I know you’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to see what I did with that amazing awesome random sewing table find!
This one, remember?
Yea, I found that on the side of the road down the street from my house. It wasn’t even garbage day! It took all of my will power to drive the 25mph speed limit to get home, take the garbage (literally, from another garbage pick) out of my van, toss it onto my lawn, put my seatbelt on, and drive 25mph back to the desk. I thought for sure someone else would snag it before I did!
But the stars were aligned, and this little old lady was mine.
I had Brian help me take it out of the car, and he was shocked that I lifted this thing on my own. You know in desperate and dire situations where people somehow have hulk strength to lift cars off of their trapped dog? yea, that was me with this sewing table. It’s really heavy. Unreasonably heavy for a small desk with a few drawers. I wouldn’t be surprised if I tore the thing apart and found gold lining the wood.
I’ve been struggling with keeping our mail & bills & whatever else that piles up on my kitchen island organized, and have really been keeping an eye out for something that I could put next to my front door. Only problem is that the wall is probably only 3.5 feet long and it’s tough to find something that compact for the space.
Enter garbage desk.
I knew without a doubt that this was the desk I had been waiting for. As I drove past, I already had flashes of what was to be! I know, I’m a little nuts. But that does really happen sometimes! I see a piece and I can see the future. Not always, but sometimes. And when that happens I get so excited to make it happen that I work on said piece without stopping for food or water. You know the feeling?
The very first thing I did was try my hand at getting those dirty pulls to shine up. It took me a few tries, but I finally figure out that Bar Keepers Friend is really a friend to us all.
I just poured a little on, scrubbed with a toothbrush and scrub pad, and repeated a few times. They came out pretty nice & I discovered that they are solid brass. Score!
Here’s a video of the clean up.
So here’s what happened. I posted the desk on Instagram and got some feedback on a color choice. It really narrowed down to either an aqua blue or a pastel green-blue. How do you suppose I made my decision?
Yea, it was what I had lying around.
The neat thing about having paints just lying around is that you kind of make your own color palette, and even if you mix two colors, you’re pretty much guaranteed to match the rest of your house. Since I always tend to buy what catches my eye in the oops paint section, I always have a general paint palette on hand from which to choose.
I really wanted a minty green with hints of blue. And I wanted it to have an old chippy milk-paint kind of look. So here’s how I made that happen!
I grabbed this little sample of oops paint.
It’s like a very light minty green, and mixed that with a very pale blue I had, I think it’s called sea salt. the mix was about 1:3 respectively. The blue helped lighten up the green even more and gave it a bit of that blue-gray I wanted in there too.
1 cup of the paint, 1/3 cup plaster of paris, and a little water is the recipe I use for Homemade Chalkpaint. Mix it up, get all the lumps out.
I didn’t even clean the thing. I took it from the trash and didn’t even bother cleaning it. I rarely do with chalk paint. Because if you don’t clean it, then the paint comes off in areas so much more naturally and easily, making for some fun distressing later on.
O.K. in my defense the desk wasn’t smelly or gross, just dusty and had some build up and dirt and such from years of use.
Chalkpaint goes on really thick so it generally takes less coats to finish the job. Depending on the look I’m going for will depend on the thickness of the coats I apply. I wanted this to kinda look like it had been painted over and over so I laid it on pretty thick. Don’t worry, it’ll all smooth out in the end!
After two coats of that, I grabbed some of the minty paint. You know, the stuff I did not mix in. It is just that much darker than the paint I mixed so it will give me that milkpaint pigment look. Milkpaint is hardly ever one color for me, it has slight variations in color which adds to the character of the piece. That’s why I like to use it. But I didn’t have any, and that can be replicated by adding variations of the color to your piece.
I also grabbed some stain and rubbed that in random places. I tend to pay attention to the edges and high points.
After that I went back over it with the main paint color, the color I mixed. Later on after it all dries I will sand it to distress and pull out those layers. That’s my favorite part!
I’m so super sorry that I don’t have a photo of the process, but here is the end result, just to give you an idea of where I’m going with this. I really don’t know why I do that. Bad blogger.
The part where I was missing a pull and had to get creative.
Yea, this poor lady was missing one of her pulls! I was really having a hard time with this because I did not want to replace the original brass hepplewhite pulls. I feel like that would be sacrilegious! But even thinking about finding a pull that matches the exact pattern of these pulls was daunting.
Well, wouldn’t you know it the center drawer is actually a false drawer and doesn’t even need a pull. I tell you, my luck with this thing was astonishing! So I took that pull off and used it in another place.
Then I ran to Home Depot and grabbed a wood applique. Something I thought would look like it always had been there. It has to look like it was original or it just won’t do.
Thankfully they had this pretty little applique for $6.00 & with some construction adhesive and clamps I was able to put it right over the old holes.
After I got it into place, I used a toothbrush, believe it or not, to get all the excess glue from the edges.
OK while that’s all drying I started working on the top. I only bothered with the very top (it opens up and has a finished wood on the underside too) since that’s all I would see & because I’m not sure what I want to do with the other side yet.
I used Citristrip. I let it sit on there for maybe a half hour, and scraped the gunk off once it was a little bubbly and brownish. Sanding the rest of the stain off was the next step. I recommend using a sander, doing it by hand is crazy.
Now here’s 2 hours of my life recorded just for you in a 60 second time-lapse!
After it was all sanded, I just put a water based poly over the top. I didn’t restain or anything since I liked the color of the wood as it is. In the video you’ll see me using a wood conditioner to see if the color was any different from that of the poly, and they were the same so I just used the poly. Two coats was enough.
After the poly dried, I went back to the base of the desk & sanded it down all over, paying special attention to those areas that I wanted the layered effect to show through.
Here’s a close up of the layers again.
Once I was satisfied, everything was wiped down with tack cloth and sealed with the same poly that I used on the top.
Of course that project sparked 4 more. Because you can’t have such a pretty lady on a less than average wall! And you can’t have an awesome wall without some stuff to put on that wall!
And you can’t have such a great entry desk without somewhere to sit!
and OH LOOK A CHICKEN!
So, you see how my mind rambles!
You can find the Industrial Clock Tutorial here.
I’ll show you how I made that cute little red bench from a flea market find in next week’s post! & The wood planks will have to wait until I get the whole wall done.
Thanks for stopping by!!!!