Monday, June 17, 2013

DIY Vintage Desk Reveal! {It's about damn time...}

Hellahooooooo Nesters!

And a Happy Fathers Day to you, too! I hope you all celebrated your dad or your baby-daddies and enjoyed time with family this weekend.  Working 6 days a week doesn't make spending time with family, or DIYing as easy as it used to be.  I don't have the time for a thousand thin coats of paint or to sand a piece to perfection.  But after 5 months, I am finally {pretty much} done with my desk.  If you remember this post from back in February,  I was not feelin' the desk that I had used since childhood.

It was just bringing down the light and airier feeling I was looking for in the room. Not to mention it had Z.E.R.O. storage.  Everything was in plain sight on top of the desk, which not only ended up being unsightly and cluttered-looking, but it also just got in the way.  So, a-hunting I went.  You may remember this Craigslist find.

After weeks of back and forth emails and dueling schedules with the woman who was selling it,  I battled horrendous traffic and torrential downpours to get this puppy after work one night.  The former owners were so sweet they refused to let me get it out of the house myself {not that i would have been able to get it out all by myself}  and into my car.  I handed over the cashola and drove slowly and carefully home while the trunk of my new car was roped open and water was pouring in.

Safe, sound and a little damp, we both got home in one piece.  Fast forward a few weeks and New England was blessed with a spectacular weekend weather and on my day off I spent hours taking all the hardware off, and sanding down the whole desk, inside and out. You would think I would have taken a picture of that.  Alas, I was not that smart.  Or I was, and I lost them in the vast black hole of the interwebs.  Either way, I don't have any action shots like this of me... but you get the idea...

{no this isn't my man-hand. nor my project. this is just a reenactment. please kids, don't try this at home}

Next step, I started painting it with a paint and primer in one.  It worked great on the filing cabinet I painted. It did not work as well on this one.  I was planning on painting the desk top to match the filing cabinet, but since the bleed through was not cooperating, I rerouted my course.  But we'll get to that later....

I decided that while I could have added a fun color and gone wild with prints and patterns.  I wanted to think of what my overall look was going to be in this room.  My office already had so much stimulation between a gallery wall, a new inspiration board, and some seriously yellow chevron curtains... I figured I better keep this desk somewhat sane.  And everyone knows that gold is the best neutral there is!  So, I hunted down liquid gold leaf.

You may have seen this little tidbit I posted a few weeks ago on Instagram.  I have to tell you- I. LOVE. THIS. STUFF.  All the other paints I looked at would have required many many coats {which I already mentioned, I do NOT have time for} and still may not have been totally opaque.  Then I was looking for real liquid gold leaf, and it was not available in stores. Finally, I found Martha Stewart Liquid Gold and $6.99 from Michael's {don't forget your 40% off coupon!} and good God, I wanted to paint EVERYTHING with it.  It went on so smoothly.  Needed just 1 coat with a small touch-up here and there. New favorite thing on the planet.  I also may or may not have painted 2 frames that sit on my desk because I couldn't stop myself.

After I regained control of my hand and stopped painting everything gold, I took care of the inside of my desk.  I will admit to totally half-assing the actual painting of the inside, knowing I was going to take care of it with these puppies...

I picked up a couple of self adhesive shelf liners from Marshall's a while back, knowing I'd use them for something... low and behold, I found the perfect project!  They were $4.99 for a 2 pack for each pattern. I still have 2 full rolls leftover and some scraps!  Money well spent!

Luckily, I also had some pull tab knobs from Anthro left from the filing cabinet that I never used.  So I bought a few extras and simply screwed them on!  I love that the brass works with the darker color of the gold paint.

My last step was the desk top.  I had wanted to add a glass top to the desk to protect whatever finish I may use which I assumed would be a matching painted pattern like the filing cabinet.  Though after all the rigmarole of the bleeding paint, all but threw out the top.  After a mini fit some thought, I decided I would utilize the glass in an additional function-  as a giant frame.  That way, I would be able to house either fabric or paper under the glass and at the same time be able to change it out as my little heart desired. {Hissy-fit over!}  I used my favorite guys in Arlington, B&R Glass.  They are always the most affordable and after this being a fairly expensive project, I did not want to spend a couple hundred more on glass. Luckily my mom knows the guys and uses them all the time and gave her a pretty good deal on the custom cut glass!  $80 for tempered glass and a beveled edge!  The only bummer was the wait. It took about 2 weeks to get in.

While I waited for the glass to come in, it was a matter of what was going underneath it.  I considered a few options.

This is the Premier Print Cottage Twill Harmony.  I have a throw pillow using this fabric on the guest bed, I thought this might tie it in nicely. But it just was too big of a pattern.

Then I journeyed to Mecca Paper Source and hum'ed and hawed over the following patterns.

Ultimately, I went with this last one, Lokta Herringbone.  I was very close to grabbing the scalloped dots which I still love.  However, my final decision was that the herringbone is a much smaller pattern and therefore wouldn't compete with everything else going on in my office.  I love the final outcome because it almost looks entirely gold, until you look a little bit closer. 

After allllllll that.  All those tedious steps and challenges, this is what I ended up with.....

There are still a few finishing touches that I need to fix.  {The door that houses the printer, doesn't close because the long screw part of the knobs, actually stab into the printer.  The Man-friend promises to help me with that one of these days....} But good things comes to those who wait, right?! For now, it's 100% usable and I'm a happy camper.

In case you were curious, here is a breakdown of the final total project cost:

Vintage Desk: $100
Sander/paper: $0 {already owned}
White Paint: $13
Knobs: $48 {already owned 4}
Liquid Gold: $4.99 {$6.99 with 40% off coupon}
Paper: $24 {used 3.5 sheets at $6 each}
Glass: $80                                                     
Grand Total: $269.99

This is my "OMG! THATS THE TOTAL!?" face.

Not too bad considering a huge, high style desk like that could easily run me $300 before shipping.  All in all, I've got a great space to work on now that keeps me inspired. I hope you guys like it!!

Have you guys tackled a REALLY LONG, NEVER ENDING project recently like me?  Or did you redo a desk?  Or have a hissy fit over wood bleeding through your paint, like me?