Janel's January Jumpstart Project: Desk Redo #3

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The mid-way point of projects is often the hard part...you are too far in to reconsider and often the light at the end of the tunnel seems very dim. For this installment of my January Jumpstart project, that's where I am...sloshing around in the swampy middle of things...and just slightly worried about where I'm going.

After buying the supplies (I was very good at this part) and prepping the desk (still pretty good) I lugged the desk down to the low-ceilinged, dark, unheated communal basement of our building to get going on the next step. Not my favorite spot, but when it's January in Chicago, your choices for places to paint are kinda slim....

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After settling in, I broke out the paint. Wow...very gloppy. Very sticky. Very smelly. The One-Shot Sign Painters Enamel is some serious paint. It took a loooong time to brush this on - in the cold, dark basement. (Honestly, not one of the best afternoons I've spent.) I stuck with it and emerged from the depths a few hours later to a lunch of homemade fried rice made by my lovely family - definitely the high point of that Saturday!

I was feeling good - I knew it would take a while to dry, so I put it out of my mind and didn't really check on it for a few days. Ignorance is bliss.

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The next time I had a few hours for the project, I went down and checked it out. Uh oh. Not good. There were some sections where the paint had gotten funky - not smooth at all. While I'll never know the exact reason I think that it was either some sort of reaction with the old finish (in spots where I didn't sand well enough) or the temperature or dampness level of the basement (which I knew was not ideal). Not pretty. What I envisioned as a light sanding before the second coat took on totally new proportions. Some areas needed serious work, right back down to the wood to remove the badly cured paint.

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After spending plenty of time with the sander again, the photos you see here are where I was at - with a desk that looked like some badly "aged" faux antique...but things have GOT to take a turn for the better after this, right?

Are you working on a January Jumpstart? Please join us! Here are the details and the entry form.

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.