I know what you're thinking. How is that related to this desk? Well, when I first started painting this little lady, the paint was lime green, like Slimer from Ghostbusters. Pretty intense. So everytime I see this pretty lady I think of Ghostbusters. See, it makes sense now! =)
So, this little lady was a custom job for one of my pals, Mandy J, who just bought her first home! What's funny is that even though she has antiques galore in her house, there is only ONE item that is older than her home! Yeah, her home is ancient! But super cool!
You'll probably remember from awhile back when I mentioned this desk. Here is the before:
This desk screamed Mandy - it matches her personality perfectly!
When I got the desk home I realized the veneer was chipping all along the bottom. Being the genius I am I thought "Oh, it'll be easier to just strip the veneer than it would to glue every little piece." Hahaha - silly me. I shoulda just glued.
But, I found some cool tips that help speed up the veneer removing process (nothing makes it easy).
Use an iron (please go buy a super cheap one - don't use your legit iron like I did), a moderately damp cloth, and a sharp scraper.
Put your iron on the hottest setting possible. Dump your cloth into a water bucket (I kept one by me for the whole process) then moderately ring it out. You don't want it dripping, but you don't want it just damp. This cloth will create the steam necessary to help remove the veneer.
Place your moistened cloth on top of the section you want to remove. It's best to find a section where the veneer is already peeling and start there.
Run your iron back and forth for about 30 seconds. It help dissolve the glue much better than if you do it for a short amount of time. Once you've run the iron long enough to create a decent amount of steam, remove your cloth and get ready to strip (the veneer, not your clothes)!
At this point I was still using my putty knife, but my super-awesome hubby knew I was distressed, so he ran to the store and bought me a strong, sharp scraper. Anyways, place your scraper under the strip you want to remove and work it up until it won't scrape anymore (you can hit the end of your tool with a hammer if you're like me and have no upper body strength).
It should come off like this:
I would just hack away at that strip, throw it on the floor, then start the process again. This took FOREVER! I will never do anything that requires stripping veneer again. It's not my cup of tea.
I should note though, that the above process works best for desk not made in the last 40-50 years. Newer furniture uses a different type of glue to adhere the veneer - fortunately this desk was made in the 40s with the glue that does not hold up well to heat and moisture.
I waited 24 hours for the surface to completely dry and sanded down the entire piece - I did a once over with 80 grit, then once again with 220.
In total, I used two coats of paint. I think it was Valspar's Palm Leaf. It went on GREAT! I think I made record time for painting this desk. After it dried for about three days I brought it inside and put on a coat of wax! And here's Slimer:
It looks so retro! I love it!
It's hard to tell in the photos, but this desk is DEEP! At least 1 foot deeper than your average desk! It makes a great laundry folding table! ;)
The green actually looked great with the original wood color - but the top was too far damged to strip and stain. Another fun tidbit - I used wall spackle to fill in the holes instead of wood filler!
This is the first desk I've ever done with these slide-out trays. They're awesome!
Close-up! Isn't she great! It looks awesome in Mandy J's house - she has old hardwood floors and ORANGE walls! I'll get some photos of it soon!