After I decided I was in love with the table I refinished for my daughter’s desk, I had to go on the hunt for another one for her. I found this little beauty on Craigslist for a sweet $25!
It was big and heavy and indestructible, which is perfect for her.
Her only request was that I finish it just like I finished the table. A stained top and a white bottom.
Seems easy enough. But stripping the top of this tank became another one of those “what the heck kind of paint was used on this” moments.
This was a third application of stripper over the top. You can see where I was able to get a little off with the previous two coats of stripper (the brown paint underneath…and the white underneath that), but it was clearly not doing it’s job (YOU HAD ONE JOB.)
After that I moved on to the heat gun, which I have a love/hate relationship with.
I love when it removes paint. I hate when it burns several layers of skin off of me.
I was able to get down to the white layer with the heat gun. but it was letting me down when it came to that white paint.
On to the sander.
I was at least able to get most of it off with the sander. Can you see the corner where they were using this as a work bench. There were two saw cuts in the top. Here’s the other.
After I sanded it, I was able to get a little more off with some after wash and a sanding pad. I ran out of after wash about half way through and managed to finish up with mineral spirits, but it didn’t work nearly as well.
This was the kind of sanding pad I used. It seriously feels like plastic wire.
After getting as much paint off as I could, I filled those saw cuts with some stainable wood filler.
It was purple when wet and dried to a natural color. The only downside to this stuff is that you had to hand sand it. It wasn’t recommended for high speed sanders, which I failed to read until I got home. Not a big deal since I didn’t have much I was sanding.
Then I got to staining and painting.
First coat of Java Gel Stain (gel stain was the reason I wasn’t too worried about the leftover white.)
Can you see those dark spots above. Some of them were in the shape of cigarette burns and others look like they were from an ink well. I can only imagine what the teacher who made those marks was like. 😛
After the first coat, it started raining and I had to move all this stuff into my living room, so the pictures aren’t nearly as bright.
Second coat going on…
I used the Annie Sloan Old White Chalk paint on the bottom portion.
I left that one bottom right handle crooked. For one, it’s how it was originally installed. And two, it was going to be a serious pain to remove with that herculean paint all around it. And the girl needed her desk — ok, mom needed her to have drawers to hid her stuff in. (I’m still trying to figure out what to do with those feet. I haven’t liked any of the caps I’ve come across.)
Here’s the inside of the drawer. No more ugly brown!
I thought I’d go back in to take a picture of the stained, wood-filled corner since I had forgotten to in the first place.
That is super close-up, but you really can’t see it.
But I thought I’d keep it real with what I actually found when I went back in to take the picture. Think of it as a parting gift.
Ugh. Looks like my ideas of her hiding all that junk in the drawers has not sunk in.
SMH. We need a clean up day.