It started as a nondescript, slightly banged up, and kind of boring little desk. But not anymore! This little butterfly put on a fresh coat of DIY Paint, added on an IOD Transfer, and put on a coat of lipstick! Err, DIY Paint Glaze, I mean.
Vintage Desk Makeover
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Adding the IOD Astoria Foliage Transfer, and sticking with cool gray tones overall, gave this simple desk style for days. It’s definitely not a complicated project but check out the tips and techniques in the video that make all the difference in this project.
Watch the video tutorial below or keep reading to get step-by-step instructions and the complete supply list.
HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO MAKE A VINTAGE DESK MAKEOVER OF YOUR OWN:
➡️ OOOO Synthetic Steel Wool
➡️ Soft Clean Cloths
➡️ Paper plate
STEP 1: PREP AND PAINT FURNITURE PIECE
You won’t see this step in the video (if you watch it) but I don’t want to skip these instructions. I started by completely painting the desk with DIY Paint in Letterpress Grey. Once it was completely dry, I sealed it with DIY Paint Big Top Topcoat.
It’s important to seal before added a transfer on furniture so don’t skip this step! There’s another super important reason for adding the sealer in this project - the glaze added in the final step! I share the reason why when we get to that step.
Stay tuned! (But seal your furniture piece now!)
STEP 2: APPLY THE IOD DECOR TRANSFER
The Astoria Foliage transfer has two sheets that go at the top of the desktop and two that are at the bottom. The project required another two transfer sheets in order to cover the top of the desk completely, so one and a half packages of Astoria Foliage.
Starting at the bottom left of the desktop, carefully line up the transfer design with the left and bottom edges. Caution: be careful not to hover to close to the surface or the transfer will adhere before you have it lined up. (min 1:04)
Then, with the tool that comes in the package, begin rubbing gently to release the transfer from the backing. If you find yourself really rubbing in one spot and it’s not releasing, try going back to see if you can catch an air bubble to help get it to come off. (1:40) Place the rubbing tool just behind the bubble and gently push and it will release.
Once the transfer is completely released, use the backing to rub across it so that you are burnishing the transfer before continuing on.
TRANSFER DESIGN GUIDES TO THE RESCUE
When moving on to the next section of the transfer, look for the pieces of the design in each panel that should connect to each other. (2:16) Then hover the next panel of the transfer to line those up before laying it completely down to gently rub.
Note that the panels that go on the top of the desk have the top half of some flowers to guide you in lining them up. All the pieces of the transfer should fit together like puzzle pieces. (3:21) Continue rubbing on and burnishing the transfer to cover the desktop.
STEP 3: FIRST A LITTLE INK, THEN A LITTLE GLAZE
Here comes the fun part - for me - adding depth and texture to the piece. First, I blended a custom formula with IOD Decor Inks to create a color that was slightly blue-gray in darker than the gray paint.
I saturate the IOD Inkpad with the ink and let it soak in a little. (4:06) Then, starting with a drawer front, I pat the ink pad along the edges of the drawer and the handles. It creates subtle depth and begins to bring out a vintagey look (yes! That’s a word.) (4:26)
I apply the ink in this way around the corners of the desktop and the edges of the table legs.
TIME TO GLAZE!
Grab a paper plate and pour some of the DIY Paint Dark + Decrepit glaze onto it. Have a soft dry cloth nearby as you begin to paint the glaze onto the painted surface one small section at a time.
Let’s talk about the importance of sealing a piece before applying glaze. Yes, I sealed it prior to applying the transfer and I mentioned there was an important reason for the sealer prior to glazing. It’s because the sealer will soak into unsealed wood.
The effect you’re creating with the sealer is caused as much by how you wipe back the glaze as it is by applying it. You need to be able to control the coverage of the glaze. If the piece is unsealed - the glaze will soak in, creating a dark area that you won’t be able to adjust.
So remember to seal the project after applying the chalk paint.
As you paint the glaze on, pay attention to all the crevices, nooks, and crannies. Stop after applying it to a section, take the clean dry cloth and begin to wipe it back. If the glaze is streaked from your brush stroke in an area or becomes too dry, switch to a damp cloth to rub off and smooth it. (6:17)
I’m primarily wiping it from the flat surface areas and leaving it in the creases and the edges. Don’t worry about wiping off too much. After the coat dries, you can reapply and rub again to get the desired effect.
