I love all the "Shabby Chic" furniture, etc., that I see everywhere. I decided I want to try my hand at it. I looked at some facebook posts, some pinterest sites, DIY websites for tips and techniques, and asked a friend who refinishes furniture.
I chose my first piece, a desk that was given to me when my daughter was in high school:
First I began to strip the paint, using this:
DON'T use it! I sprayed on layer after layer of that stuff and went through the whole can and still didn't have just the top of the desk stripped. My hubby sent me back to Home Depot to buy a can of stripper that is applied with a brush and allowed to just sit and do its magic.
This stuff is the BOMB!
And then came sanding. LOTS and LOTS of sanding....
I sanded with a power sander and I sanded by hand
And then I stained the wood...although that is NOT what I would do next, NEXT time. I found that when I sanded the stained wood to prep it for paint that it lightened too much and I could not achieve the color of stain I desired peeking through the paint. So next time I would paint first, then stain on top...which I ended up doing this time too and would simply have saved myself a lot of work.
Next I lightly sanded each surface and applied a coat of paint, then when dry lightly sanded again and applied a second coat of paint:
Then using a more abrasive sandpaper I sanded more heavily along the edges where it could appear "worn"
Using a cloth dipped in my ebony stain I applied stain to the edges and the entire area. I'd let it sit a few minutes then wipe off with a cleaner cloth. When dry I repeated the process until I had the desired effect and the black stain was showing as dark as I wanted.
When through I applied a matte finish of polyurethane to protect the wood.
My finished desk: