Refinishing an Antique Desk with DecoArt Americana Decor Chalky Finish Ultra Matte Paint
I’m getting spring fever and decided our home needs some serious refreshing, so I’ve been furiously working on some home redecorating/renovation projects which I thought I’d share with you.
I have been wanting to change the color of this little red table/desk which sits in my entry. I’ve had it for many years, and before me, someone must have painted it with one of those 1970’s antiquing kits, and they even painted over the pretty little scrolled escutcheon key plate. Initially I thought I would go black, but then with some other updates I’ve done to the dining room and entry, I picked the DecoArt Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint color Vintage. It’s a soft blue-green shade.
I began by cleaning the table, and must admit I get a bit lazy with this part, so just scrapped some candle wax off the top, then used some spray cleaner and paper towels to get any excess dust and dirt off.
Next I used a sponge sanding block to sand the paint off the escutcheon plate and see what was beneath it. A pretty polished brass began showing so I sanded more, then used a screw driver to pick paint out of the crevices. The right hole for the drawer pull was too large so someone (before me) had filled it in with a metal nut in the front and a washer in the back (inside the drawer), and as a result the drawer pull has been loose for years. I can let things go forever without addressing them! I need to think of something to camouflage the “nut in the hole” and make the pull knob fit tight when I get ready to put the handles back on.
Using a 1″ chip brush, I painted the desk and drawer front with 2 coats of Chalky Finish Vintage paint letting it dry between coats. It was pretty at this point and if you want a more refined look, you can add a couple coats of Soft Touch varnish and be finished. But I wanted a more rustic look, so decided to add a glaze to antique the finish.
I had previously used the Chalky Finish paints on my kitchen cabinets, but hadn’t used the DecoArt Chalky Finish Creme Wax, so I wanted I’d give it a try. I only had Golden Brown Creme Wax in my stash, and I tested this color under the drawer but didn’t like the effect of this golden brown color on the Vintage. I wanted a more Raw Umber espresso brown glaze. The creme waxes are water based, so thought why not do a little mixing like I do with paint colors. I put some of the Golden Brown wax into a clean yogurt cup (I wash and keep these for this purpose. They make great mixing containers for paints or mediums). Then I added some Chalky Finish Carbon Black paint to the Golden Brown wax until I had a very dark brown color. It was approximately a 4 or 5 to 1 mix (Golden Brown to Black) I also added a little water to the wax mix to thin it and make it looser. Using the chip brush, I brushed a coat of wax on a strip the length of the table top, then immediately wiped it with a rag, but the wax came off in an uneven manner because part was still wet and part was starting to dry quickly. After a little experimentation, I found it best to brush the wax evenly over the desktop, let it dry for several minutes until it was no longer glossy. then use a dampened terry cloth rag and scrub the dried wax back off until I achieved the lightness I wanted.
I finished the desk top first, wiped it back, then moved to the sides and the legs. You may need to rinse the terry cloth rag once or twice before you finish.
The dark wax will stay in the grain of the wood and in the recesses in the legs giving the desk an antique appearance.
Here’s a closeup of the finished desk.
As I was scrubbing off wax, I had time to come up with the idea to paint some large galvanized washers with metallic paints to create two faux escutcheon plates to mount behind the drawer handles to cover the large hole that was on the right side of the drawer. To see how to paint them… click here.
To see the finished entry hall reveal with this antique desk and the whitewashed mirror frame, click here.