For the desk legs, I apply the glaze thickly (6:40) and direct it into any edges or crevices before wiping back each section. Pro Tip: when you wipe back the glaze, pay attention to your strokes because they will show up on the finished piece.
STEP 4: FINISHING TOUCHES
Once the entire desk is covered with the glaze and it’s where you want it to be, time to smooth things out. Go over the desktop with the synthetic steel wool (see supply list) to remove any bits that might be sticking out. (8:30)
After it’s smoothed out, I apply the glaze lightly to the desktop using the dry cloth dipped into the glaze. I’m still working in small sections to apply and then wiping off with a slightly damp cloth. What’s left is a soft antique look to the desktop that gives it the vintage vibe. (8:54)
After the desk has dried, I apply DIY Paint Big Top topcoat to the entire piece to seal it. And that’s a wrap! A simple project with a few steps and products that blend together perfectly.
Talk about getting a song stuck in your head. But that’s ok - I’m a fan-girl.
I’ll tell you exactly how I did it, but in case you don’t have time to read it now, pin it for later.
You can watch the video and see for yourself the easy parts of this project - and learn the level of patience you’ll need to cast all the words.
Let me break it all down for you, step-by-step, once I share with you everything I used in this very fun project.
Everything You’ll Need For the IOD Mould Project
- Large piece of plywood (I used birch plywood and NOT the thinnest cut)
- Wide painters tape
- Titebond Glue
- Paper plate (for glue)
- Lint-free soft, dry cloth
- Paint Brush (for painting, adding waxes, and dusting with cornstarch)
- Palette Knife
- Plastic Putty Knife
- IOD Harper Mould
- IOD Birdsong Mould
- IOD Air-Dry Clay
- IOD Ink in White
- IOD Inkpad
- DIY Paint in White Swan
- DIY Paint Black Wax
- DIY Paint Clear Wax
BEFORE YOU START CASTING YOUR LYRICS
Now prepare yourself to start casting the words and give yourself a couple of hours. It took me about an hour and a half to do just the first two lines in the lyric. The letter castings are small and fragile so channel your inner patience goddess.
STEP 1: WRITE THE SONG
Before you start, take your wide painter’s tape and tape off a “frame” around the perimeter of the plywood. You can layout the words and birds within the framed area.
Start by writing out the lyrics on a piece of paper as your guide. Trust me, even if the song is written on your heart - take this step to double-check your work. Next step, and one you’ll repeat regularly, is to dust the mould with cornstarch - just brush right into the mould.
Then begin pressing the IOD Air-Dry clay into the letters as you work on one word at a time. Once the clay is in the mould, it’s time to gently extract them.
HINT: Some of the words will need double letters (L’s are in high demand) so you’ll go back and create the second letter. Sometimes you can add it to the next batch of letters.
Remember I mentioned these letters are small and fragile? Don’t worry, they come out of the mould perfectly using this best practice: turn the mould upside down on the board surface and gently roll it back to expose the casting. Just use your fingertips to gently release the delicate casting. (Minute 2:05)
A great trick for easier release is to rotate and flip the mould so you can work and roll from the side the letter castings are on. (3:13) Then re-dust with more cornstarch before going on to the next word.
I created two to three words at a time, then grabbed the Titebond glue, poured it into a paper plate, and, using my finger, rubbed it onto the back of individual letters. Place each letter on the board surface lined up where you want it to go - but don’t press down yet!
After gluing down 2-3 words, go back and straighten your letters and line the words up. If you need much movement, grab the palette knife to help gently lift and relocate the delicate castings. (5:19)
STEP 2: A FLOCK OF BLACKBIRDS
Using the Birdsong mould, I cast birds inflight. I started by brushing the mould with cornstarch. Then I pushed the air-dry clay into the mould.
TIP: With a larger mould, it’s good to give the casting a nice flat back. To do that more easily, I used a broad plastic putty knife to scrape off the excess clay.
Then it was time to roll back the mould and release the casting. (6:56) Best advice I can give you is to take your time and roll back the mould very slowly. There are thin, delicate ends on the bird’s wings that can easily break. (absolutely the voice of experience speaking here!)
