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Transformers More Than Meets the Eye

10.08.11 By //
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When I saw this piece in my local Good Will store, I knew… I just knew. Such promise in this hidden gem. I had originally planned to build myself a desk from the Martha Stewart Craft Collection of pieces we have plans for. But, I got a little ahead of myself and decided to increase the depth of the drawers… Ya, the one thing I didn’t consider was the height of the desk and that by making the drawers deeper I was actually eating away at the leg room. Not going to work if the desk is to be shared by myself and my 6 foot husband. Eek. There isn’t a lot you can do once you have made an error in judgement of this kind other than disassemble and rebuild the desk with new legs or the standard size drawers the original plans call for. Double Eek! With a toddler in the house, and no one but me to watch him during the day, this was a daunting thought. Gah! Originally a Kitchen Island, this piece was your typical metal legged, laminate butcher block veneered, crazy hot mess! But the shape, the adjustable size (with leaf included) and the modern style I could see it having, once it had a teensy makeover, made this the most exciting $15 find EVAH! Can I get a yahoo?

But how do you deal with a laminate surface, you ask? Well it’s very simple… carefully and with the notion that you will without doubt have to touch up or redo a bit of the painted surface at some point. I don’t care what anyone tells you… if they tell you it won’t scratch, or wear irregularly when you paint over laminate…they are wrong, and haven’t done it enough to actually know the truth. It may not be their fault, but the fact of the matter is, painting laminate is tricky biz and while there is quite a bit you can do to ensure that as little goes wrong as possible, just be prepared that it will be a delicate process that will need continued maintenance in the future! That being said, let’s get started on our laminate painting best practices…

1. Use a medium grit paper to scuff your surface. Don’t kill but you need to give it a bit of texture so your paint will adhere better. Don’t skip this step, regardless of what the paint product or primer tell you. This is important and will increase the longevity of your finish.

2. You are going to need to prime, no matter what! For this project I decided to try something new with this Glidden Gripper Primer. It’s supposed to help paint adhere even to plastic surfaces, which would be something akin to laminate I suppose. I chose the gray for colored or dark surfaces simply because I felt like it would be more useful to me to balance out my primer collection with a dark color primer, but the white would have work equally as well for the color I intended to paint the desk.

3. Light application of Primer. I said light, people… and I mean it. Keep it light and thin and you will win! See how I made that rhyme? Genius I tell you. I like to apply it light and thin in one direction, and for a second coat I head in the other direction. I feel personally that this works best. This doesn’t have to be your method, but it’s what I like to do. Just sayin…

4. After 2 good coats of Primer, I follow the same technique with 2 good light and thin coats of paint. Depending on your paint, you may need a third, but it’s not always likely. I chose Flagstone by Martha Stewart for Home Depot in a Semi-Gloss for this project. I am so glad I did, because the color is amazing and absolutely what I saw in my mind’s eye!

5. Apply some sort of seal coat. I chose to use my fave: Wipe On Poly by Minwax. For me this gives the ‘hardest’ finish with the least amount of effort and a very fast cure time. You can see this room has many purposes with this little peak of my treadclimber in here. Along with dog, kid, hubby, and crafting non stop… this room and desk will take a beating, but I’m happy to report that after a decent amount of time in here…things are holding up nicely. I fully expect to refinish the surface at some point. You simply can’t escape it, but that’s fine with me!

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