Tuesday, September 3, 2013

From Desk to Vanity

Hi, remember me?...
Now, why would anyone give me away??

...that ugly desk that Jen bought from the thrift store for $25 when there was still snow on the ground and said she was going to turn it into something beautiful? Well, she finally did and here is the long awaited blog post all about the excitement, the heart ache, the near mental breakdowns and the sweet, sweet joy of finally getting a project finished after several months.

 Originally, I planned to still use it as a desk and refinish it for our office, but then I realized that I had a major problem:

...and that wasn't even half of it. 

My makeup, skincare, and hair products had taken over my bathroom, and quite frankly it was getting to be a pain in the ass to move everything constantly to clean the sink. Not only that, but I could never find what I needed. I was constantly looking for primer, or foundation, or anything else related to girly primping.

...and I had always wanted a vanity...

I got to work right away (okay, it was a few months after we unloaded it into the garage.)

One of the first things I had to fix was the veneer that had chipped on the top.


I took a stiff putty knife and shoved it under the veneer and started prying pieces off:


 It was actually a great stress reliever, but after a few dozen pieces flew up at me, I remembered that I liked seeing out of my eyes and so I got my safety glass and continued to rip up the veneer:


 At this point, I realized that I hadn't really thought ahead about what I would replace the top with, but I decided to worry about that another day and began working on the drawers and the fabulous hardware they came with:


After, I had taken off the hardware and puttied the holes, I primed the entire desk with Kilz Oil-based Primer. Then, I used a homemade chalk paint recipe that I had found online and mixed some gray paint left over from Destructo's room and a pink shade of paint that Lowe's had samples of. I ended up deciding to paint the drawers pink and the rest of the body the light gray. After I did that, I took black acrylic paint and swiped it wherever I felt like:

After that was done, I put another coat of the chalk paint over the drawers and desk and then sanded them down a bit. The drawers didn't look quite how I wanted them to, so I put a coat of the gray paint on them, and then painted them again with the pink paint before sanding them down. I also applied just a little of Valspar antiquing glaze in a few spots on the desk. I was going for a shabby chic look, but I didn't want to be too obvious.

I found some adorable knobs at Hobby Lobby that fit my shabby chic theme and had Studly attach them (He is a little more precise then I am at measuring.). I also replaced the feet because the other ones just didn't do it justice...and they were also ugly.

It was definitely starting to look damn good, if I do say so myself (and I do.)

 However, with every project there is a snag and mine was the top of the vanity as I still hadn't figured out what to do with it. I didn't want to put new veneer on it, because the online tutorials looked like there would be too many steps to follow and since I couldn't even finish the YouTube video explanations without falling asleep, I passed. I thought about mod podging scrapbook paper onto the top like I had seen on Pinterest, but I couldn't find a pattern that I liked. Then, I thought about fabric instead, but when I cut the fabric, I kind of destroyed it and so that was out, too. For about a week, I stared at the ugly particle board top, out of ideas (that wouldn't be too much work.)

Then, one day Diva started talking about how she learned how to make stuff out of duct tape in one of her classes at school and asked if she could duct tape a nightstand that we had handed down to her. After seeing the results, a light bulb went off in my brain.

"Duct tape!", I told Studly as I opened the shopping bag that night.
"What the hell for?"
"My vanity top, silly! We are going to duct tape it!"

He looked at me like I lost my mind, but he listened to my idea anyway and helped me duct tape away.


It took a roll and a half of white duct tape to finish it off:


My favorite part is that it kind of looks like wood planks, which is an idea that I had earlier, but had scratched thinking about the work required to seal it and how sucky it would be to clean between the planks
(Remember people, I'm all about convenience.)

A mirror was the next step. 
Luckily, I already had one that I had recycled twice before: 


The first "recycle" was when I painted my very first piece of furniture, which is what started this whole thing.

The second time, was as part of the Christmas display over my mantel last Christmas, when I took the side mirrors off, removed the glass out of each of them and replaced it with chicken wire, Santa, and a Merry Christmas!
 Luckily, I had kept the glass...Just in case I needed it again.

This happened to be the "just in case" project. So, after finding all of the parts to the mirror, I put the glass back in the side mirrors and repainted them to match the dresser. However, there was just one minor setback that happened when I was stapling the backs back on:

 Whoopsie!

Not to worry, like most of my other projects, disaster seemed to spur creativity in me and I soon came up with an alternate idea for that side mirror.

Instead of a mirror, it became a necklace rack. All I had to do was put some fabric over the cardboard that was supposed to cushion the glass from breaking (a job it obviously did not do) and then I just used spray adhesive (which smells quite flammable) to attach it before placing those handy little command hooks in random spots all over it:

Well, isn't he funny after midnight?



 After everything else was done, I took my trusty hot glue gun and added a little something to the edges of my new vanity.
I think I almost passed out when I saw the finished project. Mostly because I couldn't believe it was finally finished!

Anyway, let's get to the before and afters, shall we?





 ...and a few more pictures, just for fun and giggles:


The vanity stool is from Target. I had wanted it for several months, but didn't want to spend the original price which I believe was around $100 and even the reduced the price to around $60 was too high. So, when I saw it for under $18, I was like, "SOLD!" I think it's perfect, don't you?

This is the only time that you will be able to see this much surface..
(It doesn't exactly say Shabby Chic, but 5 Daytime light bulbs definitely helps you see that zit you need to pop.)

(...and when that zit needs special attention, we have a back up.)
Diet Coke: The Decor that goes with anything.

One more before and after shot?
Well, okay...



Well, that's it for now. I've got to go use this thing to make some magic happen for this face, run some errands, and then do my statistics homework (jealous?).

(Oh, and I also have to finish up taking pictures of my other project that I've been working on....Stay tuned.)