Lace Embossing a Vintage Desk. Yes you read that right! This technique is one I absolutely love and I finally applied it to a piece of furniture. I learned this in paint training when I signed up with Paint Couture last Spring and I’ve wanted to do it on furniture ever since.
It’s really a very easy technique, it just takes some lace, some Paint Couture Embossing Medium, and a bit of time.
This is the before of the desk. It belonged to my Grandma and I never paid much attention to it except to open the drawers that held the little toys she kept there. When we were cleaning out her house I decided I could make this nondescript desk look amazing so
I my husband hauled it home. It doesn’t look too bad in this photo, but up close you can see that it is a very inexpensive piece, some of the veneer was warping, and the drawer pulls are ugly in my opinion.
In this photo I was trying out some fall decor, deciding on a vignette before painting my paper mache pumpkins. I decided it was time to dig in and get the desk painted.
So I did.
I gave the desk two coats of white paint, and as I painted I realized more and more the poor shape the desk was in. Someone, at some point, had refinished it and added about 4 layers of shellack. There were runs in the finish and as you can see in this photo there are cracks between the joints of the top.
The drawer fronts were not looking nice at all either.
So I pulled out my embossing medium and went to work.
I filled in all the cracks I with the embossing medium, just smoothing it in with my finger like you would use caulk.
The embossing medium has a consistency a lot like drywall spackle. It dries super hard and works great to fill cracks, and to create the lace embossing on the drawer fronts.
Using my putty knife I put a layer of the embossing medium on the front of a drawer. I covered the drawer completely but didn’t try to make it even or overly neat. Just got it on there!
Then I placed my lace on top and gently pushed it down into the embossing medium, pulling it taut across the top.
I used old crotcheted lace doilies in varying patterns. I’ve picked these up at garage sales and thrift shops for next to nothing.
More embossing medium was added to the top of the lace, making sure the holes of the lace were filled.
Using the putty knife I scraped as much excess embossing medium off the top as I could, working gently and not moving the lace much at all. It needs to stay put to create the best design.
When the lace is lifted of the design stays behind!
I let it dry overnight and most of it was completely dry and hard. One of the designs was thicker and had larger raised areas and it was set but not completely hardened. The larger, thicker areas can crack a little but typically you will paint over the embossing medium so those little cracks won’t show up.
Each drawer is a different lace design. I added another coat of paint over the whole desk and then used a Lime Wash glaze to give it a finish. Because I was glazing white over white I just put the glaze on with a brush and it created a wonderful finish for the piece. Usually you put a glaze on and then rub some back off with a sponge or cloth to create the look you want.
I added the white drawer pulls to the side drawers but I decided to add a bit of quirky fun and put a large glass knob on the center drawer. I’m loving the textures of the lace embossing medium and the knobs. It doesn’t look like the same desk and I absolutely love it all white!
It makes me happy that this piece is now white.
I know a lot of people have a fit when any wood gets painted. But this is mine, and I wanted it white. I like it white. I think it looks much better now. 😀My fall vignette turned out even better than I hoped.
I had planned to paint the little stool too, but once the desk was painted white I rather liked the contrast of the dark stool and it looked good with the plaid. So for now it stays dark. (I ran out of time too!) The stool will eventually get a makeover too, but I don’t look at this space every day now and wish the desk was painted like I used to!
I wonder what my Grandma would have to say? I’m sure she would be glad that someone was getting some use out of her things. As for the makeover – you just never knew about my Grandma! She may have liked it, she may have said nothing at all about it!
Lets look at the before and after side by side – – –
Ahhhh. Love that after! I’m also thrilled that the missing piece of trim in the before photo was tucked in the bottom drawer just waiting for me to pull it out and nail it back in place.
I did this whole project with no help from my hubby. Most likely because I did it all while he was at work. Had he been home and around when I started he would have found something that he felt needed put together better or something and made me wait to beautify it while he reconstructed it! 😀
The desk is filled with books and my teenagers jewelry making supplies. It’s nice to have a space to tuck things away out-of-site.
What would you store in this desk if it were yours?