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.