Spray painting again – a French style desk with Ormolu

spray painting desk

I’ve just started remodeling my guest room. So many upcycling projects planned! This is the room where my daughter stays when she is in town. Because she visits Europe, France in particular, very often, she loves old Europe flavor in interior design. So I decided to add some French flavor to the room while reusing most of the furniture.  One thing I had to replace, though, was a Shaker style, small desk. It absolutely did not fit in. Craig’s list, then! Sure enough, I found a very nicely shaped, French style desk with Ormolu (bronze ornaments on the legs) for $95. It was heavily nicked and scratched, especially the top and needed refinishing. A spray painting candidate? Will see, first I need to remove the old finish.

This is how the desk looked when I got it four days ago. Not a bad looking one, even with this dark stain.

french desk with Ormolu

First thing I needed to do was to carefully take off the handles and the Ormolu pieces and make sure I don’t lose any of the tiny screws and nails to put them back. The second thing was to take care of the deep scratches and gouges on the top to see if it can be restained. I used my random orbit sander to remove the varnish, the stain, and to generally smooth the surface. The sides got the same treatment.

sanded French desk

I really liked the look of the wood when the stain was removed and thought of just refinishing it with a lighter stain. However, it was mostly veneer, not solid wood and it the underlying wood was showing in places. Spray painting seemed to be the way to go.

So, I lightly sanded all remaining surfaces with a steel wool pad, vacuum cleaned the desk thoroughly, and wiped it with a clean, soft cloth. Then I was ready to go. I just love spray painting. It is so much easier than anything else so far as refinishing furniture goes. There is just one rule for spray painting: be patient. If you don’t want pools and runs of the paint, don’t try to spray paint in one thick coat and don’t ever spray closer than 10 inches from the surface. Even if you do it in several coats, the job will be done really fast because you can alternate on different parts of the piece to apply several thin coats. One light coat for legs, then sides, then the top, then back to legs, and so on until you have an even thick coat. It took me 4 cans of spray paint and about an hour of continuous spraying to achieve this:

spray painting a desk

After giving the desk a couple of hours to dry, I put the Ormolu and the handles back and was done. Super easy!

desk and chair

Happy holidays, everyone!