Desk Re-do #2

What happens when you make a really cool desk for yourself? The future hubby wants one too! After seeing how I redid the desk for myself my fiancé, Geoff (yup, Jeff with a G), decided it was time for an upgrade too. Since he moved into my apartment he had been using a leftover desk that I had kicking around in my attic. It was in rough shape to say the least. We elected to leave it behind when we moved to the new place. So off to the thrift stores I went and for once they failed me. I couldn’t find a workable piece anywhere. Luckily for me I was introduced to a local Facebook group that is pretty much Craigslist but safer. Everyone in the group must be invited in by a friend. Within the first hour of getting into the group I spotted the perfect desk for a great price. $30 to come get it tonight. Using the buddy system (just in case) Geoff and I went to scoop it up. Then the process started all over again. desk1 STEP ONE: Wash it off and sand it down. It was during this sand job that I decided I wanted a power sander for Christmas. A slightly odd request from a twenty something about to get married, but there it is. It was really dusty and the top coating was quite tough. Eventually I got it stripped down enough that I felt comfortable painting it. Cleaned it off again to get it ready for the next step. STEP TWO: Prime. Sprayed it down with my handy dandy Rust-oleum primer. He wanted the top of the desk silver and the rest white. I coated everything in white primer including the top portion which was removable (and you will soon see below). I removed the built in pen holder from the bottom to be painted later. The desk, much to my relief, held the primer well. STEP THREE: Paint! For the white base I was using my can of White Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch paint (semi-gloss white that I used on my other desk) with my handy dandy mini foam roller. Knowing this I decided to spray the top silver first. Since the room is grey/white/blue this seemed like a cool combo. I picked up a can of Rust-oleum metallic silver and went to town. Even with the primer and putting on even coats after three passes and nearly the whole can the top looked TERRIBLE! It looked mottled like I wasn’t spraying evenly, or like some of it was sinking in. Needless to say it was pretty awful as you can see: desk2 STEP FOUR: PAINT AGAIN! After a brief talk about the color not working out we agreed to just do the desk white and I would put a coating on the top to protect it. I let the silver dry completely overnight just to be safe before covering it. I re-sanded the top to make sure the new layer of paint would stick. Using almost the whole can of white I applied two even coats. Then I used my cheating trick of filling in the tough spots with the leftover white spray paint. Overall it looks very white. While it was drying I took the remaining silver paint and painted his papers inbox and the pen tray. Both of those held the paint well without primer or sanding. But they were also both plastic. STEP FIVE: Top coat. Made a mistake here too. This project was a real learning experience for me. I bought a can of spray Lacquer to put as the top coat. Well, following the directions made for a nice shiny finish but not very protective. It was scratched during moving just by gently bumping it. No good. We got it into place in the new room and I touched up the white paint. I then did some research and picked up a can of Rust-oleum Polyurethane to help seal it better.  Two gentle coats left a nice shiny finish (but not too shiny, I used satin) that is amazingly more durable. I even did I little scratch test by moving the keyboard around. SAFE! The final result? Not too shabby for a couple of mistakes. photo 12  photo 1 photo 2


The Office Accessories!

If you have been following along with the office makeover then we are on the same page. If not scroll back a bit to read about the filing cabinet and desk first.

So we moved the desk into the office and it looks great but all of my other things looked out of place. I found an awesome stapler and tape dispenser that matched my office on But something about paying $14 for a stapler/tape dispenser stopped me. Especially since I had a perfectly good set of them already. Of course I took this time to remember that I had leftover spray paint. Logically the only solution was: PAINT THE ACCESSORIES!!!!!

Yeah… really spray happy with my office accessories….

Basically I held them down, primed them, and sprayed them with the leftover spray paint. The result was a tad bit sticky. For some reason the odd coating on my stapler took the paint but wouldn’t let it dry all the way. The first time I put it down on the desk it stuck. The other ones came out just fine. Black dividers, black stapler, puke green tape dispenser, and grey speckled pen holder turned into this:

photo 2 photo 3


I was happy the way they turned out but wish I could figure out why the stapler took so much longer to dry then everything else….curious.

Anyway, it definitely completes the new office space right?



photo 1

(P.S. caught that cute storage ottoman from a sale at JoAnn Fabrics – the back to school collection. $9 for a storage ottoman? You bet!)

