Pat Rios | The Wood Spa
Pat Rios | The Wood Spa
  • Hometalker
  • Herndon, VA

Before and After - Vintage Desk/vanity for a Little Girl


I found this desk and chair at a local tag sale for $10! It had a very poor paint job but it was too cute to pass.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
I don't usually sand down my pieces if I am going to repaint them. Normally a good cleaning and some light sanding and priming do the trick, but the paint job was so, so bad, that there was no way around it.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
First I stripped the paint with zip strip. This product is powerful stuff and it works fast, but you do need thick gloves, a respirator and plenty of ventilation. Most people prefer more gentle products such as Citristrip but I don't have the patience to apply and clean it 4 or 5 times, so zip strip is my go to.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
Next I sanded the desk, drawers and chair using my electrical sander on the flat areas and sandpaper on corners and details. I started with a 80 grit, then went to a 120 and finished with a 220.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
This is the chair after a good cleaning with TSP diluted in water.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
I wanted to use some beautiful turquoise knobs I bought especially for this project, so I filled the holes in all drawers using Minwax High Performance wood filler, then sanded it well making sure the surface was completely flat and smooth.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
Next I drilled the holes for the new knobs.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
I primed desk, drawers and chair with Rustoleum Primer spray. I had to apply two coats because the residual stain was bleeding A LOT! Bleeding is one of my worst nightmares and it happens quite often with old pieces. That's why I always use oil-based primer.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
Using my inseparable friend, the spray gun, I started spraying the darker shade of blue (Benjamin Moore Cool Aqua - satin) in the interior of the drawers, as well as mirror and chair. Two coats. Once it was dry, I covered the turquoise parts and sprayed super white (Ben Moore) on the front of the drawers.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
Then I sprayed the light shade (Benjamin Moore Icy moon drops) on the desk. This picture doesn't show but I taped and covered the interior of the drawer spaces to avoid overspray.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
I used gray primer on the chair because I ran out of white, but since it would be painted in a darker blue, the gray worked perfectly fine. Believe it or not, the residual stain in the chair also bled through the gray, so I needed to apply two coats.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
I sealed everything with Minwax Polycrylic satin (spray).
This is the final result. Sorry I don't have a closer picture of the mirror here, but you can check my blog for more pictures.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
I paid $0.25 for this teddy bear in my local thrift shop. Isn't it adorable?
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
I can picture this set in my niece's bedroom. It's a shame she lives too far away, in Brazil.
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
Painting drawers on the inside is a pain, but in some cases, it just has to be done. Isn't this a nice surprise?
before and after vintage desk vanity for a little girl, bedroom ideas, painted furniture
I am so happy with this transformation! If you decide to try it and have any questions, feel free to ask!

Suggested materials:

  • Rustoleum Primer Spray  (Ace Hardware store)
  • Ben Moore Aqua Blue, Icy Moon drop and Super white paint.  (Ace Hardware store)
  • Minwax High Performace wood filler  (Ace Hardware store)
See all materials
Pat Rios | The Wood Spa

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Renee Hampton
    on Jun 12, 2016

    How did your spray painter work? Did you have any problems with it?

    • Pat Rios | The Wood Spa
      on Jun 12, 2016

      Renee, you need to thin the paint until you get the right viscosity. It takes some practice until you find the sweet spot, but after a few projects you get the hang of it. I had no problems with the sprayer in this project.

  • Med5450564
    on Jun 12, 2016

    Thank you Patricia. I live in Canada. Where did you purchase your paint sprayer?

  • Med5450564
    on Jun 13, 2016

    Thank you for going through the trouble to find it for me. Did you have to thin the paint before spraying? If so, what is the ratio? I must say you did a beautiful job! It's lovely!

    • Pat Rios | The Wood Spa
      on Jul 5, 2016

      You're welcome. The pack brings a little cup for you to measure the paint viscosity. Each kind/brand of paint requires more or less water, so I recommend you use the cup the for your first projects. Over time you will know the sweet spot just by looking at it.

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