3.7 2011

A Cute Desk and a Bad Back

I’m surprised I’ve been able to accomplish anything these last few weeks with this awful back of mine.
I injured it in 6th grade passing pumpkins side to side down an assembly line for our school’s pumpkin patch, and I have had problems ever since. This last bout has just about done me in! I’ve done hot stone massages, yoga, muscle relaxers, heat, ice, etc. If you have any tips, I’m all ears…
But, let’s talk about this cute little desk that’s been sitting in my garage for a year. Someone had taken a fully loaded brush with black paint to it, and just went to town. I didn’t think the black fit with the feminine lines of the desk.
I don’t mind stripping flat surfaces so much, and fortunately the desk wasn’t primed so the paint came off easily. The wood underneath was so pretty.
Then I went to paint it and the dreaded bleed-through showed up:
 I don’t always prime, unless it’s really old and I know the tannins will bleed through. I didn’t think this would bleed, but it did. I was out of my usual primers I use for this, so I went to the tiny hardware store on the corner and got the only oil-based primer in a can they had which I’d never used before:
If I could put a skull and cross bones over this picture, I would.
It smells like formadehyde, and no matter how much I shook the can and cleaned the nozzle it came out all crazy. It went on rough and dried that way.
I don’t know if I’ll be buying another can in the future to see if I got a bad can or what.
Finally, after sanding everything smooth, painting, staining, and adding the final finish, the desk looks great. I loved the original hardware and just painted them black.
I used SW Creamy and Minwax Special Walnut.
I still haven’t had the 411 on getting more light in my pictures. Please, someone, take me aside…
I love the little Queen Anne feet!
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41 thoughts on “A Cute Desk and a Bad Back

  1. Very pretty… And I am only using a sad point and shoot camera. I try to get as much light as possible around me to take pictures and I take multiple shots.

    I use the Kilz Oil based in liquid form and it still STINKS. Lots of ventilation needed for that.

  2. oooh aaah! so classic and pretty!!!
    i am sure you have tried other core exercises. water exercises and anything low impact would also be great- recumbent bike. i hate to say it but running most likely makes it worse. you need to strengthen the muscles that support your spine and most likely realign and even yourself out. when you run you are most likely jarring it and overcompensatiing for your weak areas, thus weakening them more. there's my two cents!

  3. Your desk looks great! I hate bleed through, I am soon to start some white on mahogany pieces and you have reminded me to be prepared. So sorry you are having back trouble. A good chiropractor worked miracles for my husband.

  4. Christa. Love the desk! If your back issue is muscle related, you might want to try valerian root. I take it in pill form for lower back muscle spasm and it works great. Just know that it can cause drowsiness. They actually use it as a sleep aid in europe.

  5. I love the desk with its sweet little legs but I have no idea how you worked on it with your back hurting. Have you thought about acupuncture? It has really helped me. I hope you are feeling better soon.

  6. hi Christa – the desk is really lovely. well done. in regards to your back, how strong are you core muscles (stomach)? I used to get a sore lower back but then really concentrated on my pelvic floor and core abs. Mainly be doing plank and side plank and now i never get back pain. one reason your back can hurt is that your core and stomach muscles arent strong anough and your back muscles end up doing all the work. worth a try anyway.
    good luck with it.
    cheers Fiona

  7. I love love these desks sitting on beautiful legs with the feminine curvy decorative pulls. They look so stunning against the white. Another great job. Sorry to hear about your back. I have a bad one too. I awake every morning in pain! I hope you can find something to minimize the pain – cause you got beautiful paintin'to do! Take care my friend.

  8. The desk is so pretty! The finish you did is beautiful…so much better with the stained top and white ditressing on the rest, as compared to it's initial black. I think you made a great choice of doing the pulls in black, too. And sorry, I am also photographically challenged, so I can't help you there.


  9. thats the primer I use and i LOVE it.. it covers so great… I dont know what happened with yours, I had it come out like that once when i forgot to shake the can first, but then learned that lesson. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with it but I'd highly recommend giving it another try!

  10. So sorry about your back! I find that the more I exercise, the better my back (sprained in 4th grade) feels – but I'm terrible about exercising. Have you tried a chiropractor?

    The desk looks lovely as always! Weird about the primer – we use the cans without any issues (but yes, that awful smell requires good masks and lots of ventilation!). I wonder if you just got a bad one?

    Lighting is so tricky! I just use lots of natural light and try my best to take the photos near a window. Helpful, I know.

  11. It's so sweet & pretty. I feel ya with the back. I was in a car accident when I was 19 & I've had back problems ever since, what works for me is strengthening my abdominal muscles. I went to physical therapy & did lots of work with a tennis ball (rolled it up & down a wall with my back) & a yoga ball along with riding a bike & other stuff. For more light in your photos it all depends on the type of camera you use, what settings you use it on, & possibly moving your furniture near a window or door in your house that gets a lot of indirect light & taking photos earlier in the day. Learning how your ISO, aperture & shutter speed all work together will also get you more light.

  12. Icky Kilz stuff. I could have never managed the smell. Cute desk in the end though. Beautiful top!
    Have you ever tried acupuncture? And although you might instantly reject this one, how about meditation? I took an involved 8-week course and there was an older gentleman in the class who had significant back problems since the Vietnam war. He had tried everything too. Although he was skeptical, he was willing to do the daily meditating and he was GREATLY improved by the end. I had wonderful results with my own ailments.
    Hope you find something that will work!

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