Inspiration at it’s finest…
Hey there all my party people!! How is it going out there? I have been in the shop rocking it out hard for the last two weeks because we finally got some clear weather so I could paint! I am a messy, messy painter….but OMGGGGG I love it so much! So I had a custom request from my sweet mom’s best friend who I call Aunt Wanda. Wanda also is a biz owner like me, just starting out like me, and is actually the one who said, “Hey, Tina! You can make money doing that girlfriend!” She recommended that I go follow the lovely Jennifer Allwood, and I have been movin’ and groovin’ ever since.
Whew…what was my point? Oh yeah…the desk! Wanda got this desk for $20 on LetItGo!
Cute right? Well she wanted it “farmhouse white”. Now as a painter…that could mean a few different things. But we are going to get into that in a minute. I will tell you this makeover evolved as I did it, and now my inbox is pinging like crazy with requests for me to replicate a version of this on desks, vanities, dressers, and tables! You guys ready to see this one of a kind creation? Well let’s get to it!
So if you are a DIYer just for yourself, this probably is a little TMI (too much info), but for my gals trying to get a little side hustle going, this is for you. So “farmhouse white” could mean different things to different people. If you aren’t doing a custom piece, it can be up to you where you take that look. But I live about 40 minutes from the famous “Magnolia Market” of Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper on HGTV…so folks around here take their farmhouse seriously!! So always clarify. Because to some, like me, when I think farmhouse, I think and antique or off white in a satin or wax finish, to others…its off white with a chalky finish. Some people want it heavily distressed, some want it chippy, some want a white wash. Get the gist? It is too general of a thing to just assume. I’m glad I clarified. She wanted it ultra white, or extra white. chalky/matte finish, and very lightly distressed, but to look old with chunky brush strokes.
Now who here thinks this is an easy look to achieve and have it be quality work??? I will tell you that this is one of the hardest finishes I do, but I think it’s because of the unique way I do it. I did it on that cute little rocker makeover I did a while back, which you can read about here. Every move I make in this finish is very intentional…but the key is to make it LOOK unintentional. Also, when you touch it…it is smooth like “buttah” as my inspirational gal Kristen from Shackteau Interiors would say.
It is all about the prep and the layers folks. I make sure my bottom two coats are smooth by first, using a good quality brush, I use the Shortcut by Wooster, or my Chinex also by Wooster. But before I do that, to ensure good coverage, especially with white, I use a primer. My primer of choice is Zinsser Cover Stain Primer. Covers anything!! Don’t use your paint brushes for your primer, especially if you use water based paints. Get a roller and brush for use only with your primer. Trust me on this, it saves your brushes and you can use thinner or mineral spirits to keep your primer brushes healthy longer. On a side note, use a good brush cleaner at the end of your project to extend the life of all of your brushes! Klean Strip makes a great version of all three! Finally, for the brush strokes, use just a chip brush.
Once you have painted everything you need to make it silky smooth and distress it. Some people use a sander, but I am a notorious control freak! If you follow me on Facebook, and have seen any of my videos you already know this about me. I say all this to tell you that even though it takes a while, I sand and distress by hand. I use a simple 120/180 grit sponge on large spaces, and on legs, arms, backs…basically anything weird shaped or ornate…I use sheets of sand paper. Usually starting with 80 grit to knock the paint down-which is a fancy way of saying sanding the bumps off. Then I go to 120 grit, and finish with a 240-400 grit depending on the feel of it. Then the distressing is just your preference. I don’t ever do an entire edge. I try to distress where it would happen naturally. Like the top of the drawer face above the knob, or where your knee might rub the desk. Just have fun with it and do what feels good to you.
The inspiring desktop!!!
So for each custom I do I always include touch up paint, a stain pen and a little gift. Like an original scrap of fabric, or a cute little sign. So for this piece, I was trying to do a little platter with a stencil on it. I decided to try to do this on a live video on Facebook. It went so terribly wrong ya’ll!! I was on that live for over an hour and could not for the life of me get the stencil to lay down. I probably should have just printed a new one, but I was treading water and sinking fast. So I finally gave up and just showed them around Cricut Design Space. After the video my Aunt Wanda calls me and says, “Put inspirational words all over the desk top. Just have fun with it.” I’m the wrong one to say that too…just kidding…kind of. Anyway, a star was born.
It came out better than it was in my head. And I have been getting request to put it on everything. You can follow this link to watch the live reveal after adding one more little phrase to the desk and meet my Aunt Wanda. This project was so much fun to work on and I can’t wait to start doing more like it!
I hope you guys enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed creating it. If you have any questions or comments just drop them in the comments below and I will follow up with you as soon as possible. If you don’t already, make sure you hit the follow links right over there to the right under my bio to stay up to date with what I am working on and see all of the crazy mishaps! Thanks for stopping by and making me a part of your day and I will be back soon with a chair flip that just stole my heart!
Until next time,