I got a good deal on a small antique desk/vanity over a year ago for my baby girl, Emma. (She's actually 13, but she'll always be my baby girl!). It sat in storage until this spring as she originally didn't want it. But, she changed her mind so I gave it a makeover and now she loves it!
There was a high gloss on this vanity/desk so when Dad offered to sand it for me, using my rotary sander, I was appreciative. Thanks, Dad!
Then, I applied a coat of bonding primer from the Plaster Paint Company (stuff I had on hand). Their primer works so well and one can even paint within an hour or so after their primer.
As I was working a full-time job as well as doing home renovations, I worked at this particular makeover as I had time.
I bought plain black flat finish paint in a sample jar at Home Depot for only $4.99. I mixed it with Chalk-tique powder according to the recipe/instructions on the jar. Then, using a quality foam roller, I rolled on a coat. The first coat isn't usually beautiful.
But by the time the second coat of paint is on, and the first coat of top coat . . . its looking pretty amazing! I used one coat of Saman Waterbased Varnish in Satin finish. (see picture below)
I used the one coat of Satin finish for extra durability, however, I am not fond of a shiny surface on my furniture/cabinet makeovers. The reason is that in the case of makeovers, we're dealing with older surfaces and thus usually dents/dings, etc. Using a shiny top coat will only emphasize the imperfections. So, I applied two additional separate coats of the same Saman varnish but in Flat. See the picture below! To me, its so beautiful!
I used spray paint in satin nickel on the wooden handles. The desk turned out so lovely! And its very durable. My daughter, like most people, doesn't treat her possessions that delicately so durability was a must. It has been a few months now and she happily reports no scratches or anything!
If this piece hadn't been so shiny, I would have skipped using the primer and went straight to painting where I was using a dark color. However in all situations, primer or not, I leave a day between coats of paint. I also leave a minimum of three days after finishing painting to apply the first coat of varnish. When using Satin finish first, I waited a couple of days after the Satin to apply the Flat. I typically will also wait a day between Flat coats.
The finished vanity/desk!