Saturday, September 28, 2013

Before and After: School desk

I have been seriously slacking on yard sale-ing and thrifting lately.  I think I was a little overwhelmed by the 40 mile yard sale in the mountains I went to a couple months back and perhaps took a hiatus to rest and recover (or maybe just got lazy...yeah maybe that).  But I was determined to get back out there, and with Bear napping peacefully on a Saturday morning it afforded me the perfect opportunity to cruise through some neighborhoods for some fun thrifted and vintage finds.
 I started out at a community yard sale nearby that unfortunately was a letdown, so I decided to hit up Homegoods and Pier One for some Fall themed home decor before heading home to wake up the little one. On the way back into my neighborhood, I saw a sign for a yard sale and I went back and forth in my mind only about a hundred times before I saw the next sign whether I should go or not.  At the very last second I decided to go for it and turned off in search of my one last stop for the day.
 As I drove by the front yard, I almost passed it, there wasn't much left after what seemed like a successful day selling. But as I slowly creeped past I noticed a trunk. You know I'm a sucker for any color, shape, or size trunk that I find. So of course I parked and checked it out.
The 3 different things that I noticed were the trunk, some picture frames and a great old school desk. I approached the friendly face and inquired about the desk and trunk and decided I didn't need any frames (which is so dumb because that's actually exactly what I need) and went home with both for $9.

But wait! There's more!

The girl who sold me said trunk and desk is an absolute doll! Her name is Nicole and somehow is a similarly-minded 25 year old living just down the street from me with the same hobbies and interests.   Not only did I end up getting some pretty sweet scores at an unplanned stop but I had a quick drink and an (unfinished) home tour at my place the following day with Nicole, what an absolute sweetie! We made some tentative plans to do some yard sale-ing together and I am so ready to get out there and have someone to bounce ideas off of!

So I went home and was so excited from this great day that I immediately started working on the desk. First things first, the before:

To start, I was given a great piece to work with.  The desk was in surprisingly good condition, no major exterior scratches or dents and I am very happy to say I didn't find any wads of chewing gum on the underside of it. Hooray for minor victories!

Although it is certainly gorgeous enough in it's original state, I'm not a fan of the faux wood top and dark colored paint. I have enough dark colored furniture in the house and I'm trying to lighten it up a bit in here!

I decided I wanted to keep the two-tone by painting the top half white and the legs gold. I debated painting the legs a bright fire engine red for quite some time but then decided if I really wanted to later on I could always make a quick trip to Lowes to change it.

I started by sanding.

There was a small amount of rust around the rounded leg parts so I used a coarser grit sandpaper on those and then a finer one to scuff up all the surfaces to help the paint adhere properly.

Next I wiped it down with a wet paper towel and taped off the legs. Since this part didn't involve any dust or paint particles in the air I let my little helper assist.

he mainly just sniffed the drop cloth and peed on the lawn.

Then I started to paint!

I decided to use spray paint simply because there was less cleanup and I had it on hand. Next time I paint a piece of furniture, whether small or large, I will definitely be using a brush.

This is after about 2 coats of spray paint. You can see where I ran out of spray paint and had to go back to Lowes anyway to get another can.

I ended up doing about 4-5 coats total, the body wasn't too difficult but making sure the top had a nice even white coat was the trickiest part.

After a few days of drying I taped off the top part of the legs and painted the legs a "nickel" colored gold. Which isn't as strong and overpowering as a typical gilded color. I then sealed it with a clear Valspar spray to gloss it up and protect the paint from any scuff-marks or *ahem* puppy teeth.

and then...

it was complete! In less than a week too!

I bought the desk and trunk for $9 total, so if you round up and consider the desk to be $5 and my 2 cans of spray paint for $3 each, I spent $11 total on this little side table when I was looking for something to fill that space at Homegoods for around $60! I'd say I'm pretty happy with the results! 

See those two gorgeous frames? Well since I passed them up at the yard sale, and I was still totally dying for them, Nicole brought them over for me! Seriously, what a sweetheart!  Although I have plans for them in the future, I think they will stay here for the time being. 

Underneath is an old apple crate from Berryville, VA that I snagged at the 40 mile yard sale I went to months back. 

The legs definitely aren't perfect, you can see a little bit of the paint line where I was a little too overzealous with spray paint can but I kind of like it. It almost gives a marbled look to the legs.

The mason jar is part of the 8 gajillion mason jars I have upstairs in the craft room that I planned on doing something with that just ended up as containers for other things. This one I took out and spray painted the same color as the legs and added some dollar tree fake flowers. I'm totally not a fake flower person, but I make an exception when it comes to fall, for some reason or another...

The beautiful stained glass mirror above was made by my father and given to us last year for Christmas. I remember my dad always used to make stained glass mirrors and windows when I was young and he had stopped for probably over a decade so it was so incredibly special that he created this one for us. It's one of the first things you see to your left when you walk in the front door and I'm so happy I can show it off!

And this is what the foyer looks like so far. I will be adding a gallery wall on the opposite wall when I eventually acquire enough pictures to make it not look dinky. I'll also be adding something next to the front door to hold spare umbrellas and boots when the cold rainy season comes.

My little helper decided to admire our handywork whilst checking out the shoes in the crate below.

Then decided to take out one of mommas shoes to chew on happily. This was his sorry picture afterwards.

I can't wait to hit up more yard sales before winter to find some great items to upcycle into cool home stuff! How about you? Any fall projects you've started or finished lately?

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