  Annie Sloan uses wax as a final touch on her projects, but as this desk would get a lot of use, I wanted it to have a bit more protection.

I took the photos below at different times of the day, so the lighting is not the same, and far from great… but just so you can see up close, here are a few shots.

One of the beauties of this technique is that you don’t really want it to look perfect. So if you tend to like things “just so,” (like I do!), projects like this can be a freeing, fun experience. 


When the varnish had dried, Rick and I moved the desk into place.  I left the room to get my camera to take a final picture.

I returned to find Rick’s monitor, speakers, and keyboard all set up. He was so excited to move into his “new” desk, he couldn’t wait for me to take that final picture. Or maybe I just didn’t tell him I was going to get my camera?  Either way, I’m glad he’s excited, and I’m glad this project is completed.

Now onto the next one!


You May Also Like…

Talking to Kids About Death

Talking to Kids About Death

Last week our grandchildren, Owen and Ella, came to stay with us for a few days. One of the things that Ella wanted to...

MyMemories Blog Train May 2022

MyMemories Blog Train May 2022

Each month the designers at My Memories host the MyMemories Blog Train, and each designer provides a digital scrapbook...

Highboy Make-Over

Highboy Make-Over

One of the things I love about where we currently live is that there is an abundance of antique furniture for free or...


  1. Glori2

    I LOVE the desk and with the added hutch I love it even more but I will also add that I absolutely love what you did to it!

  2. Steph

    It looks fabulous! and nice to know he appreciates it.

  3. Ellen

    now I would tell him to move over because I need this one myself. Love the new look, well worth the effort.

  4. lvngmydsh

    Oh I love this Karen, You can come help me do my table and chairs project. I do not like doing furniture stuff but will love the outcome. Just have to convince myself I can do it. 🙂

  5. tailz61

    wow I love doing up furniture and have done many pieces even of older existing stuff to give a new look. I usually sand back the original finish, did you do this or just “chalked” over the original with no sanding…hope so coz that makes it a much quicker process that’s for sure.

    End result is amazing…bargin for $50 plus supplies 😀

    • Karen

      With chalk paint there is no prior sanding required! You just have to be sure you clean the piece well with denatured alcohol. That is ONE of the reasons I love chalk painting!


  1. D.I.Y. Barn Wood Plank Wall | Karen Schulz - […] The desk was one we picked up at an estate sale, and you can read it’s history here:  DIY…

Submit a Comment