How to: Red desk

So, I've received a lot of questions about the red desk.  I probably should have included this with the original post, but I wasn't aware I had so many readers that would want to know how I did it :)  Which by the way thank you all for your lovely comments regarding the desk!
Originally, I didn't start this blog as a "how to". For a couple of reasons.  When I'm working with a piece I usually don't have a plan.  I have a picture in my mind and I do everything to make it look how I imagine.  Whether that means mixing paint colors I don't know the name of because I get them as"oops paint", or changing the color in the middle of the project because I was inspired by something else.  I'm always learning new techniques through trial and error, and I encourage you to do the same.
So I will try my hardest to remember exactly what was done, in order for you to achieve a similar look.
So basically this desk was in fine condition, it just needed sanding to remove the top layer of stain .
After I sanded it, I wiped it down very well with a damp cloth.  You must make sure your surface is clean before you paint.
I had found a red I liked in the "oops paint" which was called Rum Runner by Olympic.  Then I chose another red off a swatch called Quiet Red by Valspar.  I mixed them together until I achieved my perfect red color.           
I brushed on the red and let it completely dry before I applied my stain.  I used one of my husbands old white t-shirts to apply the dark walnut stain, in a haphazard way.  That is where you must get creative.  I'm not sure exactly how it came out the way it did, but I was happy with the result.  Then I did a coat of clear polyacrylic. The stain must be dry before you do your clear finish.  This does take time, waiting for everything to dry before you go on the next step is very important.
That's pretty much how it was done.  I can't reiterate enough that you must be creative in your work.  Creating a vision for your piece and making it happen is very rewarding.  Good luck!                                   


  1. Great how-to, thanks for taking the time to share it!

  2. Wow! I love that desk! Thanks for sharing your colors with us. Lisa

  3. This desk is just unreal! Love you use of colour!

  4. So nice! For the last coat of polyacrylic, what finish are you using? Matt, gloss or something inbetween?


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