Refurbishing a Desk on the CheapPosted: April 23, 2009
Every house has it, the dreaded ugly piece of furniture. (Sometimes this horrific fiend has an entire family of ugly friends clogging up your space.) And like me you walk past it and sigh. You know you should do something about it…but who has the money to replace it or time to deal with it? Then one day your brain snaps and the ugly must be dealt with, but how you ask? Super Cheap I reply. Behold the ugly desk. This dark beast labored under my computer and piles of crap in a darkly painted entryway with no windows, relentlessly sucking out what little light managed to peek into that corner. (Whose bright idea was the dark brown paint anyway?…Oh wait, mine…moving on.) Due to drying times this project will require a weekend to accomplish.Something must be done, so I took stock of what I had – you can see it there sitting on top of the desk. Three pretty pieces of paper and some Mod Podge…I’m totally prepared. My plan was to cover the drawer pulls with the gold paper and use what I could of the tiny amount of cranberry paisley paper that was super pretty and super scarce. Off to the store I go with a sample of these two papers. Turns out no paint matches both so I buy a perfect match for the background color of the paisley paper…Salmon.
Newsflash: Salmon is Benjamin Moore code speak for shocking band aid pink. You have been warned.
I determined very quickly that my new giant, band aid pink desk is not in fact an improvement over the previous incarnation. Think, think, think. New plan. Go under the sink and pull out more of the light brown paint from when we first moved in and I was painting the apartment. Using a giftcard to maintain an equal distance from the edge of the desk I tape off a square with painter’s tape and make a brown square.
Hint: for clean lines paint a quick edge inside the tape with the background color and let dry for a few minutes before moving onto the next color.
While watching TV that night I used scissors and an exacto knife to cut out the swirly flowery pattern on one of the pretty papers that I liked. After letting the paint dry over night I traced the edge of the square with a gold paint pen I had left over from an old project. (You can’t tell much but it’s nice up close.) Then I played with the best arrangements of the design for a while and put a thin layer of Mod Podge under the paper and a thicker layer on top to decoupage it to the desk. Let this dry completely, a few hours should do it. I would hit it with another layer of glue to help protect the image.
I also decided to paint the front of the drawers brown (there was still WAY too much pink going on.) the only thing I left pink was the handles which I Mod Podged little strips of the paisley paper onto. It still looked a bit unfinished so I hot glued some mint green buttons on top of the whole shebang after the top and drawers of the desk got a quick coat of Minwax. (Along with everything else in the house I have been avoiding sealing for the past three years.) The fumes…Oh the fumes…
Here it is, my brand new desk ready to handle all of my crafting needs in style, all for the whopping sum of $15 dollars and I still have a TON of Salmon paint left, you know…should you be dying to paint something in your home the color of band aids.
Full list of supplies for non-crafting, non-packrats. Keep in mind this grew out of what I had on hand. If you don’t have something improvise. I never would have come up with so many pretty things if the pink hadn’t been so unexpectedly ugly.
- Mod Podge (or Elmers Glue)
- Foam Brush
- Paint Brush
- Painter’s tape
- Gold Paint pen
- Decorative Paper
- Exacto knife
- Minwax sealant
- Hotglue Gun