Monday, August 24, 2015

A French Desk Makeover

We've all seen these vintage pieces that have leather tops - on coffee tables, end tables, and desks. I've generally steered clear of these pieces before because I wasn't sure what to do with the leather top.

But I couldn't resist bringing this vintage desk by Sligh home, because I loved the scale, lines and storage space. It sat in my shop for months before I got the courage to give it a makeover.

So I decided to paint it! Surprise, surprise.

But first there was a lot of prep that had to be done to make sure that the paint would adequately adhere to the leather.

I gave the leather a gentle hand sanding with 220-grit to loosen any dirt that had accumulated over the decades. See the discoloration? That sanded right off!

I then filled any gaps between the desk and leather with wood filler. After it was dry, I sanded it smooth, so that we would have a seamless transition from the wood and leather.

After that, I primed the leather parts with an oil-based primer. I wanted to make sure that the paint was adhering properly, so I just left it for about a week and moved on to the other parts of the desk!

I painted the rest of the top in General Finishes Seagull Gray and the body and drawers in their Snow White.

I wasn't wild about the white on the top, so painted the entire top grey as well as the drawer fronts. The crystal knobs I added give it a little bit of bling! The entire piece was then sealed with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin.

One of the things that I loved so much about this desk is that all of the sides were finished and it would look great floating in a room.

So that's my solution for a leather-topped desk. Paint it, of course!

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Love this piece, the legs on it are amazing....You did a great job!

  2. Looks amazing! Love your color choices! What tools do you find best for applying the milk paint and top coat? What prep work does the wood require for good results with the milk paint?

    1. Thanks, Heather! I spray all (ok well 99%) of my pieces now. I purchased an HVLP sprayer earlier this year and it has been a game-changer in terms of the quality of my finishes. As with any paint project, prep work is the most important part. Sanding, cleaning, repairing, filling, priming are all steps that need to be followed before you can even get to the good stuff!

  3. The lines on this piece are gorgeous, and you can never go wrong with a gray and white combo. You did a great job. I saw your link at Stacey's Creative Inspirations party. Ann Marie @ Iris Abbey

  4. It's beautiful. Nice to know that the leather can be painted. I have seen pieces like this, but wasn't sure what to do with the leather. I won't pass one up now!

  5. What a beautiful desk makeover Beth - the soft grey and white is so pretty and those glass knobs are the icing on the cake!

  6. You do beautiful work! Please come and share! I would love it if you would join in on my Making Broken Beautiful party! It starts 6:00pm (MST) this Thursday September 10 and I would love to have you join up each week!
    Smiles for a great week!