This desk was the perfect size and style for my client……but it was BORING! My client requested whimsy and girly-ish flair using the colors turquoise and hot pink! I knew the moment I laid eyes on this piece….exactly what it would look like in the end! I pulled shades from my Dixie Belle Paint….and got to work! (all products listed below).
Wow. Just wow. It turned out exactly how I hoped! I’m going to share the process and transformation with you right now!
I covered the entire piece with Shellac to block tannins.
I then covered any areas that I suspected might bleed through with primer. In this case I primed the leather inset.
I then chose Gulf by Dixie Belle as my main color for this desk. It is a gorgeous blend of aqua with a green tint to it that allows it to move into the “turquoise” family….or as this client referred to it….robins egg blue. It is a playful color yet not too juvenile. If you are looking for the perfect lighter turquoise…..give it a try…you will love it! It is also the base of my popular Mermaid Chair (if you missed that post you can see it here).
I applied two full coats of Gulf to the entire piece.
I then chose Drop Cloth for the three panels on the desk top surface, the trim, the raised rectangles and all four legs.
I then used Peony to paint the inside of the raised rectangle. It is just this happy yummy bright pink paint that is not “in your face” but still commands your attention.
I needed to sand these squares now as I need to add the appliqués next…..….and need the distressed look before I can move forward.
I used the silicon molds by Iron Orchid Designs to make my own appliques. These moulds can be used with any form of clay or even chocolate and fondant as food molds! You can see here how easy it is to make these moulds with the Iron Orchid Designs Paper Clay . You simply press the clay into the mold, level out the back, remove any excess, and remove from tray.
You do not have to wait for you appliqués to dry before you glue them in place. I wanted to adhere one flower to the center of each rectangle that I had already distressed. I used Gorilla Glue for this. I applied it liberally to the back of each flower and pressed lightly to the desk surface.
I then used this exact same process for the angel appliqués….and the decorative appliqués that I was planning to use around the drawer pulls. The long decorative appliqués ….I actually cut in half and place on each side for the drawer pull.
With appliqués in place, I can move on to my favorite part of the design. The whimsicality (made-up word) of the black and white stripes! I love black and white stripes!!! They anchor! They frame! They accent! They blend! They just rock my world really! Zadie’s art room has black and white striped walls! I painted my other daughters dining room in black and white stripes! I paint them on every piece of furniture that I possibly can! (Get my tip for painting black and white stripes here.)
So the white trim base coat was already in place. I poured just a bit of my favorite black paint by Dixie Belle … Caviar … it’s black velvet in a jar! And “OH YES I DID“! I painted freehand every single stripe around the desk the top! You can do this! I promise! Use a new brush with sharp edges…and move quickly. (you can find my absolute favorite flat brush here). If you hesitate…you wiggle….just DO IT! And the beauty is…its “painted by hand” right? It is not expected to be factory perfect! Once you finish…and step back to look at it…you overlook all the little imperfections!
Black-and-white-striped trim deliciousness!
I couldn’t stop the whimsy there on this glam desk…..like I said in the opening paragraph …..I KNEW from the get-go that I was going to take the black and white onto these gorgeous legs! Check it out…..no comparison! Boring to BAM!
So the desk is painted….appliques are in place….so now i get to venture into an arena I have never even peeked my head into!!!!
STAMPING! (well….I’ll admit it was my first time to make moulds too..LOL).
I chose IOD Decor Ink in Soft Black
and their Jumbo Empire stamp. This stamp is so gorgeous and loaded with detail. The package offers a mirror image of the architectural element (left and right) which was perfect for my project. The stamp is clear and has a sticky side that is supposed to adhere to the IOD stamping block (THAT I DON’T HAVE…so I had to improvise). I used a clear acrylic artist palette. So below you see one side of the persephone literally stuck onto my artist palette. I then rolled my brayer lightly across the exposed (non sticky) side of the stamp….and was ready to stamp!
I walked right over to that desk.…looked through that clear acrylic making sure my stamp was lined up correctly and pressed right down into my Dixie Belle Drop Cloth paint while my heart was beating so fast I could hardly breathe freaking out like OMG what have I just done! I gave firm pressure then carefully lifted it straight up!
And then OH MY WORD!!! Would you look at that!!!!
And would you look at that!!!! How gorgeous is that??? I am stunned at the detail! And the ink literally soaked right into that chalk type paint as if they were meant to be together forever!!!!! I was so excited that I could barely think straight…and I needed to…because I needed to do this same thing SEVEN more times on this same surface!
And I DID!!!!! Mmmm Hmmm! I sho’ did! Can you say “FANCY just got real FANCIER”?
Again….compare this! No brainer! Let’s keep it clean folks….but DAY-UM!
So with all of that excitement….I couldn’t stop! I HAD to try out the IOD Friffery Clear Stamp
on each side of the desk. What the heck is “friffery” folks? I haven’t a clue! But it look reeeealllly good on my clients desk!!!! Check it out!
Time for the glam…..the addition of GOLD! I wanted just a touch…so I used my little bottle of go-to gold leaf paint
and my finger tip to just brush the gold onto each applique.
I then brushed the gold onto the tips of each leg and the large rounded part at the top of each leg.
I even added a touch of gold to each stamp on the top surface.
The project is almost complete…but it looks too perfect! I wanted a slightly shabby feel to the piece. This always warms a piece up for me. It gives it even more dimension and adds a touch of “I’ve been loved” which I like a lot! So I lightly distressed all edges and trim. Below you can see a drawer with and without distressing. What looks best is entirely subjective!
I applied two coats of a satin clear top coat for protection. I did dry the ink of the stamps using a heat gun….to make sure there would be no smearing of the ink when applying the top coat. It went over the ink beautifully without any smearing! (Again all of these colors, primers and top coats are listed below.)
And here it is!!! It was worth every minute of time invested!