My husband had an old desk he used when he was a teen. It is a beautiful oak desk, in just the style I was going for in Little Buddy’s room. The only problem? The old oak color. It was a pretty simple fix!
First, I sanded down the top to bleach it. Bleaching red oak will get the red/orange color out that dates oak.
When sanding something down to bleach it, you have to get ALL of the top coat off. If you don’t the bleaching solution will not be able to soak into the wood.
Once it is all sanded down you can apply the bleach. I use the Zinsser wood bleach (link above). It isn’t hard on the wood and will not ruin your wood. First, apply solution A with a brush. Let it sit on there for 5 to 10 minutes (make sure it stays wet the whole time) and then apply Solution B. You will instantly be able to see it is working. Let it sit over night and then you will see an amazing transformation. I did bleach the top of the desk twice to get a more even finish. After the bleach was all the way dry I used a 220 grit sandpaper to smooth everything out and then I sealed it with a spray lacquer.
Here is how it looked after it was bleached and sanded. The bottom was how it looked before it was bleached.
Painting the Bottom
After the top was bleached I taped it off and sanded down the bottom for paint. When you sand down the bottom you don’t have to sand all the top coat off. You are just trying to rough up the top coat so your paint will stick better.
Once it was sanded I used Zinsser’s spray primer to prime everything. After the primer was dry I used a 150 grit sanding block to smooth everything out. Then I used my HomeRight sprayer to spray the base of the desk with Peppercorn by Sherwin Williams. I gave it 3 coats, sanding in-between each coat.
And here is how it looks now!! WOW what a transformation.