Thursday, September 27, 2012

Desk Makeover: Finished!

A few weeks ago, I started with this:

Sorry this picture is so blurry. I took it on my phone, so it looked fine until I made it huge enough to actually see it.
It satisfied my desk-demands: some storage space, a decent work area, and sturdy enough to make it worthwhile to put a lot of effort into making it look waaay better.

The first thing it needed was a coat of paint. I decided on white with little to no consideration, because most of the furniture in my room is white. Only, it was covered in laminate, which meant that it had to have a coat of primer, two coats of paint, and two coats of lacquer on top instead of one easy peasy, wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am coat of paint. And that was grueling, let me tell you. Painting in all those nooks and crannies, then letting each coat dry for hours or days (the white paint itself required SEVEN DAYS of curing time. SEVEN DAYS!) was a real test of patience. Also a test of sanity, because that lacquer was fume-alicious and may have made me a little loopy. It smelled like bananas, if bananas were evil. Satan's banana juice, if you will. 

In addition to the paint, I wanted to add some trim in a couple places to really beef the desk up and make it look more solid and custom-made.

I picked those two styles of trim out at Lowe's just because I thought the wider, vertical trim was pretty and non-style-committed (by which I mean, not too colonial or fancy or ornate or anything) and the thinner, horizontal trim reminded me of a unicorn's horn. Honesty, people. It's important. 

Next, I decided I wanted to bring in a rose-gold accent color, because rose gold is my favoritest thing in the whole wide world. So I dry-brushed some metallic paint onto the high points of the trim with a paper towel, leaving us here...

You can see I also put the wider trim along the vertical edge of the bottom right side, and horizontally along the bottom left, to bring everything together.

It was at around this point that I realized I was going to have to do something about the back of the hutch portion of the desk. It was really cheap material, not secured very well to the rest of the desk, and it was ugly as sin, all lumps and bumps and ridges. I was also worried that the hardware would be too dark for the rest of the desk, but I couldn't think of a better color to paint the two handles, and I liked the shapes, so I didn't really want to replace them altogether.

So I decided to create a fabric pin-board that would completely cover that ugly part of the desk, while also bringing in some darker colors to tie the hardware in more cohesively. Here's the fabric I picked (on sale, 30% off at Joann's).

I liked that it coordinated so well with the other colors in my room: the dark blue picks up the color of the curtains, the light blue goes with the bedding and the floor lamp, and the beige-y colors go with...everything else in the world. Plus the dark blue also goes nicely with the darker hardware. 

The board itself is just one of those super cheap ceiling tiles cut down to the right size, then covered in two layers of thin quilt batting with the fabric pulled tight over the entire thing. It's all held together with heavy duty spray adhesive and the fabric is duct-taped to the back for good measure. Then it was time to just pop it into place....except the front edge of the hutch is slightly smaller, so it didn't fit, even with a lot of wiggling and tilting and finagling. So I had the idea to score it along the center of the back, so that it could be bent a bit more in the middle to hopefully fit behind the front opening. I figured if it broke, it would just break along that line into two halves, and then I could just fold it to get it in, then snap it back once it was fitted inside so that it would lay flat and sit tight. I don't know if it ended up breaking or just bending a lot, but it worked, and that's all I care about. So the finished this!

 Pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. Here's a couple gratuitous detail shots just because I'm feeling proud of myself and I wanted to share. 

A shot of how the trim and the pattern work together.

I also dabbed some of the rose-gold-y color onto the hardware to help bring it all together.

And the cabinet that was originally meant  to hold a computer is the perfect size for my sewing machine, which I'm pretty excited about, since I can just store it in there and pull it out whenever I want to use it. 

So there you have it! I'm so excited to finally have it done, both because I really wanted a desk, and because I'm tired of working on it.

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