Wooden Organizer Makeover

Painted in Americana Decor Satin Enamels Seaside Blue.
The painted “after” look.

I bought this stationery organizer several years ago. It is a solid piece that works well for storing and organizing small items like pens and pencils, notepads, and even my label maker.

I was beginning to have too many different wood tones/finishes in my office–one finish for the desk, another for the file cabinet, and yet another for this organizer. Although there’s nothing wrong with this honey finish, I decided to paint this piece a non-wood-stain color to minimize the mismatching.

In its original "before" state.
In its original “before” state.

After trying Americana Decor Satin Enamels for another project, I decided to use it again. I picked the cheerful blue-green color called Seaside Blue. I also used Zinnser BullsEye Primer.

Americana Decor Satin Enamels (Seaside Blue) and Zinsser Primer

I wasn’t sure at first if I needed to use primer. I scuffed up the surface slightly and painted a coat on one side of the piece. The paint remained tacky, even after drying overnight, so I knew then that I was going to have to use a primer to give the paint something to adhere to. I suppose I could have tried using a power sander to get the glossy finish off, but the inside of the organizer is divided into sections, so it would have been very difficult to sand each small interior divider.

After masking off the divided sections inside, I painted a light coat of primer over all sides of the organizer, as well as to the dividers inside. I followed that with at least two coats of paint. This paint goes on uniformly and has a smooth satin finish.

Lesson learned from this project: When in doubt, use a coat of primer before painting.

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