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Free Ultimate Furniture Painting Guide

Painted Santa Desk to get you in the Christmas Spirit

In all my years of furniture painting.....I've never created a piece JUST for SANTA!

There was something about this little writing desk that took me back to childhood....and letter writing.....and with the approaching holidays.....SANTA!

I KNOW....I KNOW!!! It's too early...but hey!! I need to give you time to get one ready for your own home and we just can't wait until DECEMBER!!!

I could go on with a magical story....and get lost in childhood make believe...but instead....I'll stay focused and move forward with the "how to do an image transfer on furniture" so that you may create your own! (and yes....I painted the Santa Canvas too...but that needs its own blog).

* This post may contain affiliate links. I could make a commission at no charge to you if you purchase my recommended products. Please read my disclosure here and my privacy policy here.

All Dixie Belle Paint products used on this project are listed at the end of this post for you!

Step 1 is soooooo important! White Lighting takes the cake ya'll! I challenge clean with your favorite cleaner....and then go over it AGAIN with White Lightning.....and just SEE for yourself what it will STILL pull from your project before you start! Thats all I have to say about that!!!

Step 2

PRIME with BOSS....because it is just that....the BOSS! Although I wish it were called THE BOMB...because that is how I feel about it. You know I'm constantly testing new primers on the market and sharing with you. Priming is so important to a successful project...and BOSS wins in my books! It is offered in both white (better for color blocking) and clear (odor and stain blocking)......and is the best all in one primer on the market today!

Step 3

GRAY COAT undercoat.....this is a special little trick for all red paints finishes. Red paints, no matter what brand or type, are known for splotchy coverage. The a single coat of gray paint!!! I know....its weird...but it WORKS!!! IT works on crafts, furniture, walls....wherever you are using reds! Try it! You'll love me for it! This is Manatee Gray....and only one coat.

Step 4

Time for a little Honky Tonk Red and a whole lotta color!!! Woo hoo! This red rocks!!! This desk was fully saturated with color in just ONE coat.....which unheard of! (I promise it's the gray trick ya'll).

And have you tried the Dixie Belle Brushes yet?? really need to try them too! My favorites are this one you see pictured which is called the Mini (because the handle is short)....and also the FM (for flat medium). They are a synthetic brush with the softest most flexible bristles...which really help with creating less brush strokes. They load a ton of paint...much like a water color brush. And they maintain their shape really well. I"m into mine about 2 months already and have yet felt the need to get a new one.....and I probably paint WAY more than most people!

Step 5

Furniture Transfer Application - the script that you see on the drawer fronts is actually an image transfer by Redesign with Prima....and is called Never Ending Story. You also saw this used on the inside of my grandfather clock which you can see here. It is VERY easy to apply. Once you paint has just lay the transfer sheet where you want it and rub with the little plastic tool which is included. It is fast and easy and makes a huge impact on the design of the piece. There are so many furniture transfer options...but right now this is my favorite!!!

Step 6

Top already know by now that my favorite top coat EVER is Gator Hide by DB. It is super hardy...leaves a gorgeous sheen....AND is water repellent!!! Which works great on most of my pieces since I design so much for children's rooms! I simply applied one thin coat....let dry for two hours....then applied a second coat.

Look at this script up is lightly distressed on purpose. It comes that way! I love the "less than perfect" feel of it! One package completed all three drawers with even a little left over!

The drawers were curved....and yet the image transfer was still super easy to apply!

And will you just check out the sheen of the Gator Hide Top Coat in this photo below???!!!???

Step 7

....LOL! NOT really....but I ALWAYS like to add a surprise!! So how about that GOLD to make this piece feel extra magical when Santa letter writing is happening???

I did prime the inside with BOSS White Primer.....and used my favorite metallic finish by Modern Masters.....Olympic Gold....two coats! As you can is a very gaudy gold....but I am always drawn to bold and it works for me! If you prefer a more subtle gold....I like to recommend Warm Silver (its really a super pale gold and so beautiful!).

And there you go!

It's all set up and ready for sweet little hands to write sweet little list....and to be reminded of the Naughty and Nice list!

I was ALWAYS on the NICE list.....ALWAYS!

Just getting started?  Want to learn some basic furniture painting techniques?  Check out my Furniture Painting Basics course.


The products listed here are exactly what I used on this magical Santa desk! Dixie Belle Paint company offers amazing products that will make all of your projects successful no matter what your skill level! You can also find my favorite products and tools in my Amazon influencer list here.

If you would like to paint your own furniture ....but lack confidence with where to start....I offer furniture design consultation!  Contact me here and we can get you started on your next project!

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See you next week!



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