New Desk Makeover

So right in there with the awesome new office color scheme mentioned in my previous post comes the new desk! This post got a little delayed due to the moving that happened but here it is anyway.

My current desk is a huge wooden thing with two filing cabinets on both side that collect junk. It was perfect in college when I needed space for drafting and laying out sketches and projects. Now that most of my sketching takes place in an 8.5×5.5 tablet I keep behind my computer there really isn’t a need for that much space. It just collects junk basically. Mostly half baked wedding ideas and old bills.

The replacement was an accidental gift from my future brother&sister-in-law. We happened to be over to at their house for dinner and he needed some help moving things for heavy trash day. He spotted the desk and asked if I wanted it. I said sure since I am always on the lookout for cool things I could use. It came home with us and immediately went into the attic, biding its time I’m sure. However it was everything I actually wanted in a desk. Our new house has three bedrooms, and we wanted to use the smallest one for our office. My current desk would eat that room alive and rob all the space. What a perfect time to renew and redo that awesome cast-off desk! Sure it has lots of scratches and some of the drawers are coming apart, but it can definitely be saved! After all this little guy has potential right?


STEP ONE: GATHER SUPPLIES! (Actually step one was wrestling it down from the attic to my driveway. Somehow I managed to do this solo and have since convinced myself that I am a superhero.) Since it too was going in the office my supplies were pretty much the same as for the filing cabinet. I bought the paint together. When I ran out of paint painting the drawers I added additional supplies, which I will get to, but the Satin Aqua Rustoleum spray paint was the same.

image (1)STEP TWO: Remove all the drawers and gorilla glue the one that was coming apart. Removed all the drawer pulls from the drawers. Then the scrubbing commenced. Less grease for this project and more dust. There was a particularly nasty layer of grim inside the top drawer but it didn’t take forever to get out.

STEP THREE: SANDY SANDY DANDY. (Kidnap Mr. Sandy Claws? sorry…)
My mom was there for this step and helped me sand down the one side which was very helpful. My main concern for this sanding project was to remove the glossy layer from the desktop. Eventually we achieved this, but it was much more difficult than sanding the filing cabinet.

STEP FOUR: Primer ahoy! Started into my second can of primer for this one. There was a seriously layer of primer going down because we were trying to turn a black desk white. We primed everything and made sure to have the best coverage we could without overdoing it.

STEP FIVE-Part One: Painting time. The drawers were simple. Just spray them down. Two coats of the blue made them look all shiny and new. A neat tip for painting drawers is using painters tape to cover part of the top of the open drawer so you don’t spray into the actual drawer. This didn’t apply for this particular drawer but is good to know in the future.

STEP FIVE-Part Two: Painting the white portions of the desk. I sprayed down the side of the desk and it quickly became clear that the white spray was not going to cover everything. At least without a few extra cans. Enter Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Multipurpose brush on in semi-gloss white! I remembered this paint from my first DIY furniture attempt when I was in college (I painted a dresser out of absolutely necessity. It was a HIDEOUS thrift store find but big enough to fit all my clothes. Girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.) I picked up a can at Home Depot and grabbed some extra foam rollers for my mini foam roller. I love it because for some projects it gives much better & more even coverage than a brush. Plus it comes with its own paint tray so I don’t have to keep dipping. Poured the paint in and started rolling. The coverage was nice and even and I applied two thin coats. I used a small foam brush to get in the corners and tight spaces. After the second coat was partially dry I realized I really wasn’t happy with the coverage in the corners. There were still gaps that the brush couldn’t get in to. So I tried something a little unusual. I used my white spray paint to spray paint the small corners I couldn’t get at. I wouldn’t recommend trying this with two different brand but because Rustoleum is so awesome, it turned out great. There was no division from where I sprayed to where I rolled. The results were awesome, just seamless coverage.

STEP SIX (kinda): Logically step six would have been putting a top coat on the desktop to prevent from scratches and chips. Luckily I had a piece of plexi-glass available that was able to be cut to the perfect size. PERFECT! I put the drawer pulls back on and had a beautiful new desk!

Moved it in the garage because it was starting to rain so here are the finished pics.

image (2) image (3)

Estimated cost? About $22 for all the paint and supplies. Not to shabby right? Now wait until you see what I did with the leftover Aqua spray paint…….


Like it? Pin the love!