Tag Archives: furniture

Simply Satisfying Desk {Garage Sale Makeover}

Ever find something that just catches your eye for no apparent reason? It wasn’t something you were looking for, not your typical style,  but there it is staring you in the face with puppy dog eyes begging you to take her home and love her.  Such is the story of the beginning of a relationship between “Simply Satisfying Desk” and myself.

She wasn’t anything fancy but her simplicity reminded me of a HUGE doll clothes closest that my grandpa made for me as a little girl…too bad I wasn’t a doll kind of girl.  I’d turn it around in my room and pretend it into a checkout at a “store”…I digress.  Either way there was just something about this desk that appealed to me.  In fact she wasn’t even really for sale.  She was stuck back in a corner of a storage shed of a rummage sale.  In great shape with just a few paint chips coming off the chair.  I rescued her by offering $10 without the faintest idea of what I was going to use her for…which I needed to come up with real quick in order for this to go over well with the husband. By the time I arrived home I conjured up a response, “a sewing desk” I blurted before he could mutter the question.

She had to wait her turn on the list of re-dos and makeovers, but eventually she got naked and I gave her a bath (by way of sander to remove a few layers of painted, air compressor to blow away the dust and a tack cloth to get any remaining remnants particles.  I highly recommend a tack cloth if you are doing any sanding!)

I had the heavy duty sprayer out to prime the armoire with KILZ, so I used that.  I started by painting it Sesame Seed by Krylon (I found 2 cans on sale at Michael’s for .54 cents in the clearance section) but I ran out before she was complete.  In dire need for touch ups, I headed to several stores scouring shelves for the random and apparently discontinued color.   This ended up being bittersweet,  why? While I wasn’t a huge fan of starting over,  I liked my new color SO much better- it just SCREAMs my name whenever I see her.  What color is it?  London Grey by Rustoleum (new favorite).  Better yet I found that Menard’s had on sale for $1.99 plus a $1 off per can rebate, making each can .99 cents.

I should mention that I removed the drawers and pulls as I had other plans for them.  I sprayed the body of the desk (2 cans) and after much deliberation decided to paint the drawer pulls the same color.  I wanted to use some fancy fabric to cover the drawers. I found this home interior fabric (1/2 yard at 50% off at Jo-Ann Fabrics). In order to cut my fabric to size I laid out the fabric, wrong side up on the table to find the best way to make use of the fabric.  While holding the fabric to the drawer I flipped it over to see the fabric design.  I made minor adjustments to get the best fabric design for each drawer.  For example,  on the lower drawers I wanted to make sure I had a big pretty bloom covering most of the drawer front.  I laid the fabric and drawer back down on the table with my new adjustments, marked around the drawer front with a pencil and cut about a 1/4-1/2 ” beyond (it doesn’t have to be perfect and I’ll explain why in the next step below) so I had a little extra fabric around the edges than I needed.  Sorry for the lack of pictures during these middle steps. It appears SOMEONE deleted them on the camera not realizing what they were for, but I’m not holding a grudge- really.

I had an idea in mind for the drawers to spruce them up, and thanks to Amy from Modge Podge Rocks and her nice tutorial for modge podge with fabric I found the assistance I needed. I didn’t use any fancy modge podge- just what I already had.  I started with all pieces right side down on the table (cover the table with with wax paper to protect it).  I spread a generous amount of modge podge on with a foam brush to the wrong/back side of each fabric piece.  I let each piece dry over night (partially because I do most of my work after 9 PM).  This stiffness is important, it prevents the fabric from fraying and helps ensure the fabric sticks to whatever material you are looking to use.  The next day I made sure each piece was dry.  I took the drawer front and applied a liberal amount of Modge Podge onto the front of the drawer, making sure to get the edges well.  Then I placed the fabric (wrong side down) on top of the drawer with wet modge podge.  Starting in the center I smoothed the fabric out toward the edges.  I applied the fabric around the slight curve on the corner all the way to the flat portion of the drawer (the side of the drawer that touches the desk).  I made a slit in the fabric along the corners and overlapped the fabric on one-side then cut the remaining fabric flush with the corner, adding a little modge podge to help convince it to stay put.  Once the farbic seemed dry ( a couple hours) I cut the excess fabric from around the edged to be flush with the back of the drawer.  Because I had modged podged the fabric I didn’t have to worry about fraying, and  because I waited for it to dry thouroughly I didn’t have any problems  with the fabric pulling away or peeling back.  I will say this process is a little bit tedious for my taste, as I have the patience of a over-tired 2-year-old (well maybe not THAT bad, but patience is not my best quality)

The last step was to put on the drawer pulls, place her in my messy unorganized craft room to get her out of the way add some of my craft supplies in her drawers and adorn her with a sewing machine to make her feel a little more welcome in my craft area.  She looks so pretty, it inspires me to keep her cleaned off and unhidden to admire her beauty.  For $10 and a little love, she was well worth the simple satisfaction that I was looking for in my craft room.  Welcome pretty desk!

Anyone ever attempt any modge podge + fabric recipes?  Any suggestions?  Do share!

Linking up to:
Visit thecsiproject.comSomewhat Simple  Lovely Crafty Home



Filed under Before/After, DIY, Flow of Creativity

New Life (armoire makeover)

Let me start by saying that the word organization makes my palms sweat.  I’m not good at it, and it sometimes makes me feel really uncomfortable.  When I picture organized homes, I think of stuffy and cold.  However, I also have organization envy.  So this next project was one I was excited about but also dreaded at the same time.  The office (once referred to as the pretty room) is a sore spot in our house, it’s the place we put “stuff.”

