Jack Johnson's Boat Wood Desk

Okay - I just said Jack Johnson to get your attention.  And I think Jack would really like this boat wood finish on our newest piece!  I just decided we will call this desk "Jack".   Do you ever remember seeing Jack Johnson's Christmas tree in the magazines last Christmas?  It was made of old pieces of wood, that had paint left on them from their previous lives.  It was so cool.  Just like Jack.  And just like our boat wood desk that we wanted to share with you.

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Isn't Jack beautiful?  Check out this view of the top:

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So Jack started out as a sad dated pine desk.  You know, kinda shiny, with wierd planks going in a diamond pattern.  We love these old mexican pieces of pine furniture.  They are sturdy, have some interesting details, nice rustic hardware, and take a makeover extremely well.  This one just screamed "Boat Wood Finish"!!!!

So we got out the paint - lots of different colors - and went to town!  

Check out the layers of colors.....

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There are probably 8 to 10 colors used on Jack.  About 3 different colors layered on each plank. 

We applied the paint with a rubber spatula.  You can use a plastic credit card - preferably one you aren't using any more, or a piece of cardboard.  Or a scraper.  My favorite is a rubber spatula.  You just dip it in the paint and kinda frost the plank like you would a cake.  Try not to cover all over, try to get it on kinda thick, and try to get some cool texture.  Let it dry, then do it again with another color.  And do it again.  And again.  And again.

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It's actually pretty fun!

So after you apply the last layer, let it just barely dry, then get out a scraper and scrape away in places.  Get down to the wood here and there, and to the underlaying colors where you can.  Then sand it.  Then clear wax it.  And then......the final, and very life altering step - dark wax it!  The dark wax just makes it all meld together and gets this wonderful aged patina.  It's good stuff.

Here are some more inspiring pictures of boat wood finishes....

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How about adding some graphics to your boat wood finish?  Oh the possibilities!


I think I could do this!


And I think I could do this too - but wow - that would be lot's of work!  So many slats!!

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And this is the kind of piece of furniture you come across quite alot.  So next time you do, give it a boat wood finish!

And if you aren't quite sure you get it - check out the September issue of "This Old House" Magazine.  We were featured in it again!  We are super excited about it, and will be sharing more of that very soon, so keep an eye out.  

In the magazine, we did another boat wood finish table, along with four other projects with step by step instructions.  Like I said - we will share more of that soon.  Until then, keep your eyes out for great pieces to make over, and go for it!