Ah Pinterest. The place where dreams and imaginations run wild while my actual butt sits in a chair. I do use Pinterest for inspiration for plenty of things that I actually do, but that hasn’t really been much in terms of home improvement projects. I’m always sick, working, trying to sleep, or otherwise busy. However, I am here to make an announcement.
I have completed my first furniture makeover project!
*and my mom slow claps*
*and the crowd goes wild*
Lego had a decent desk, but it’s ugly as crud. It’s been through some incidents including candle wax, paint or nail polish of some sort, rogue screws, and who knows what else. I wanted to redo this desk for him for awhile and thought it would make a great birthday present. When his birthday came around, I was tied up in the middle of nowhere, watching three other teams play football while their parents yelled things like, “Hurt ‘im good!” until it was Lego’s and Minecraft’s turns to play. Then, Ben and I went to Lowe’s to get a few things and I saw some Oops Paint in colors that Lego would like. I decided that since I kinda had a window of time, I might as well redo the desk. So, I bought the paint. Researching the desk, I decided to use this plan on Pinterest with these points in mind. Before starting, these are the supplies I gathered:
Piece of crappy looking laminate furniture
150 – 220 grit sandpaper that my husband had sitting in a filing cabinet
2 cans of Rust Oleum 280715 American Accents Ultra Cover 2X Spray Paint, White Primer, 12-Ounce
6 in mini roller
Paint pan thingy (I just bought a kit – easy & cheap)
Mini foam paintbrushes for tight spots (I had some already in a drawer for another craft that I never did.)
Top Coat (My husband’s had good results with Minwax in the past, so I just got that.)
Plastic tarp, plastic bags, old fabric, or cardboard to lay under your work area
Respirator or face masks (I didn’t realize that I needed these until after I did the project and my nosehairs were covered in primer.)
Screwdriver, Xacto knife, and hammer (depending on what kinds of pieces you have on the desk)
Step 1 – Tell your stepson to take everything off of his desk except for his computer if he wants a surprise from you the next time he sees you. You may have to do this twice in order to get him to remove 75% of the stuff from his desk.
Step 2 – Remove all the crap off the desk when your stepson is gone. Shove it all out of the way. Shove any other furniture as far as you can get it from the ugly desk too. Pick up all the crap on the floor around the desk and vacuum around your work area. Remove any hardware or broken parts from the desk using a screwdriver or sledgehammer. I ended up with lots of screws and hinges to donate to future projects, a door that will be turned into a shelf in another room, and some junk to throw in the trash.
Step 3 – Ask your husband to move the pallets he painted out of the way so you can get to the plastic sheets you use for painting. When he doesn’t do that, tear apart some large cardboard boxes from stuff he’s ordered and place it under your work area. This will assure that your husband finally gets your plastic wrap out for you to use.
Step 4 – Lightly sand the desk. When you find crud on it, use your handy dandy box cutter to scrape that junk off the ugly desk. You may discover that large chunks of fake wood are missing from the desk as well. So, you’ll probably have to go downstairs and ask your husband where the wood filler is. If you’re lucky, he’ll know where it is off the top of his head. Now, you can go back upstairs and fill that fake wood with faker wood. (Follow the directions on the bottle, more or less.)
Step 5 – Use tack cloth to wipe down the desk. This is where you remember you were supposed to wipe down the desk with vinegar and water or something before you sanded it. You’ll also forget that you had that wood filling stuff that needed to dry before you did anything else to the desk, but that’s okay because it’s in an inconspicuous area and will be hidden behind another piece of furniture anyway.
Step 6 – Forget what the next step is and check Pinterest.
Step 7 – Now it’s time to open up some windows because you are about to prime your desk. Read the directions on the primer and follow them carefully. When you are done, make sure that the desk is left in a ventilated room while you go somewhere that will allow you to breathe for a few hours. This is when your husband will ask you if you need that plastic wrap stuff again. For the second time today, reply, “Not anymore, thank you.” Ask him if you have primer on your nose hairs so that he can make fun of you for not using any of his respirators or face masks that you didn’t realize he had. Wait a few hours for the primer to dry while half of your brain cells die. Go ahead and make an appointment with the respiratory therapist while you’re at it. You might not remember to do it later.
Step 8 – Ready to actual do some painting? Good. The weather probably isn’t right for painting anymore, randomly dropping 40 degrees, but once it warms up again, you can try. Pop open your can of paint and stir it up real good with a paint stick. The color will be completely different from the color on the paint can and you’ll understand why this was Oops Paint. Pour your wrong-color paint into your plastic paint thingy and get your paint roller ready for fun. Dip the roller in the paint and then roll it over the bumpy parts of the plastic thing. Roll paint the hell outta that desk. You will find it interesting how some parts of the desk are immediately covered with paint and other parts are not. Paint will get all over the cardboard on the floor, but none within the bottom 4 inches of the desk. You will keep finding places on the desk where you have forgotten to roller paint. Step 9 – When you’ve covered the desk in paint, go back over the smaller areas/missed spots with your sponge brush. Don’t ask me what the best method is. I approached this like a child with fingerpaints, just mushing color anywhere that my tiny arms would reach. You can go over paint drips if they’re still wet, but will otherwise need to wait to sand them down once they’re dry (unless you’re lazy like me.)
Step 10 – Let your paint dry. Mine only took about an hour, but I had to log on to work, so I couldn’t put the finish on it right away.
Step 11 – If you painted the desk correctly, then you pulled a muscle in your back or something and can only sit or lay for the rest of the next day. Make sure that water and ibuprofen are within arm’s reach.
Step 12 – When you are able to move again, go back upstairs and open up a window. Spray a coat of the top coat over the painted areas of the desk. It should dry in an hour or two. If your back spasmed while you did this, then you should just turn on the ceiling fan and leave the room. These cheap desks aren’t meant to last a lifetime anyway. Plus, your lack of skill and broken back will ensure that the desk has that coveted “rustic” look that so many bloggers envy.
Step 13 – At some point (48 hours to 6 weeks) the desk should dry. Dispose of the junk you used to halfway protect the carpet and try to move the desk back into place without pulling any muscles. Wait until the last possible minute to put anything on the desk, and then wait a day or two more, especially if the desk is for your beloved stepson. He’ll appreciate the time it took you to get distracted with work and laundry and dinner and work and more laundry and more work. Having no desk will make him feel like a Native American, able to live off the land armed with only centuries of ancient wisdom and an iPad.
That’s it! You’re done! You have successfully Pinterested an ugly fake wood desk into a rustic piece of furniture that your family will cherish for hours to come. Give yourself a pat on the back if you still have any upper body mobility!