I found this little vanity desk on the Marketplace and fell in love with the curved drawers. Any furniture with those sexy curves are what I’m all about. The vanity was in pretty good shape; it only had a few dings and scratches.
As always, the first thing I did was remove the hardware and clean the piece. Dixie Belle’s White Lightning is a great TSP cleaner. Just spray and wipe. And wipe. And wipe. This will remove all grunge, grime, grease, and all the other “g” words. Next, rinse the piece with clear water to remove all of the residue of the White Lightning. You truly want your surface to be nice and clean before you paint.
This piece was really dark wood and I worried about bleed through. I went ahead and primed with BOSS first just to prevent any possible trouble with the tannins bleeding through. Once this was all dry, I applied my paint.
Let me back up- I actually stripped the old varnish off the top with a paint stripper. After is was all clean and smooth, I re-stained with some Minwax Jacobean. It’s what I had on-hand. It turned out beautifully.
As far as how I choose what color to paint a piece; I think on it a while and let the furniture dictate what I’ll do. There was no question that I wanted to add a transfer to the vanity, but I had to be choosy. It couldn’t be very large because the surface to work with was not very big.
I decided on re*design’s Ruby Rose transfer. I like this particular transfer because it’s got several separate elements that can be used on smaller surfaces. Of course, with re*design transfers, you can always just cut away what you don’t want to use. But, as I mentioned, this transfer is made for piecing out. I wanted to pick up on the blues that are in the flowers of the transfer so I chose Dixie Belle Yankee Blue for the overall color of the vanity. I highlighted with Savannah Mist. Painting the bottom portion of the vanity with a much darker blue; In the Navy. I blended it up to the lighter blue.
Of course, for full disclosure; my first attempt was Yankee Blue with Haint Blue and Pink Champagne highlights. This didn’t look anywhere near what I wanted.
My highlight colors were just too light. I could have blended the dark over more, but I just was not feelin’ it.
I decided I needed something a little darker to blend in to. I chose Savannah Mist. This is kind of a gray-green. I liked it much better than the lighter colors.
I show you this stage so you won’t get to that point and think, this looks awful. It’s still rough. You’ll smooth this out on the next coat. I just don’t want you to feel discouraged if the first coat looks wonky. It’s ok. You’re just laying down your base coat.
Paint your hardware.
If your hardware is not the right color or won’t clean up nicely; paint it. Yep, I said paint it! Mine were pretty tarnished. I cleaned them a bit and then added Moonshine Metallic Wedding Belle. Normally, this color is more gold, but mixed with the brassy color of my pulls, it turned more pewter-ish.
I added a touch of Gilding Wax in Black just to give it a little touch of age. The drawer pulls on the center drawer also needed paint. There were some smaller white pulls in my supplies and I needed to make them look that same pewter color. I painted them with Moonshine Metallic Steel Magnolia.
Don’t forget the details!
Paint your or stencil the sides of your drawers for that added touch of detail. I painted the sides of the drawers with Pink Champagne then added Yankee Blue Stripes. Who doesn’t love florals and stripes? I also lined the drawers with a pretty liner.
Finally, top coat
As a final step, I always top coat my pieces. Dixie Belle Paints actually don’t require sealing as it self seals in 30 days, but I still take the extra step. It’s like wearing a belt with your suspenders. For something like a desk or vanity, I like the added protection Gator Hide provides for the top. I put two coats. I added two coats of Clear Coat Satin to the rest of the cabinet.