I couldn't stand the block of wood that had been nailed on to replace two of the adorable feet, so I sent the desk to a gentleman that lives locally, who repairs and restores antiques. He was able to fix the feet and a few other issues, and then I began sanding! I wish I had taken a photo of the hideous block feet, but I was just so eager to get that fixed I didn't give it any thought to take a picture of it!
I began by using my palm sander, sanding the entire surface of the desk: drawer fronts, sides, top, etc. Once that was done, my hubby got his compressor out and sprayed the whole desk down to free it of dust and debris.
Then I began to fill all the cracks by using Elmers Wood Fill. With some of the cracks, I had to fill them a few times, allow to dry, and then sand again. I had to use a lot of wood putty, as there were a lot of cracks to fill. I started out using a small putty knife, but actually found it more effective to use my finger and apply it that way. I just felt like I had better control. Once the cracks were filled, I allowed the putty to dry and sanded down all those areas, with my mouse sander, when able and a sanding block on hard to reach areas. Here's a look at the desk with the various cracks filled and sanded.
Once the patching was complete, I used a dry cloth to wipe the desk down to ensure there wasn't any dust on the surface of the desk. Then I used the Kiltz Oil-Based Primer I had on hand to prime the entire desk and drawer fronts. You will notice in the above photo, I placed the drawers face up so I could prime those, as well. I used a brush for the small areas, and a foam roller for the larger areas. You will notice we placed the desk on its top to make it easier to prime the legs.
After the first coat of primer, I allowed it to dry and then sanded it all down. I applied a second coat of primer to ensure even coverage and sanded again once that coat was dry. You can see in the photo below how well the primer covered after a second coat.
Here are the drawer fronts after two coats of primer.
The next step was to start painting. I wanted the desk to have an antique white finish, as much of the bedding, etc. in my daughter's room is off-white. I knew I wanted to use Benjamin Moore's ADVANCE line. It's an alkyd based paint (water-based) so clean-up is really easy, and when it dries it drys to a hard finish. I have used this paint on other pieces of furniture and really like how well it covers and ultimately what the finish coats looks like. I ended up choosing Cloud White OC-130, but had them add 1.0 more yellow to it (by the way I bought the pint size in a Satin Finish). It was a soft cream color, just beautiful.
I applied the first coat, again using a Purdy brush to cut in the edges and hard to reach areas, and then finished off with a small 4" foam roller for all the larger areas. The foam roller works so great on wood furniture, and leaves a flawless, smooth finish. I allowed that coat to dry and then sanded the entire desk down and applied a second coat. Since there were so many areas that I had put wood putty, I decided to put a third coat on. I know the third coat was probably over-kill but honestly it didn't take much time at all to paint the entire surface and drawer fronts. We then flipped the desk upright, and gave the top three coats of paint, in the same fashion. After the third and final coat of paint, I did sand the top down, as my hubby and I had decided that we would put a polycrylic on the top of the desk to protect it, especially where my 7-yr-old would be using it. My hubby applied multiple coats of Minwax Polycrylic (a water-based poly urethane). I have a love- hate relationship with Polycrylic, as it's difficult to get an even, flawless finish even after multiple coats, but you would never know the finish wasn't perfect unless you look at it in the light, with your head tilted to the side at a 40 degree angle :) Please note you must sand between each coat, but DO NOT sand the final coat as it will dull the sheen, which we used a Satin Sheen.
Since the drawer knobs had also been painted, I sanded those all down, primed and then painted several coats of paint on those. I'm pretty satisfied with the end result, though now that my daughter has her "new" desk she thinks we should redo her room from the paint on the walls to the textiles on her bed! OH BOY! Why do I sense that I'm going to end up painting the desk a bright white!
Let's look at how it looked when I started this little project