While most Americans spent their Fourth of July swimming, grilling, watching fireworks, and relaxing, we took on our latest project. We just wouldn’t feel like our normal, American selves otherwise!
Our office has been lacking storage for awhile. I was a big fan of sawhorse tables a year ago and snatched one up on sale at IKEA. I later realized it offered nothing in terms of storage and was not the best solution for housing our computer and its mess of cords.
Get ready to see the terrifying before shot of our office. Ready?
What a mess.
Something had to be done and I knew it would all start with a new desk.
So, I’ve begun to feel a little political lately. And, no, not because Washington’s gearing up for the next election, but because of my new furniture obsession: campaign desks.
There’s been a recent resurgence in these glories from the past. I’ve seen a lot of these desks painted in bright colors, which is just the thing to juxtapose the shiny metal hardware, classic to this desk.
I brought her home to Chris’ immediate disgust. In his mind, I wasted $50 for someone else’s garbage. He couldn’t see past the outdated wood, tarnished brass, and a bottom that wasn’t quite adhered all the way.
So, it wasn’t perfect but I knew it was just the diamond in the rough that our office needed.
Now the question was what color to paint it. At first, I thought white. Then black. Then kelly green.
We ended up going with a gray-blue color, after Chris and I spent 30 minutes in the aisle of Home Depot debating green vs blue (he won that round).
We’ve walked through how to spray paint furniture before but thought we’d break it down into 8 easy steps for you all (note: steps 6-8 are simply to stress the necessity of several coats- we used three).
- Sanding Block (to use in tight corners that the sander can’t reach)
- Damp Rag
- Vacuum or Shop Vac (optional but helpful to clean dust from tight spots after sanding)
- Spray Paint
- Mask (important to wear for spraying safety!)
Julie has come home with some pretty odd items in the past, but this was the first time she ever showed up with something that may have been better-off used as an anchor. After all, it weighed close to a full ton and had clearly already been submerged at least once. The worst part is that she was convinced $50 was a good deal, while I was convinced she had just wasted $50.
After arguing for awhile, I decided to just give up, which apparently included giving up my entire 4th of July, too. I was sentenced to a day of spray-painting, and I hate spray-painting.
The first order of business was to repair the wood. I very seriously think this desk may have been in a flood at some point, as the bottom trim has some pretty nasty water damage. The wood/particleboard was warped and half the trim was falling off, and it looked terrible.
First, I had to remove all the trim and sand/chisel the swollen wood off so that the trim could sit flush again.
Next, I had to reattach the trim. I used wood glue to ensure a nice, tight bond between the desk and the trim.
Finally, I drove a few finishing nails in and patched the holes.
After priming and painting one coat, I let the paint dry for a few hours. Before laying down another coat, I sanded out all the rough spots, drips, and bubbles:
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I eventually sprayed three coats, and now I can’t feel my right index finger. Since we don’t like to worry about furniture much, I brushed one coat of urethane on the top to waterproof it and to help keep wear and tear to a minimum.
This desk made me give up my day off, but it also allowed me to have a desk that I didn’t have to trip over to get to the patio. And Julie has another piece of furniture to put on Pinterest.
After (hers… if you couldn’t guess).
And every drawer deserves cute liner. I’m not sure where all the awesome shelf paper has gone but there is definitely a slim market nowadays. After being let down by Target and Container Store, I finally found the perfect option at Home Depot of all places. It’s called Talisman Gray by Con-Tact Grip Prints.
I have to say, I’m pretty happy how the blue turned out, even though I was convinced I would only be happy with kelly green. Just don’t tell Chris he was right. I’ll never hear the end of it.
Stay tuned for our adventure into the world of polishing brass. It was quite the