I bought this beat-up desk from a garage sale (thanks, Koren).  It was too cute to pass up.  I've had it in the garage for weeks trying to figure out what I was going to do with it.  It wasn't until I saw the movie, "Magic Mike" that it struck me.  The procedure:  "strip" the top and paint the bottom.  I've never stripped before... paint that is (come on- get your mind out of the gutter, people)!!  I'm not going to lie, it was a long and tedious process.

I used this stripper and a scraping tool.  

You can actually poor it right on your piece of furniture and spread it around with a foam brush.
 TIP #1: Those cheapo foam brushes are the best, because when you are done you can just throw them away!!  I let it sit for about 10-15 minutes and then started peeling off the paint. TIP #2:  You want to make sure the stripper is wet.  If it is too dry, you won't be able to remove anything.  I repeated this process about 3-4 times.  Once 98% off the paint was off, I busted out the hand sander.  Because this desk was so old I had to sand a lot.  I sanded for about 45 minutes and when I finished my hands were shaking like you would not believe.  It was worth it, though!  There were still a couple of patches where the paint would absolutely not come off, but I didn't mind because I think it adds character.

Next step, was to stain.  I used Minwax stain and polyurethane in one - Chestnut.  I probably would not use the 2 in 1 again, but you live and learn, right?  It needed to be shaken and stirred for a good 5 minutes.  I used a foam brush and gave it a first coat.  I waited 24 hours and then gave it a second coat.  DONE!!  The edges were a tad bumpy so I used some steel wool and it was smooth in no time.
TIP #3:  You can buy Steel Wool at the Dollar Tree!

Finally, the top was done, but the bottom needed a major cleaning!!  I cleaned this desk about 3 times.  I used OxyClean Bleach to attack all of the nastiness and mold.  TIP #4:  When removing the hardware from the drawers, be sure to place all hardware in a Ziploc bag for future assembly.  TIP#5:  Label your drawers underneath so you know which drawer went where (R1, R2, L1, L2 etc.).  Old furniture, especially, gets "stuck in the grooves" and fits better where it started.

Once it was cleaned, I mixed my Webster's Chalk Powder and Behr Teal Zeal paint color and got to painting.  The paint process was nothing.  The whole desk was dry in 30 minutes.  I added a second coat and it was done!  By the way, Mishawaka Antiques is now selling Webster's Chalk.  My friend, Joyce, is in booth #7 and is now a Webster's Girl.  No shipping, just shopping!!  It's to die for.


Drawer liners from T.J. Maxx :)  love... so easy to apply as well
Chair facelift!! ( This chair did not have any screws so I just used Liquid Nails and it worked like a charm.)  Isn't the flower detail in the chair divine?

What do you think of my final project?  I guess you could say, I'm officially a stripper!  Just call me, "Magic Mal!"


  1. Turned out gorgeous! Love the fabric on the chair too! Thank you for the Websters Chalk powder mention too!

    1. Thank you!! So welcome! I hope people buy it because it's amazing!

  2. Fabulous job, Mallory! Your color choices are GREAT! I absolutely love what you did! It turned out just beautiful.

    1. Thanks! It was a process; that's for sure! Thank you!! Already have a buyer, too! :)


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