a gorgeous vintage desk in general finishes arm-r-seal and marzipan milk paint by miss mustard seed

This vintage desk is finally finished and I’m so excited to share it with all of you! It has a new warm look thanks to Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in the color “Marzipan“. The drawers have been refinished using General Finishes oil based topcoat, Arm-R-Seal, in a Satin finish.

Vintage desk in Marzipan Milk Paint and Arm-R-Seal

it all started with the drawers

This vintage desk is in fabulous condition! It’s structurally sound and didn’t need any repair work when I bought it. The drawers had the most gorgeous wood veneer on them, and I used them as my launching pad for the rest of the desk’s makeover.

Drawer sealed in Arm-R-Seal by General Finishes

Normally I like to strip and sand wood veneer on drawer fronts, but the condition of these drawers was a bit precarious. I didn’t want to take an orbital sander to them, so I opted to sand them by hand using 150 grit.

Once they were sanded down, I applied two coats of General Finishes oil based urethane topcoat called Arm-R-Seal in a Satin finish.

Using oil-based products used to freak me out in the early days of my furniture painting career. Now, I don’t think twice about it! You can watch how I applied this fabulous product and learn a bit about the differences between oil and water based finishes in this Facebook live post.


The results are gorgeous.

Drawers on vintage desk in Marzipan milk paint

You can read about another project where I used Arm-R-Seal on the drawers here.

sprucing the handles

The original handles lost their shine and luster, so I used Rub N Buff to spruce them up (affiliate link).

Drawer sealed in Arm-R-Seal Satin

Marzipan milk paint by miss mustard seed

When it came time to pick a paint color, I wanted to use something that would compliment the warmth of the wood grain on the drawers. It was between Linen and Marzipan by Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. In the end, I chose the warm almond tones of Marzipan!

marzipan milk paint by miss mustard seed

It took 3 coats to get full coverage on the desk. I was painting over a dark wood surface, so that’s not unusual. After the second coat, I tested to see if that was enough, but my gut told me I needed one more.

Vintage desk in Marzipan and Arm-R-Seal

Using 120 grit sandpaper, I gently distressed the edges of the piece to provide contrast and draw the eye to the gorgeous shape of the desk.

Distressing of Marzipan Milk Paint on vintage desk
Scallop detail on bottom of Marzipan desk

sealing the desk

To seal the desk, I applied a layer of Hemp Oil and wiped away the excess.

Hemp Oil

I let the Hemp Oil dry for a few days and then added a layer of clear Furniture Wax over top. This adds extra protection, which is important on a piece like a desk!

Furniture Wax Open

You can layer Hemp Oil with Miss Mustard Seed’s wax products as long as you apply the Hemp Oil first. If you ever forget, just follow the alphabet! “H” and “O” come before “W”, so you Hemp Oil before you Wax!

staging with props from morgantown market

On a recent shopping trip to Morgantown Market, I picked up some really great staging props.

I loved this collection of vintage trophies.

Cluster of vintage trophies on Marzipan desk

And this fabulous oil painting.

Bow shape of Marzipan desk

I already had this cute alabaster lamp in my stash, so I paired it with a bundle of carpentry books and some glass ink wells.

Alabaster lamp on corner of vintage desk in Marzipan Milk Paint

a classic redo

This desk is an absolute classic. The warmth of its new finish paired with its curvy shape and sturdy construction make it a quality piece of furniture to add into your home decor.

Vintage desk in Marzipan and Arm-R-Seal

Welcome to my happy place!
I'm Jenn Baker - Milk Paint lover, photographer, blogger, and QVC Guest Host. Click below to learn more about me and my creative business.  LEARN MORE ABOUT JENN

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