Give a desk a second chance with a DIY
Welcome to my first DIY entry. If you are interested in reusing second hand furniture, then this post is for you.
When I first moved to this country I was amazed by the number of good things you could find second hand. I became a little obsessed looking for good furniture on Facebook and even on the curb sometimes.
I saw this desk and I knew, that with some work, it would be great for the Star Wars-inspired home office. It was from Ballard Designs and retailed for about $600, but I got it for $40 with a good amount of deep scratches on the top.
Let me walk you through the steps I took to fix this desk and the big NO-NOS I learned along the way. You can find all of these products at any Home Depot.
1. First things first. Disassemble your project and prepare your working space. Best if you can do the work standing so it is more comfortable.
2. Sand the surface. You may have heard that this step is not necessary, but I really recommend it for scratched surfaces and furniture that has to withstand heavy traffic or use. Depending on your project, you might need a simple sheet of sanding paper o might have to invest in a sanding machine. Also a very important step is to use tack cloth to clean the surface after the sanding is done. This cloth is a lifesaver, I used HDX Tack Cloth.
3. Use primer. This is great to even out the surfaces of your project and set a base for color. I learned the hard way there are white primers and dark colored primers, so make sure you choose one that will match the color you want to use. After letting it dry for a day you should sand it again.
4. Give it some color! You can use the basic interior paint but make sure to buy a sheen that’s more resistant, for example, a gloss or semi-gloss. I used a matte and had a hard time keeping the surface clean before applying each coat of paint. Definitely learned my lesson. Go for a color that fits into your design and don’t be afraid to use one that stands out.
You might need up to 3 coats total so be patient, and if your project is big you should consider getting a spray paint machine. For this desk I used the smooth surface paint roller. Also consider sanding with a finer sheet before applying your last coat of paint.
5. Apply a protective finish. I used the Minwax Polycrylic but honestly wasn’t too happy with the finish. Felt like it toned down the blue and was glossier than I expected.
Be mindful that these products also have different sheens, so choose one that fits your project the best. Also important is the tool you use to apply this finish. I tried the smooth roller but didn't work, so instead I used the Shur-Line edger pro. Remember to let it dry for at least 2 days.
6. Assemble your stellar project and be proud of yourself.
These projects are so much fun, and I really encourage you to try it. Definitely start with something small like a chair and work your way up to something larger. This is not only a good way to save money, but by reusing, you are helping our environment.
Don’t be afraid to give it a try and have fun with it!
If you have already repainted any furniture, share your tips and if you have questions leave them bellow.