I’ve been wanting to paint with Annie Sloan’s Napoleonic Blue for quite some time so I couldn’t wait to dive into this Vintage Desk Remodel. See all the details below!
Annie Sloan Clear Wax– and brush
Annie Sloan Dark Wax– and brush
Paint brush-any kind
I bought this desk for $40 from a Facebook post. It’s solid wood with dovetailed joints (something I always look for). I love it when old pieces have a lot of character. Our computer was sitting upstairs on a fold-out card table so a desk was something we desperately needed.
I wanted to stain the top which meant I needed to completely sand off the existing stain. I used my palm sander with 80 grit sandpaper and sanded down the entire top. Then I used a piece of tack cloth to wipe off the sawdust.
You may have seen this wood conditioner used in my other tutorials. Sometimes I use conditioner before staining and sometimes I don’t. It depends on the wood. I was stumped as to what type of wood I was dealing with here so I decided I better error on the side of caution and use it. If you’re working with pine (a very porous wood) you will definitely want to use wood conditioner before staining. It’s easy to apply. Just follow the instructions on your can. I always use disposable foam brushes for staining/conditioning because they are cheap and you can toss them in the trash when you’re done.
I decided to try something different with the top of this desk. Usually I prefer the Minwax Oil based Dark Walnut stain but I’ve heard of this newer Minwax product and decided to give it a shot! I applied it just like I would with any other stain using a disposable foam brush and applying with the grain. The difference with this stain is you don’t wipe it off, you just leave it on! It has a polyurethane built in already so there’s no need to seal it when you’re done. It really is a “1 step” process!
Here’s what it looked like after two coats. It was fairly easy to apply but it is definitely thicker than the regular minwax oil based stain that I’m used to. I like both fairly equal. The polyshades definitely saves you time and supplies. I’m sure I will use this again but I think I can still say the minwax oil based stains are my favorite.
Here is what it looked like after one coat. If you’ve read my other tutorials you know that I don’t waste time with the first coat. It’s never pretty and that’s ok. I just want to cover it in a thin coat of paint for the first coat.
After two coats. You can still see some of the natural wood grain peeking through but that didn’t bother me. My original plan for this desk was to make it look a little distressed and aged. You’ll see what I mean further on in the tutorial!
Once the second coat had dried it was time to wax. If I plan to use dark wax on a project, I almost always put a coat of clear wax on first. The reason for that is the dark wax will stain your paint and it’s easier to work with when applied over a fresh coat of clear wax. I think it blends better! I wish I could give a detailed tutorial about using the Annie Sloan wax but I’m still learning myself so I’ll refer you to this video if you need help.
Dark wax makes a HUGE difference. The entire desk was sealed in one coat of clear wax and in this picture the desk drawers were also covered in one coat of dark wax. You can obviously tell the difference between the areas with just clear and the areas with dark! It’s a pretty big transformation in color so I wanted to include this picture so you can see the contrast.
Once the entire desk was covered in both clear and dark wax, It was time to attach the hardware. Usually I prefer new hardware but I wanted to keep a little bit of the vintage feel about this desk. I attached one of the original pulls just to see what it looked like and I LOVED IT. It also saved me about $45 by not buying new hardware, woot woot! I love how this desk turned out! Excited to use this color/dark wax combo in the future!