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DIY: Whitewashed & Antiqued Workspace

When you have a very talented woodworker in the family, you take advantage of it. It was time to create a home office where I would have space to work and keep myself organized. And I was being very picky about what kind of workspace I wanted. It was a constant battle between not wanting to break the bank and needing a large surface for my computer monitors and notebooks.

Finally, I went to my stepfather and asked him for a custom desk. He was happy to oblige, and we worked together to create a desk that would transform the extra bedroom into a home office where I would be motivated to work. It took about 2 weeks to build, from the time I got him the drawings and he gathered all the materials (plus, he was battling a kidney stone so he's the real MVP!).

The desk was built in 2 pieces that attached with bolts so it is sturdy, but can be easily moved and transported. The wood was unfinished, but lightly sanded so I could stain and whitewash the wood. My goal was to have a rustic, farmhouse-type desk. The desk was modeled off a few other desks I had seen on Pinterest, with a few nuances - the height was a major custom choice: I needed to hide our ugly 2-drawer file cabinet. I also wanted space for my dual-monitor set up, as well as space for books and my calendar. After some preliminary measurements, I drew up some plans and sent them off!

This is the desk that I was delivered! I was so excited to start painting, staining, and antiquing this gorgeous desk.

Never having worked with a large piece of furniture, I scoured the internet for the best practices for finishing and staining, with ease. Not having the sand the wood was the best part! Deciding I wanted to stick with antiqued white legs and a natural wood top, an easy wood tint worked the best.

Wood Tint works a lot like stain, but it can be layered for a darker color, and comes in a wide array of colors. It's usually for smaller projects, like signs and home decor, because it dries a lot faster than wood stain. As opposed to soaking into the wood like stain, it covers the wood more like paint, although it is suggested you wipe off excess paint to achieve a stained-look.

For the legs, I used french white chalk paint. The first coat was thick and I made sure to cover all the wood evenly. After letting it dry for about 2 hours, I painted a second coat - this time not as evenly, and making it look a little more worn. This resulted in a perfectly even, antiqued look, without going totally chippy.

I finished the legs and surface with a matte acrylic spray by Rustoleum - a lot like polyurethane. I like this over polyurethane because it doesn't smell as strongly, and it sprays on evenly and it a super light coverage. After letting it all dry overnight, I bolted the two pieces together! Voila! A desk!

The fun part was decorating - and I'm not finished yet, but thanks to HomeGoods and Marshalls, I got a lot of cute Rae Dunn pieces that are a perfect start of my cozy, functional home workspace.




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