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Art Deco Cabinet Refinished in Classic Black - Lots of Photos/Videos

I jumped at the chance to refinish this gorgeous art deco solid wood cabinet. I chose classic black but used both a stain and paint combo to give it a new look.

Desk or Vanity? The Classic Grey Update Works for Either, Right?

Is it a vanity or a desk? It can be whatever the buyer wants but the makeover it got sure changed up the look of this vintage piece.

I was gifted this gorgeous vanity/desk from a kind lady in my hometown. I saw potential right away. 

It had been used as a vanity with a vintage sewing stool and oval mirror, gifted as well.

The original hardware was quite unique but only 3 of the pulls had this red "button" and to find a replacement ended up fruitless. I chose to order new pulls from the amazing selection at D Lawless Hardware. I will share them later in the progress.

The desk was cleaned well inside and out with  Dixie Belle white lightning cleaner in a bucket of warm water and some dawn. Then it was rinsed and dried well. 

 Harley my shop assistant supervises most steps.

The top needed to be refinished so I applied EZ Strip paint and varnish stripper, let it sit then scraped off with a metal spatula.

The top was then carefully power sanded smooth as was the body to smooth any rough finish areas as well as wood filled repair areas.

I like to use "old" sandpaper to hand sand the edges. 

The dove tailed drawer fronts were hand sanded with a Dixie Belle sanding sponge to be sure smooth and scuff the shiny finish up a bit.

Baja grey Dixie Belle silk mineral paint was brushed on drawer fronts.

And here goes the first coat on the body too.

The body with first coat on and an edge repair drying.

To make the drawers slide smoothly Dixie Belle Big Mama’s Butta was brushed on with a dedicated Dixie Belle La Petite brush. There are a few scents to choose from that also add a nice fragrance to pieces. WIPE off the excess and buff in to the wood.

2 coats of Baja grey silk paint were applied to the desk body. When the paint was dry the surfaces were lightly sanded with a sanding sponge to make the paint feel super smooth and the edges were lightly distressed.

The stripped and sanded top was treated to a coat of weathered grey Dixie Belle No Pain Gel Stain. I prefer to apply mine with blue shop towel.

Then wipe back with a clean blue shop towel to the desired coverage you want. I then let the gel stain dry 72+ hours.


All the drawers were treated to a rehydrating coat of Big Mama’s Butta too with the same brush and wipe excess and buff process.

To add depth and warmth to the base color I added brown Dixie Belle's best dang wax with the edges and all details. See above left plain and right with the brown wax?

And the drawer detailing without and 


To seal the top, Dixie Belle satin clear coat  was applied with a damp Dixie Belle applicator sponge.

Again using a sanding sponge to lightly sand between clear coats. This was repeated 3 times with the last coat lightly sanded as well.

Now for the new pulls from D Lawless Hardware. These 4" turned wire matte nickle pulls were ordered.

And put on, they look amazing!!

This desk is ready for years more service. The original casters make moving easy and add a unique charm.

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  1. You are so good at updating furniture! I love the light gray on this desk. Came out beautiful. Thanks for linking up at the Home Imagined Link Party with us.

    1. Thankyou very much Meagan for the kind words and hosting

  2. Another beautiful piece! You are so talented, I wish I felt I could try making over a piece with paint. I need to take a look at that rehydrating Big Mommas Butta, I have a few pieces that could benefit from it. Thank you for sharing with Whimsy Home Wednesday!

    1. Thank you so very much!! Give it a try, I love how buttas/salves bring out the wood grain and rehydrate easily

  3. Hi Lee Ann! I have tried Baja Gray and it had a blue tone but your desk doesn't look blue at all. It's very pretty. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks Cheryl, perhaps it is the wood tone under? But I have yet to have it show blue tones but you just never know :)

  4. A lovely shade for most any piece of furniture!


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