Monday, June 9, 2014

DIY Waterfall Desk Makeover

I titled this post a desk "makeover," but I think it was actually a desk "rescue." My husband got the desk from a client of his who was going to pitch it. Apparently it was rejected as a donation. Poor desk. So he rescued it from the trash and we began to fix it up. 

It was pretty beat up. The veneer was peeling, it had several scratches, and a broken drawer. I had originally wanted to stain it, but there were just too many issues. I decided to paint it. 

Since the desk was going to be used as a place for me to work, draw, and craft, I wanted a fun "pop" of color. I decided on coral after liking so many coral desks on Pinterest.

I narrowed the coral color search down to Ardent Coral by Sherwin Williams (semi gloss). We have used many paints around the house and I have found that I prefer Sherwin Williams because of their quality (no- I am not paid to write this). In my opinion, it has a nicer finish and just doesn't seem as prone to chipping as other paints. But before we could paint, we had some serious cleaning up to do (hint: removal of gum inside the drawers from the desk's original owner)!

Step 1: Sanding, sanding, and more sanding! It pays to have a contractor husband because of the availability of tools.

After removing the hardware, I used a palm sander and a 5" orbital sander on the entire desk. Be sure to wear a mask and safety glasses for this task! Tip: there will be a ton of dust so cover anything near the sanding area.

Here's what it looks like after sanding:

Step 2: Fixing the structure. Since there were some areas of the desk that paint couldn't fix, Geoff cut a few pieces of scrap wood and attached them to the base. We also fixed the busted drawer and used wood filler to patch up a few holes.

Step 3: Priming. We mixed up steps 2 and 3 so now you can learn from our mistake. I used 2 coats of KILZ Latex 2 Primer all over. Tip: using both a roller and paint brush helps to speed up this step. Just be sure that all of your paint strokes are made in the same direction.

Step 4: After the primer has completely dried, lightly sand the desk with a very fine sand paper. I used 3M Pro Grade 220. The no-slip backing is also helpful. Remember to wipe off the primer dust with a cloth before moving on to the next step.

Step 5: Paint. I had to apply 3-4 coats (using light strokes) for even coverage. Make sure each coat is completely dry before applying the next. 

Don't worry if your paint color looks lighter when wet. For example: the Ardent Coral paint color looked light peach in the can, but dried a nice coral color.

I have a few tips for painting that I've picked up from my husband and from Sarah M. Dorsey. If you don't follow her blog, you are missing out!

Tip 1: Mix your paint with a bit of latex paint thinner to help eliminate brush strokes. We used Floetrol. Sarah M. Dorsey has a detailed blog post about this here. It also shows her beautiful Ardent Coral end table!

Tip 2: Invest in a good brush. We like Wooster Pro and Purdy brushes. A good brush can last a long time and will apply the paint much more evenly.

Tip 3: Care for your brushes by only allowing the paint to cover the bottom inch of the brush and rinse the paint off in between coats (pay no attention to the poor example in the above photo).

Tip 4: Watch for drips! Keep an eye on the paint as it dries. You can use your paint brush to eliminate drips while the paint is still wet.

Enough tips, let's get back to the steps...

Step 6: Paint marker design time! When I finished painting I realized that I wanted something to break up all of the color. I found an amazing paint-marker-herringbone-design tutorial on Twice Lovely (here). I just knew I wanted to try it on my coral desk. I bought a silver paint marker at Michael's and got to work!

I used a ruler to make my lines and then drew the rest of the pattern free hand. I loved this option because it can be a little messy and still look awesome in the end.

Step 7: Clean and paint (if necessary) the hardware. I really liked the style of the original hardware, but they were also in rough shape. I started by cleaning them with a cleaner/degreaser such as Krud Kutter or 409.

Let the hardware soak for a bit, wipe off any excess "krud" and rinse with dish soap. You might be able to eliminate this step, but my hardware was covered in "krud."

Some of my hardware just couldn't be saved so I ended up priming and painting them with a couple of coats of Krylon Satin Nickel Metallic spray paint.

Step 8: The final step! I added contact paper to the drawers (after removing the gum- yuck). I found a style that I liked on Amazon ( here) by the Macbeth Collection. Bonus: they were $10.99 for two rolls! They were also self adhesive which I really liked.

I measured the inside of each drawer and added an inch before making my cuts. 

I removed the backing and set the paper in the drawer. Then I cut along the corner edges of the drawer for a perfect fit. 

Not bad for a desk that was on its way to the dump. I think I'm going to have fun drawing and creating here!


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