The Hubs had mentioned wanting to build a “big corner” desk in the loft where he could setup a home network/media center/geekville. Now, I’m all for the geeky stuff….but get real. The Hubs isn’t going to be staying home (gasp!) for the required weekend or two to actually build me something. I’m not being mean, just realistic. Some people like to stay home and work on projects on the weekend. I did not marry one of those people. I have to beg to stay home for a weekend.
Soooo….when we upgraded a few desks at work and the email went out proclaiming “FREE DESK! Get ’em while they’re hot!” you know I was all over it. I don’t think the email even had time to cache before I responded. And yippie! I scored a free desk. A corner desk nonetheless. A good solid wood desk that was nearly impossible to get up our stairs, around the corner and into the loft. It took The Hubs and his biggest strongest friend to accomplish that feat….to which he afterwards said “when we move, the desk stays here.” So I gave him my sweetest “thank you honey….you’re my hero” while handing both of them a cold beer. Mission accomplished.
Problem was, the desk was….meh. I mean functionally it was great, but I’m more of a dark wood kind of girl. Give me chocolate, espresso or mocha and I’m a happy woman (that goes for paint, stain and the real thing). I knew someday I would need to spend some time and refinish that sucker to make me fall in love with it. So finally almost a year after bringin’ her home I started. And just because I love before-and-afters….here’s a little sneak peek of the finished product:
I apologize for not getting before-before pictures of the wobbly desk. Most of this happened before I became a big fancy blogger and took pictures of every little thing.
The first thing I knew had to be addressed was some serious sanding. And unfortunately it wasn’t really an option to move the desk back downstairs and to a suitable place like the garage. Do you see where I’m going with this? I had to sand the entire desk inside the house. Inside the house in a loft. In a loft that overlooks our dining room and kitchen area. You picking up what I’m throwing down here? Or should I say….what the sanding is throwing down? Yes, every time I sanded, the dust would hover around me like a cloud until it moved over the ledge….and settled down into a nice little home in the kitchen area.
So. So. So. Annoying.
That meant every time I wanted to work on the project (even just a little) I would have to account for the time it would take me to clean the entire kitchen afterwards. Well this lasted all of about two times before I went all “ET” and bought two packages of plastic drop sheets. I promptly ripped them open and taped those suckers up over the loft ledge so that the dust would stay where it belonged! On me! And in my carpeted loft damn it! Ha ha…yeah, the clean up was something else. I would recommend not sanding furniture in the house.
Pause. See that yellow “orb” on the top of the desk….bottom right of the picture? There’s a story there. I hesitated to even tell you about this…but because I vowed to keep it real with ya’ll on this blog (and that means the good, bad and ugly) here goes.
After several days of living in a plastic room, I finished the sanding – with no other orb episodes mind you. But now for the fun part…on to the staining! Again, most of this was before I had a blogging-brain, so I really hate to report that I have no pictures from the staining process! Staining really is my favorite part of this whole project….I love watching something transform before my eyes.
I used Minwax Polyshades in Bombay Mahogany. The Polyshades are great because they combine a stain and a polyurethane….so no top coat required. And when it comes to work for Janna….I’m all about less of it. Which worked out well for me because it took FOUR coats of the stain to get the deep, rich color I had imagined.
Oh, and guess what? In a moment of pure laziness I decided to “just see” if I could cover the orb with stain (figuring it probably wouldn’t work). Well? I’m happy to report that with some patience and good technique I was able to just stain right over that sucker. You can’t even tell! And I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was that it worked. I guess sometimes laziness pays off.
I also decided to dress the desk up a little bit with some fun drawer pulls to give it a little femininity. I found the perfect ones at Anthropologie:
Aren’t they darling?
Oh, we also needed to drill some grommets in the desk to help wrangle cords. I can’t stand cables just flopping all over the place. So a 2″ drill bit, muscle and some plastic grommit-covers did the trick. Ahhh….it’s the little things the make the difference.
So here she is in all her glory:
I’m officially in love with her now….so much that I’m adamant that “when we move, the desk comes.” Sorry.
I’ve still got some work to do in the loft. Like hang pictures, ditch the mat/chair and get a fun new chair (remember that’s a secret from the Hubs), purchase some glass for the top of the desk/credenza (hey, something has to protect my hard work), figure out if we really need a couch up there….you know. Good stuff like that.
And if you can imagine, it’s only four months later and these pictures are already out-dated. We now have a new dual-monitor setup and geekville going on up there that is just begging for some organization. I’ll be tackling that soon as well…so updates-to-come my friends!
Now, do any of you have an old piece of furniture you’ve redone and fallen in love with?