STEP 3: PAINTING AND WAXING
With a soft dry brush to go over the dry clay, begin painting the entire surface of the project with DIY Paint in White Swan. Cover the board surface, letters, and bird castings completely. (7:33)
Across the board surface, around the birds and the letters, I apply the DIY Paint thickly. I used a small artist brush to create texture and movement with globs of paint! (“Globs” is a technical term. 🤣)
Next, grab the DIY Paint Black wax and brush it directly onto the bird castings. (8:00) Then switch to DIY Paint Clear Wax and apply it to the rest of the project surface with a wide brush. Adding the clear wax before adding black wax will keep it from being too dark.
Take a clean, lint-free dry cloth and wipe back the black wax from the birds, leaving it in the crannies and details.
Finally, go back over the letter castings, and all around them, with the black wax. (8:56) Apply it in sections and then grab another clean, dry, lint-free cloth and wipe back the black wax from the letters and the board surface. (9:10)
Continue to repeat this process as you add the black wax over the rest of the project, section by section. Stop and wipe back the wax after each section receives the black wax.
STEP 4: WE’RE GOING TO POUNCE
Once all the wax was wiped and buffed the way I wanted - I added IOD Decor Ink in White to an IOD Inkpad. Then I “pounced” the surface of all the letters and the birds. The final outcome is black wax in the crevices and white ink on the high points, giving more contrast and emphasis to the castings.
That is all there is to it. All I have left to do is hang my wood sign and watch everyone get the lyrics to the song stuck in their heads!
I can’t wait to see what you create. Are you a Beatles fan? Or maybe we'll see Van Morrison lyrics popping up on signs everywhere? YAY!!
“Honestly, I just love to play with the paint!”
I promised I’d take you on a deep dive into the painting techniques I used to take the dresser makeover project to the next level, so here’s the rest of the story for this gorgeous Pink Bureau!
But wait - did you miss Part 1? Go back and watch the video here and you can read the step-by-step instructions here. Do you know what I’d do? Watch and read - both. Yep - because this is a visual project with so much spontaneous creating you’ll want to absorb it all.
The video for Part 2 is short and a little different. I’m not talking you through every step because there’s so much freedom to be creative with a project like this one. And that’s the fun part, in my opinion! So relax and watch the video all the way through before you worry about mastering these techniques.
Then read on for all the tools and supplies I’ve used and some step-by-step instructions below! The beauty of the painting techniques I’m showing you is all about you rolling up your creative sleeves and experimenting. And let go of the outcome! I won’t tell you how many do-overs I had on a few parts of this project (let’s say “a lot.”)
But you can’t tell I wiped away paint and started over when you look at the completed dresser makeover. So don’t stress, just create!
HERE’S EVERYTHING I USED IN THE PAINTING TECHNIQUES FOR THE DRESSER MAKEOVER PART 2!
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- DIY Paint Big Top Topcoat
- Water Girl Spray Bottle
- Cling-on Paint Brushes
- DIY Paint Sampler Brush
- The Turquoise Iris VIP 6" Brush
- DIY Paint in Kissing Booth
- DIY Paint in Cowgirl Coral
- DIY Paint Stain + Glaze in Dark + Decrepit
- DIY Paint in Golden Ticket
- Multiple soft clean cloths
- Old Toothbrush
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PAINTING TECHNIQUES USED IN MULTIMEDIA DIY DRESSER MAKEOVER
STEP 1: ADD THE BASE COAT
Next, I got busy with some:
- The IOD Air-Dry Clay + TiteBond Glue
- The IOD Kindest Regards and Fronds Stamps
- The IOD Birdsong, Acanthus, and Heirloom Roses Moulds
- The IOD Painterly Floral Transfer
Once I had the texture and movement the way I wanted, I covered it all with DIY Big Top Topcoat. Don’t skip this step, because some of the painting techniques would be a disaster if the clay wasn’t sealed.
I started the paint blending process by using DIY Paint in Kissing Booth as a base coat over the entire dresser. While applying the base coat, I made sure to get the paint into all the nooks and crannies of the castings, stamped clay, and textured clay. (Min 0:42)
Don’t panic about painting over the transfers - it’s all part of the plan! Once the entire dresser is covered, let it dry completely.
