Now that all the construction projects are complete down in the “Man Cave” I am free to start on the decor. My first project is this great mid-century desk I found at the thrift store for only 10€ (about $14.) When it came home with me it was painted blue, normally this would have gotten a new coat of paint to save the time and energy of stripping but this piece had the most horrid paint job I have ever seen. Even the top had drippy paint on it, how do paint drips get on the top? So rather than trying to sand down all the drips I decided to strip most of the piece.
I saw this Mid Century Desk at West Elm that inspired me not to strip the whole thing but rather clean up the drawers and give them a fresh coat of white paint.
This is the desk in the process of stripping and painting.
And if it makes you feel any better, this is the state of my garage. Organization was on my “to do” list but now that the temperature has dropped it will probably stay this way until spring, minus the desk of course.
After completing the the stripping and painting came the hard part, refinishing the wood. Not the refinishing itself, but going to the German hardware store and translating all the labels.
All I wanted was stain and satin polyurethane. I attempted buying polyurethane once before but it got lost in translation. I ended up with a clear coat with a kind of rubbery feeling, the wood felt like vinyl flooring. So this go round I decided to ask a blogger friend who is German what I should buy. Unfortunately the hardware store did not have her recommendation so I went out on a limb, again.
So once I got then home I open the “inside glaze”and found that was a gel. I have used gel stains before so I wasn’t too concerned. I started spreading it over the top only to find that once it soaked in a bit it would not rub off. Total mess on the top of the desk, so I sanded it down and tried again. This time I tried working faster, rubbing the gel in completely almost like putting on a wax finish. This technique worked great and when I was done with two to three coats the desk was stained but also had a slightly shiny satin finish. The bonus was the “clear lacquer” was not needed and the finish was complete.
The last step was to upgrade the old wooded hardware with something more modern. In Germany hardware can be extremely expensive. A single pull like the ones I used can cost close to $10 each. Once again Ikea to the rescue, I found these for under $3 a piece (2 for 4€.)