I have been working on a small desk that I swiped off my best friend’s neighbor’s curb several years ago. Yes, it’s been sitting in my house that long… waiting. Good news, though is that I’ve finally started on it, and part of the process is adding plaster texture, actually joint compound, to the drawer fronts for extra zing! This is kind of like a furniture appliqué with a twist. It involves covering the entire front of the drawer with a very thin layer of the joint compoundand then stamping a design into the surface. Once dried, primed, painted, glazed and sealed, the layer of joint compound becomes pretty durable and “one” with the drawer. It is a handy trick for added detail to small areas on furniture and such.
Small bucket of premixed/ all-purpose joint compound
White glue (Optional)
Large nail, screw, or drill bit to insert through the drawer pull hole
Texture design stamp, or other (I used bubble wrap)
Bucket of water
Sand and scuff drawer fronts.
Wipe down with clean damp cloth
Allow to dry
Apply joint compound
Tip: I suggest testing the drying time and texture stamping on a sample piece of wood or paneling, before you apply this to and furniture, to determine the drying time needed to get a good impression for you climate.
You will not need much joint compound. You can either apply directly from the bucket, or you can mix up a about 2-3 cups in a separate container and add a teaspoon or so of white glue. The premixed, all-purpose jc already contains some glue like agents, but you can add more if you would like a bit more flexibility.
Apply joint compound with putty knife in a thin layer approximately 1/16” – 1/8”.
Make sure to wipe down spillage on sides of the drawer with a damp cloth.
Clear drawer hole
Clear the drawer hole, by inserting either a large nail, screw or drill bit through the hole.
Allow approximately 30 minutes drying time, this will vary, but you want the compound to feel just dry to the touch.
Apply texture stamp
Once your joint compound is setting, so that it will accept the stamp impression, apply your stamp over the surface and press lightly and then peel the stamp off right away.
If the design has not made a good impression, the compound is probably still too wet. You will need to scrap off existing joint compound and re-do the “Apply joint compound” step.
Tip: My stamping impressions did not come out perfect, and I did have some smeared areas, but the overall appearance of texture was accomplished, and that is what I was hoping to achieve.
Drying time after stamping
Once you have stamped all of your drawer fronts, allow the joint compound to dry for at least 48 hours or longer.
Once dry, lightly sand surface. If you run your hand over the surface you will feel rough spots. You want to sand them off just enough that it doesn’t feel jagged. Most importantly round and soften all of the edges.
Vacuum off to remove jc dust
To remove all the loose joint compound sanded material, I recommend using a vacuum with brush attachment. Try not to use a damp cloth at this point.
Apply primer and paint
Note** Applying a few coats of primer is optional. The primer will seal the plaster more, and not allow the paint glaze to soak in the same way, so it is a matter of preference. Test it out both with primer and paint , and just paint to see what you like best.
Apply 2 coats of primer (optional) and 2 coats of paint, allowing each coat the proper drying time.
Make sure to wipe down any spillage.
Use paint brush to stipple primer and paint into all crevices, don’t miss any spots!!
I always mix just a bit of the paint into the primer, because it seems to take the paint color better whenever I do this.
Paint on glaze with a brush and rub off as much or as little as you want with a soft cloth that is either dry or barely damp.
Apply a sealer
Apply 2 coats of sealer. I like to use MinWax Wipe-On Poly because it stays open longer and doesn’t schmear!
I’ve almost got this project complete, and promise I will post the finished product, soon.
Thank you for stopping by, tell me what you think!!