Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New beginnings (I know, a little dramatic, but it is what it is)

So. I'm back, surprisingly refreshed after my bloggy vacation :) You guys are super for hanging in there while I was gone!

It's funny. Every time I take a little bloggy break my following numbers go up. It almost makes me wonder if you're rewarding me for being gone or I'm just noticing it more because I'm not expecting anyone to click that little button when I'm not here to entertain you :) Either way I'm very grateful for every one of you.

With the emotional stuff out of the way I'll confess right away that I didn't get to the cleaning or the organizing part of my to do list for the hiatus. But I have been pretty productive in the creative department and so today I'll be showing you this little vanity turned kid's desk that I rescued from the curb sometime last year and have been meaning to fix up for. like. ever. It's been sitting patiently in the kids' room looking like a pile of junk, and only I knew it was a hidden beauty waiting for a makeover.

 This is how she started out (don't you just love the look of our "lawn"? It's greened up a bit in the last month after we actually had some of that wet stuff falling from the sky since this pic was taken about a month ago). A beat-up particleboard former vanity. Particleboard isn't my first choice but it was free and sturdy so I worked with it. The petite size fits well in our kids' room.

 The top had bubbled with moisture and had lots of nicks everywhere.

And although I like the look of the two bottom pulls there were only two of those. And I'd found the most adorable seahorse pulls at our local Habitat store for 10 cents a piece or something ridiculous like that that I thought would go so well with the contact paper seahorse blinds already in their beachy/underwater room.

When I first got this desk I imagined it in a peppy turquoise. But I stumbled upon some spray paint cans at the Habitat store for $2 a piece (on a separate trip, mind you), a brand I'd never heard of and can't for the life of me remember anymore, in a shade called Wedgewood blue. It looked kind of like turquoise with a lot of gray in it so I figured it was close enough. And for the price I thought it could work.

I needed to sand the top to make it flat and just lightly scuffed up the rest and then put on a few coats of the paint, sanding the worst spots in between coats. Oil paint on sanded particle board is not pretty, let me tell you. It makes the grain stand on end in the worst possible way. I just did what I could without taking off the paint too much. I only had three cans of paint and I used them all.

I was a good girl and removed the old pulls before I painted :) I filled the old hole in the top drawer and drilled two new ones so all drawers were identical. I admit to cheating with the filling. I was going to use some wood filler but I couldn't find it so I ended up using some Dap. Hopefully no-one will be prodding the filling too much.

 I always try to cram as much of my work into one day as I can. Didn't quite make it with this desk so I had to bring it back in to dry overnight. This is the desk after the paint is on but before I put a couple of coats of polycrylic on. And I couldn't wait to try on the cute seahorse pulls as well, just to get a feel for how things would look. If you look closely in the above pic you can see the finish is uneven because of the sanding I did before painting. The polycrylic evened things out when it came on.

And here's a closeup of the finished result. I decided to add some thumb tacks to give it that little extra. The tacks on the desk match the tacks on the fabric pinboards in here to tie things together nicely.

And the finished result! Kind of cutesy and blingy but can still pass for a boys desk (I'm aiming for a unisex look in here since our kids share). I found the chair at the thrift store for $10 and thought the color was perfect.

It was definitely a more time consuming project than I normally manage to take on, and more involved since I had to carry things in and out. But I did it and I'm quite happy with the result. Hope you guys liked it, will be back next week with more of the bloggy vacation crop of crafts :)

Ps. Linking up with
Someday Crafts
Blue Cricket Design 
Domestically Speaking
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  1. great details! I adore the color!

  2. Great up-do! Love the knobs too! ;)
    Your newest follower,

  3. Very cute! I need to go to the habitat store more often. I have some particleboard furniture I'd like to paint, but I've always been too chicken to. Thanks for showing it can be done!

  4. beautiful :)
    I also want to try


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