STEP 2: PAINT BLENDING - DRY BRUSH TECHNIQUE
Grab the DIY Kissing Booth and Cowgirl Coral and start applying brush strokes of one color and then go back and apply the next color in the same way. (Min 1:27)
Now, trust yourself and the process on this next step. Take the Water Girl Spray Bottle and a wide dry brush. First spray the water across the area where the two paint colors were just added. Immediately start blending the paint with the wide brush, stopping to wipe excess paint off the brush often.
Continue to repeat spraying the water and blending with the brush as many times as you feel is needed to get the look you want. If you watch the video, it may seem like I’m repeating this a lot and I am! I love playing with the paint!
Now that you see we’re using water in this technique you probably understand why it was important to seal with the Big Top before launching into paint blending. Otherwise the clay would have re-wet and softened.
I go back and add more swatches of Kissing Booth and Cowgirl Coral, spray with water, and wipe with the dry brush. Blending, blending, blending. With this technique, I don’t need to do any sanding. (Min 3:12)
STEP 3: WIPING THE PAINT OFF THE TRANSFERS
When I get to a point that I’m satisfied with the blended paint, I grab a clean, dry soft cloth. It’s time to wipe back the paint from the roses I applied with the IOD Painterly Floral Transfer. You won’t believe how many times I wiped the paint off and went back to paint over and start again.
The good news is there’s no plan and it didn’t hurt or ruin the project by my doing this. So if you don’t like how this step, or any step, is looking - go back to square one. I give you permission!
As I wiped the paint from the rose transfers, I realized having a photo to pinpoint their location would be super helpful! (Hint Hint) Watch at min 3:45 as I begin to wipe back the paint and then touch up the areas that I didn’t want exposed.
Once the rose transfers are exposed, I move on to the remainder of the dresser, blending the Kissing Booth and Cowgirl Coral across the stamped clay area and the rest of the dresser with the wide dry brush.
I finish up my paint blending step by sealing the dresser with a coat of DIY Paint Big Top Topcoat and let it dry.
STEP 4: HIGHLIGHT THE STAMPED CLAY
Now I add DIY Paint in Golden Ticket to the lettering on the stamped clay, and on the fern frond I stamped alongside it. I use a small brush to better get it into all the crevices, using a ‘dabbing’ stroke. (Min 8:53)
I use a soft, dry cloth to wipe back the Golden Ticket, leaving it to highlight all the letters and fine details in the stamped clay. (Min 9:13) The layers of blended paint and colors is adding to the overall texture of this dresser project!
STEP 5: BUILDING DEPTH WITH DIY PAINTS STAINS + GLAZES
The next step involves DIY Paints Dark + Decrepit Stain. I apply it over the textured areas of clay, the bird castings, and the leaf castings. (Min 9:54) You’ll see that I use that dabbing technique with the brush to make sure it’s in all the crevices.
Once the area is covered, I use the soft, dry cloth to wipe back the Dark + Decrepit.(Min 10:39) Then I use a damp cloth to lighten and clean the edges across the textured area and the bird castings. You can also see where I feathered in some Dark + Decrepit shading around the drawer edges. Just play with shadowing and shading- have fun with this part! It’s when the piece really comes alive!
STEP 6: OUTLINES AND DETAILS WITH DARK + DECREPIT
While the video shows the finished look and doesn’t break down these steps, let me explain what I did on this step. I took a fine paint brush, dipped it into the Dark + Decrepit and just drew a line around the edge of the roses.
I did this on all the Painterly Floral Transfer roses on the dresser. Note the lines of the Dark + Decrepit that happened here and there across the roses. I loved it! So - naturally - I grabbed an old toothbrush, dipped it into the Dark + Decrepit and went wild!
Not really! What I actually did was run my fingers across the bristles of the toothbrush while I held it in front of the dresser. Dark + Decrepit speckled across the rose transfers - not too heavily - just enough to add to the depth of the textured piece.
Don’t forget the dresser legs. I embellished them with DIY Paint Golden Ticket. One final coat of DIY Big Top over the entire dresser and it’s complete!
I hope you take the time to try some of these painting techniques on a project soon. Once you get started, let your creativity have the wheel!
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