TUTORIAL: Get a stained & painted finish!

Guest post by: Sandra of Black Lab Furniture Revival

Join Sandra as she walks us through the steps to create this beautiful stained/painted look! 

1. I prepped the desk with a good cleaning with a TSP solution and wiped down with clean water. I removed the hardware and polished it with Bar Keepers Friend to remove any tarnish.

2. Luckily the vintage desk had no damage in need of bondo, so I just filled in any deep scratches with wood filler.

3. To remove the finish of the top, I sand down starting with an 80grit sandpaper and work my way up to a 220 grit. Once the wood filler dried, I lightly sanded with a 220 grit sandpaper. I removed all dust with a tack cloth and wiped down the top with a lint free rag with mineral spirits.

4. I start staining my top before painting. I personally like to use a wood conditioner before applying my stain. Minwax wood conditioner is a good choice and following product instructions. I applied TCB Luxe Tones stain in Smoked Cherry with a bristle brush and removed the excess with a lint free rag.

5. Since I was applying the color Shiplap and going for a distressed look, I applied 2 coats of clear shellac.

6. Since I was using my sprayer to get into all those hard to reach spots, I covered my top with plastic and painters tape to prevent any paint from ruining my top. I then applied 3 coats of color shiplap letting it dry completely between coats. Once I achieved full coverage I finely distressed edges of the painted desk with 220 grit sandpaper.I lightly sanded the whole piece with 220 grit sandpaper and removed any dust with a tack cloth.

Once I achieved the look I wanted I removed the protective plastic off my top and removed any dust with a tack cloth. Using my paint sprayer I applied, 4 coats of TCB Ultra Tough Top Coat in the satin sheen for maximum durability. I made sure to lightly sand with a 400 grit between coats. For your last coat on the top you can use a brown paper bag to remove any impurities once it dries.

8. For the last touch, I sprayed my hardware with antique bronze spray paint; letting it fully dry before reattaching. 

Thanks for the great tutorial, Sandra! Check out Black Lab Furniture Revival for more great content!

Hi! I’m Sandra, the creator behind Black Lab Furniture Revival. I was raised and currently reside in Chicago, Illinois with my two daughters, my husband, and 5 fur babies; yes, you read that right. I enjoy a mix of vintage and modern styles. I have found a creative outlet with paint, a good brush and a furniture piece with good bones. I started painting furniture as a need to update my home's furnishings without having to invest in brand new pieces. I started this business venture in 2018, Ikea and antique shops are like Disney World to 35 year old me. My favorite pieces to paint are vintage secretaries. I always say that if I could run a business out of painting vintage secretaries of all shapes, colors, and sizes; I would.

You can see more of Laurie's work at:

1 comment

  • Posted on by KRISTI W GLASS
    Thank you so much for that tutorial! I feel so blessed to be able to learn from one of the best!

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