Monday, November 11, 2013

Ugly to...less ugly?

I decided Friday, rather abruptly, that I needed a desk in the living room. I have a workspace in the basement, yes, but it's cold down there (poured cement has an insulation value of R-1; it's only slightly better than outside), and half the time Baby Girl just doesn't want to be in the toy room for very long. Plus I have a project I want to finish by December 1st, and I'll need pretty much every minute between now and then if I'm going to make it.

My first thought was to run to the thrift store before it closed and see if I could find anything. My second thought was remembering the hideous computer desk we had in the garage. We got it as a hand-me-down from my sister Deetz, back when Yaya had a computer in his room and needed a desk; apparently cost was more important than looks. Lately I've been trying to use what I have, and also to be grateful for having so much, so I decided to dig the desk out and try and figure out how to make it less ugly.

The whole time I was cleaning it and sanding it, I had the Spartan Cheerleaders ugly chant in my head. U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi. I then went to the internet for inspiration, but 99% of desk makeovers start with a nice vintage or antique desk, or at least a desk that's less obviously a computer desk. So no ideas were forthcoming there. In the spirit of using what I had, I looked through my paint closet and found the samples I used to paint the sides of Yaya's dresser drawers. I really loved the brown that I found as a 50 cent mistint, and it reminded me of this iron bust makeover Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook just posted, so I decided to go for it.

I took off the CD racks, because I have no CDs to hold and also because they were part of the problem, not the solution. I primed it with original Kilz (stinky) and painted it with a foam roller and a foam brush. Side note: do not buy foam roller covers for mini rollers from Wal-Mart. I've bought two packages in the past few weeks, and in each package of two one cover does not work. 50% failure rate is not good enough for me, even if they are $2 cheaper than Home Depot.

Full disclosure: I did go buy another sample pot because I didn't want to get mostly done then run out of paint. The sample was Behr Premium Plus Ultra, color matched to Glidden's Wild Truffle. I mixed the samples together to make sure the color was the same throughout. I had almost an entire sample left after two coats, so I probably could have done without it.

I had to take these after the kids went to bed so the light's not the best, but the color is reasonably close. The bottom shelf is most accurate colorwise.

I like it. Well, I like it better than before. It's too big for the space, but it was basically free, if you don't count the paint sample I didn't need or the foam brush and roller cover. And if you squint your eyes, tilt your head, and drink a bottle of wine, you can almost believe that it's a vintage piece. I want to paint the wheels gold, but I don't think they come off so that'll be a bit of painstaking work for another day. For now it's less eyeball-burny, and it's a place to work. Good enough.

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