Monday, April 28, 2014


When my customer told me about a desk she was dropping off, I had no idea about a leather top being involved.  Or that it had to be removed.

I had done many pieces for her before so knew she was super cool and had no over the top expectations for the desk. We really were not even sure how it would turn out.  

The plan was to remove it the best I could, sand the heck out of it, fill in all the crazy imperfections that were bound to happen and then paint it. 

After about an hour with my heat gun…this is how far I got:(  I love my heat gun for removing contact paper and loosening up glue but I decided to try using the iron method I had heard about for this project.

And I also call my mom:)

My mom is WAAAAAY more patient than I am at these types of projects.  Just dampened a rag, let the iron sit on top of the rag in one spot longer than you think you should (to loosen the glue) and start pickin!

The girls love having her over too.  The just hang out and chat:)

Natalie is going through a container of "dresser finds" that I like to save.  Fun to look at the old pictures, notes and things we find in the back of dressers.  Have yet to find the envelope full of money though.

So this is how it looked after my mom removed the leather and veneered top.  I had not sanded it yet but thought it just might be a good potential to stain and I really liked the planked look of the top.  

It wasn't going to be a perfect 'flawless' look but maybe a bit rustic and possibly pretty cool! 

After sanding with an 80 grit I used a fine finish sander to smooth out the top. I cleaned it well but knew the top wasn't going to be a uniformed color anyway so didn't even bother using a wood conditioner on this very raw wood.

After 2 coats of General Finishes Gels stains (50% mixture of Java and Antiqued Walnut), 2 coats of their polyacrylic topcoat in flat, this is what I had.  And I LOVE it!

I used General Finishes Enduro Black Poly on the base.  I am usually pretty stuck in my ways when it come to product but must say, I will never use another black paint again.


  1. This is great, Julie! My aunt has some antique, leather-topped tables that she wants to give me. I will definitely keep this little how-to in mind. The results are beautiful!