Frustrated and stuck. Ready to just give up. Done. Have you ever felt like that? That’s what I was feeling while refinishing a dresser that was not turning out the way I had envisioned. You see, I decided to apply a wax finish, and as I soon discovered, I am no fan of waxing furniture. I had finished painting it, moved it inside and applied the wax. It looked awful. Total dumpster fire of a waxed finish. After several hours doing Google searches on how to fix a jacked up, blotchy wax finish, making a trip to the hardware store for supplies, and spending way too much time trying to repair the horrible finish, I stopped. Stopped working on that piece of furniture, and escaped back out to my shop.
What I really needed at that moment was to get out of my head, and just paint. The kind of painting that soothes and feels therapeutic, and not like work. Relaxing, paint brush in hand kind of painting. I needed to stop overthinking the process. To paint a piece of furniture that would be uncomplicated. To work with products that I know and love. This sweet vintage piece was perfect for what I had in mind. And General Finishes was the perfect paint for the job.
***Affiliate links provided for your convenience. For my complete policy, please see my disclosure page.***
I sanded and cleaned it as I usually do. The original finish was mostly worn off, so I quickly evened and smoothed it out with my sander. I gave it a good vacuum inside and out. Other than the worn finish, this piece was in great structural shape, so no repairs were needed. Fast and easy prep, and it was time to paint. I mixed up a soft black using 2 parts General Finishes Lamp Black and 1 part Queenstown Gray. I added a bit of water to thin the paint, brushed on the first coat, and it absorbed into the wood much like a stain. So good. Calm and restored, with the stress from the wax debacle lifted, I called it a day and left the desk to dry.
The following day, I gave the desk a light sanding with my sanding sponge, and a second coat of paint. Once dry, I sanded and lightly distressed the edges. I wanted the pretty wood tones to show and highlight the lovely detail. I sealed it up with a couple of coats of General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in flat. The finish is so pretty, and feels meant to be on this piece.
I polished up the tarnished original pulls. I have started using the new foam spray version of BarKeeper’s Friend, and I love it. I think it’s easier to use on hardware than the powdered version. The foam really gets in all the small spots and covers well, especially with intricate hardware like the pulls on this desk. I placed the pulls in a small plastic tray (I save and reuse frozen meal plastic trays for this purpose), sprayed on a coat of the foam spray, and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. I then lightly scrubbed and polished the pulls to a pretty shine with 0000 steel wool and a soft toothbrush.
Refinishing furniture can be frustrating at times, for sure. Working with new products or techniques doesn’t always go as smoothly as we would like. There is constant learning, which is what I love, and sometimes hate, about it. But I remind myself, it’s just furniture. I’ve always been able to find a way to fix a problem, even if it means completely starting over. Sometimes stepping away, taking a break and gaining perspective can help. I’m not done with that lousy wax finish I created. I’ll keep trying to make it right. I’ll learn what works. But for now, I’m thankful that this pretty little desk, and General Finishes products, were there when I needed them.
Sharing with Up to Date Interiors