I’ve been looking (for years) to get an armoire for the computer to hide “the stuff”.  Finally I found what was looking for on Craigslist for $40 (within my price range).  While she wasn’t bad I had an idea in mind.

I took the hardware and doors off, removed the shelves from inside, and lugged everything out to the driveway to get working on it.  With the husbands help I used a paint sprayer and sprayed a few coats of KILZ primer on (the only primer we ever use).  This began the beginning of several challenges.  Some were out of my control (mother nature and the Wisconsin Spring weather) and others were well-deserved (I tried to just get it done and paid for it in the long run).  You see I started to strip the varnish, but then thought I’d just sand it, and then thought the primer should work just fine.  To make a long and painful story short and sweet- between my husband and I we sanded, primed, painted, and stripped it all back down and started over 3 times.  A true testament to our marriage!

Lesson Learned #1: Take the time to prepare your furniture, it’s worth it in the long run, and while I’m at it lesson 2 is when spraying paint/primer it’s better to apply more thin coats than to try to cover with a thick coat.  Reason being- you end up with a bunch of runs that are impossible to hide.

Once the armoire was primed we used Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint (5 cans to be exact).  I am an addict of this stuff.  Menard’s happened to have a sale several weeks ago plus a rebate  (each can was only .99 cents) so I stocked up and now I am looking for more things to paint.  At one point I ran out and my husband thought he’s just run to town and pick up the next best thing (which he thought was ivory Krylon) it wasn’t.  It looked pale yellow.  I ended up leaving the inside of the armoire less than perfect with some of the ivory paint still on because it wasn’t worth it to me since the inside won’t be visible unless I’m working on the computer- and as stated above I’m not neurotic about stuff like that.

After the painting I took some dark brown Oops paint from Home Depot (I actually added some black acrylic to make it even darker) and mixed with Ralph Lauren Glaze.  You literally need less than a cup to cover the entire armoire.  Thanks to All Things Thrifty and her glazing tutorials I was much more satisfied with this project over the last glazing project.  Glazing is much easier than it seems.  The one thing to keep in mind is to really get the glaze into all the little cracks. I even made a special effort to get the dents and scratches glazed up.  Also mix up your techniques a little.  I wiped most of the glaze off with a wet rag, but I’d also use a dry rag or a dry foam brush to go over it to give it a more weathered look.  It’s not supposed to look perfect.  Here she is up close.

I went to a local warehouse (M Schettel Freight) where they literally have everything you could possibly need in life (including the kitchen sink) to pick up a few unique handles (.99 cents each) . Since hinges can sometimes be a pain to match up I opted to keep the old ones.  I added a gob of glaze to all of the hardware and let it semi dry before I wiped it off.

Now, in order for this reveal to be as amazing as it really is you need to how it impacts the room overall.  So here are a few shameful pictures of the office before we reorganized and added the beloved armoire…

And now….

A huge task off the list!  This one brings a smile and big sigh every time I walk past. And yet the space is functional.  I cut some cork board (double thickness) to fit inside the right panel door to hang the little stuff that typically cluttered stuff up (adhered with E6000 because we’re close friends!)

I’ll dedicate another post to the organizational systems we’ve instituted as a result of this project.  I have a new love affair with my pretty office space!  Best of all pretty little armoire project cost me less than $60.

This post referencs the following blog:

and is linking up to the following parties:
Tip Junkie handmade projectsSomeday CraftsThe Lettered Cottage


Filed under Before/After, Daily Grind, Flow of Creativity

End Table: Trash to Treasure

You may have seen the Basement Reveal post, where I show the 6 months of time, talent and treasures we invested in a family/play room in our basement.  Well now it’s time to add some furniture.  Currently the furniture in our basement is less than stellar (can’t complain over hand-me downs) due to the lack of funds and abundance of existing furniture. I’m finding creative ways to make the space appealing.  Thanks to some insights from All Things Thrifty and her thousands of amazing furniture transformations I mustered up some courage to attempt to transform an end table.

I found this end table at Goodwill for $3.50 (sorry I suck at capturing the entire process- this picture is actually after sanding, and taken from my phone- but hopefully you get the idea).

The table seemed simple and straight-forward, which was ideal for the “man’s room.” So I sanded it down, just enough to rough it up.  Took a can of Rustoleum white primer to it.

Than I went to town using the paint that was left over from the basement.  The paint was a close out (Fresh Air brand) from Home Depot, and unfortunately they printed “Custom Color” on the label…seriously, it had a name with a card when I asked you to mix it Mr. Paint stir man. I digress.  A few coats of the, we’ll say mustard color then left to dry overnight.

Phase 2 was to mix some black acrylic paint with Ralph Lauren Glaze- brush on, then wipe off.  All things thrifty has a few video tutorials for you to follow. I made the mistake of using a dry rag, which pulled some of the yellow paint off.  I also made the mistake of putting too much on and taking too long in between putting the glaze on and wiping it off.  Either way it meets my first time expectations. The husband liked it, so that really was a blue ribbon in my book 🙂

Here’s a functional shot where you can see it in context with our existing mismatched furniture.

Tip Junkie handmade projects

If anyone has ideas for recovering an avocado green recliner, tan leather love seat, and dark green/cranberry plaid recliner couch…you have my complete attention.  Small budget/big ideas is my approach.  Not to mention the double recliner couch will stay in the basement till I die, it’s a beast to move!


Filed under Flow of Creativity