A desk makeover with Modern Masters Metal Effects (with video tutorial)

My first experience with metallic paint was over a year ago when a customer asked me to paint her nightstands in silver. I confess I was shocked to hear that someone actually wanted a piece of furniture painted in a metallic color!

After doing some research, I found out that many people had been doing amazing furniture projects with metallic colors for a long time.  It was NOT a new thing.

The name Modern Masters came up very soon during my research, aways associated to beautiful pieces and great reviews, so I didn’t take long to try their products. Several metallic projects later – like the ones below – I was totally hooked. Now I am positive about two things: first, I love metallics and second, these Modern Masters guys make really good stuff.

I was very excited when some weeks ago they invited me to participate in their Blog Outreach Program. All I had to do was to work on a project using the products they would give me for free and write a blog post to share my results and talk about my experience. So, in this post I am doing exactly that. I have just finished my project and I will show and tell you everything about it. All opinions are 100% mine!

My kit with Modern Masters Primer, Reactive Metallic Bronze,  and Aging Solution Blue Patina arrived a couple of weeks ago, and after playing a little on small pieces of wood, and searching for inspiration in their MM Café Blog I finally decided what piece was right for the project and what look I was going for.

I posted this project on my Instagram and Facebook pages and one of my followers used a description I love, so I am stealing it. Introducing…

“A Desk from the Future”


This incredible Dixie desk had been sitting in my storage unit for a while. It is so beautiful and such a high-quality piece, that I didn’t mind waiting until I knew I could give it the perfectly right makeover.

Once I decided I was doing this desk, I ordered some mercury glass knobs from Etsy because I felt they would look perfect over a metallic finish.

And here are all the steps (this post contains a few affiliate links).

  1. Sanded down the top and stained it with General Finishes Gel Stain, Java

012. Fixed scratches and missing parts of veneer with Minwax Performance Wood Filler and light sanded the entire piece.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 1.31.50 AM

3. As the interior of some drawers had ugly marks, I primed and painted the inside and lateral of all drawers using my HomeRight Finish Max Paint Sprayer . My color choice was a delicious teal. (Hey, it is my project so I pick my colors!)

4. Cleaned it well then applied 2 coats of MM Metal Effects Primer using a sponge roller on large areas and a good-quality brush on corners and details.05

5. Applied one coat of MM Bronze Reactive Metallic Paint using a best-quality paint brush (my eternal choice is Purdy).

Note:  I tried to roll the paint as I did with the primer, but the roller was causing some bubbles to form, so I quickly switched to a paint brush.


6. Applied a second coat of the bronze paint on a small area and, BEFORE it dried, sprayed the Blue Patina Aging Solution .


7. With a Chip Brush, I spread the solution over the whole area in linear movements.


8. Then I watched the magic happen…

Note: Here I had my only hiccup during the process. Not all areas where I sprayed the solution were showing that beautiful blue patina effect, and it took me a few tries to realize that I had to spray A LOT more solution if I wanted the reaction to happen. I was not being consistent with the spray, so the areas that had received just a few drops of solution had little or no reaction, thus no blue. Where that happened, I applied a new coat of bronze and repeated the process, spraying several light coats of the solution. Problem solved!

9. I could have stopped here, but I had envisioned this desk with a a brighter and more uniform finish, so I grabbed my Modern Master Silver paint leftover and dry brushed it all over the piece. I also dry brushed some of the bronze reactive paint to achieve the uniform look I was aiming for.


10. I wanted all colors to blend a little more, so I decided to apply dark brown glaze (clear glaze+ brown paint) over the metallics. I was finally happy with what I saw!


11. My final step was sealing the piece with Polycrylic Clear Spray, Satin.


Here is a short video tutorial which is always helpful!

Once again, Modern Masters didn’t disappoint me. I love the consistency of their paints and how easy they are to work with. Also, one bottle of paint goes a long way. For this project I used only half a bottle of primer and paint (each bottle had 16oz), and less than a third of the blue patina solution.

If you want to give it a try, at the bottom of this post I added the information on where to find Modern Master products.

More pictures for you…












To find your local Modern Masters retailer, you can use their Retail Locator or their Online Shop . Metal Effects Kits are available online at HomeDepot.com. 

Thanks for reading!


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It all started in the spring of 2013. I realized how tired I was to see my house entirely decorated with IKEA stuff. Nothing against IKEA, but after 12 years, I just needed some change. I wanted stylish, original furniture, but noticed that everything I liked from retail stores was way out of my budget. Thanks to Google, Youtube, and a couple of amazing blogs, I was able to discover and explore the world of furniture refinishing, and it was the beginning of my addiction. I now spend my days rescuing old, dull, unwanted pieces of furniture to give them a fresh look so they can be displayed, used and loved again for many more years to come. Thanks for stopping by.

35 thoughts on “A desk makeover with Modern Masters Metal Effects (with video tutorial)

  1. Oh my goodness, what a stunning makeover! Your link caught my eye at the Fridays Furniture Fix party. I love Modern Masters metal effects kits and the patina you achieved with the product on this desk is mahvelous dahling! Pinning to share 🙂


  2. What a lovely makeover. You did a beautiful job and created such a helpful tutorial. We are so thrilled to have you share at Friday’s Furniture Fix. Please look for your desk on my social media in the next few days. Susie from The Chelsea Project

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Patricia…I love your wood floors! Are they genuine old floors? I’ve just had 150 yr old 1 1/2″ thick floors laid in a new addition in my house and I’m in a bit of a dilemma as to how to refinish them without spoiling their character & making them look like new flooring…any tips and any chance of seeing more pics…just hoping!
    Btw I love what you did to that desk…it looks amazing! :))


    1. Thanks for your kind words, Odile. Believe it or not, these are not real wood floors! They are printed mats I use for staging my furniture.
      I’m so jealous of your real vintage wood floors! Apparently you like dark colored floors so if you have some spare pieces, maybe try to play around with some stain colors like dark walnut or Jacobean. I’d love to see pictures of you new floors when they are ready 🙂


  4. Hi! This is so beautiful as are many of your other projects… and your blog! Lovely! I’ve done a few very amateurish makeovers at home and improved a bit each time but have a long way to go, have been looking for fresh inspiration and guidance, and stumbled across this gorgeous makeover and your blog while looking at images for what to do with an old desk (of very different style). I’ve worked with a couple of these products before but just on their own, not combined (Java Gel Stain, Modern Masters paint). I can’t wait to try some of the clearly detailed techniques and products you’ve shared… and as a “non-techie,” I can say this is the first blog I’ve ever followed! Had to! 🙂 Wishing you well with all your projects.


    1. It is so good to learn that I’ve inspired you, Ginger! I also started this as a hobby, and sometimes I think it still is, because I never stopped having fun with it. Even when you make mistakes or things don’t turn out how you envisioned, you are creating something, so go ahead and paint on! There is nothing to lose. Let me know if you have any questions on specific techniques and thank you so much for following me!


  5. This desk is beautiful I’m gonna use it in my bedroom furniture! But I had a quick question how long in between the primer do you wait for them to dry and how long after the patina do you wait to put on the dry paint?


    1. Thanks Alicia! The primer dries quickly. Depending on the weather and room temperature and humidity, in less an hour it will be totally dry. I waited about two hours for the patina to dry before working the dry brush. Just make sure the surface is dry to the touch. Good luck!


  6. Beautiful. What do you mean by dry brushing? You are still using paint or just running the paint brush over it ? Thanks so much and I absolutely love it thank mary


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