Saturday, March 23, 2013

Desk Restoration

Deciding to move away from Distressing for the moment, I wanted to focus on this interesting desk I picked up on Craigslist about 3 years ago.  While Craigslist can be quite a scary place and you always want to make sure you choose your purchases wisely and bring along a friend when picking up your goods, it can be a fantastic spot to find affordable pieces for your home decor.


This desk was purchased when I was moving into a new flat across town.  I had very little in terms of furniture to decorate and very few resources.  I used Craigslist as my main source of shopping and along with local garage sales, I was able to fill the apartment for under $200.00.  And many of the items I purchased for the flat remain in my home today.  This desk has been useful to me over the years as a pretty sofa table.  I liked the look of it and had no intention of doing any type of renovation to it.  However, over the past year, I have moved my living room in a completely different direction than I ever thought I would, incorporating dark browns and rich blues.  In keeping with that theme, I decided to paint the sofa table a dramatic teal, which matches the distressed mirror over my fireplace mantel (you can read more about that project HERE) and also fits in seamlessly with the rest of the living room decor.

After hauling it outside to my garage, I got to work sanding the item.  While sanding I discovered that this item has endured quite a bit of wear and tear over the years including a cracked frame and warped drawer.  I sanded over the dents and chips the best that I could and made a mental note to keep an eye on the desk over the next year.  If the desk proves to be more than a hassle and headache than a pretty addition, it will go to donation.  I think it's super important to make sure the items that fill your home not only add creative flare but are also functional and useful to you and your family.

I ended up taking off a small decal on the front panel.  I didn't think it would look good painted and didn't want the hassle of dealing with it throughout the painting process.  A flat head screw driver did the trick in prying it off and a quick sanding over the area made for a smooth surface.

Before removing decal

After decal was removed and the item had been sanded and primed

Once I was finished with sanding, I used a spray paint primer to cover up the gold trim and fill in the cracks before painting.  I like spray primer because it is super quick and allows you to concentrate on specific areas that need attention.  




Once the primer had dried completely, I moved the item inside to paint.  I've had this paint color on hand for about a year so it took a lot of mixing to get the paint ready.  Because the paint was very thick and I was painting a large piece of furniture, I mixed in a latex paint additive to lengthen the drying time between coats.  This will eliminate brush strokes and prevent the paint from coagulating as you make your way around the piece.  Use the directions to measure your paint and additive and make sure you throw down some tarp or large pieces of paper before you get to work; this can be a messy process. 

Floetrol.  My additive of choice.
Paint color is Behr's Teal Zeal in an egg shell base.
Because I primed, it took two coats of paint to achieve a flawless finish, with none of the original desk color peaking through.  Once the paint had completely dried, I went over the entire desk with a clear polyurethane to seal in the paint and help prevent future scratches and nicks.


I found two glass knobs in my office which were purchased at Hobby Lobby last summer.  Any time I am at Hobby Lobby I make it a point to stock up on knobs.  They have a great selection on all types of knobs and they are always on clearance.  I went with the glass knobs on this project because the paint color is very bright and I did not want to add any additional drama.

Overall, I was super happy with the turnout here.  The desk fits in well with the living room decor and because it matches the mantle mirror, I think it pulls the room together nicely.  The project took one afternoon to complete and I waited one full night before putting anything on top of the desk to ensure there would be no indentations on the surface from heavy objects. 











Second-hand items are a fantastic way to decorate your home on a budget.  Be sure to check out your local garage sales this Spring for some great finds.  These items will be a great addition to your home for many Happy years to come!

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