Several weeks ago I was browsing the 'yard' area of my local thrift shop when I spotted this beauty (the school house desk...not that uber-fabulous buffet behind it). I instantly put my hand on it and wouldn't leave it's side for a moment... not even to track a worker down. I probably waited about 5 minutes before I was able to get someone's attention to help me get a sold sign on this baby. $10.00 later... this baby was mine!
Besides being really dirty, I liked the whipped butter color of the desk top and shelves, but wasn't loving the copper? color of the legs.
I didn't love the Q99 FM sticker or it's friends either!
Or this ultra deep scratch that some punk etched while they were being bored to death in math class.
Anywho...while I was cleaning the desk up, I noticed that I wasn't the first one to refinish this piece. Someone sprayed the gold color over red. Here is a closer look at the cool legs.
It turns out that the desk is adjustable for height. Whoever refinished it last, just left the legs at the shortest setting...so above that the legs are just red.
And here is the really gross gob of gum that the last refinisher didn't bother removing. "Scrape that off...nah, I'll just spray paint it gold. I'm sure it will just blend right in. Spray paint kills creepy desk scratching kid germs, right!?!" So I scraped that off and cleaned the desk with TSP. I was really torn about how to refinish this. I new that for the present, I was going to put it in my daughter's room, which is pink and brown. But I really wasn't liking the idea of baby pink on the desk. I kind of wanted to spray it aqua...but then I would have to redecorate her room entirely... and I still love her Paris room. So I went with hot pink and cream. It doesn't really 'go' but it is so cute that I love it there anyway!
The desk is definitely a she now! I taped and papered the desktop and shelves and spray painted the metal parts of the desk. Then I painted the wood parts. I only had ultra white paint on hand, so I added some almond color to a portion of it to cream it up. I kind of hate hand mixing paint, because I'm terrified of running out and having to try to make a match.
I barely had enough paint to finish. To make clean-up easier, I kind of scraped out the remaining paint with my foam brush and put the brush in a plastic bag and threw it away in my garbage can. Several hours later I thought, what am I doing!! That desk isn't done! I really wanted to try to stencil on a design and then cover it and sand down to the stencil. So I dug through my garbage to retrieve my loaded paintbrush and hoped that it wasn't dried out and that it was enough paint.
I grabbed my stencil (from Hobby Lobby) and taped paper to all sides of it. After I measured my desk top to find the center and figure out my stencil plan, I stuck the stencil down with stencil adhesive and blasted it with spray paint. Some of the designs turned out crisper than others. But that was a-o-k! After the stencil part was dried I painted over it with my remaining white paint and waited for that to dry. Then I sanded lightly in places and harder in other places to achieve the worn down look.
I super love the way it turned out! I will definitely use this technique again. And maybe one day she will fit into her surroundings a little more... we'll just have to see what happens.