Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Roadkill Desk: Before And After

Good morning everyone!  We are slowly in the process of redoing our Study.  I came up with an idea board and will be sharing that this week, but I have one portion I just couldn't wait to share any longer!!!  We've been hunting for a desk for about 6 months now.  For some reason now matter how often I looked in my thrift stores, no good options popped up.  A little over a week ago, my husband sent me a text, he had found a small desk on the curb that someone had set out for the trash.  It was in really bad shape, but he wanted to know if I thought I could fix it up since we really needed it.  It was HORRIBLE!  But it was free, so the price was right. 
This is what we started with.  Honestly, I was wanting to find something I could redo, because I'm crazy I love a good project.  This, however, was a little more than what I had in mind.  This is the picture the dear hubs sent me:

Sorry for the bad iPhone pic.  We should have probably started with an after picture, I don't want you all to have nightmares!  I'll give you an after and then a play by play of all they gory, and I do mean gory, details.

Behold, the beautiful after!!!!!

Now for the process....the long, arduous process.  First of all, this baby had to be cleaned, scrubbed and scraped for over an hour before it was even ready for the sanding process.

My little guy checking things out.  "Momma, this is really dirty!!  It's going in our house?!?!"
"Uhhh, yes son."

Clearly, it belonged to a kid who had quite the propensity for "art work".  :)

Cleaning, and scrubbing and scrapping, oh my!!!

Finally, it was ready for the sanding and priming process.

After the first coat of primer...much better already!

For some reason, I thought it would be cool to do a greek key design on the top.  Enter measuring, math and over an hour of extra work.  I should have know I was probably too OCD to attempt this.

Everything is measured and taped off.  I was feeling pretty great at this point!  Then I gave the whole thing two coats of Valspar's Coral Reef.  Beautiful color!  I actually had a coupon for a free sample last month and picked it up not knowing what I would do with it.  I picked up an additional jar for $2.48 and the two coats only used a jar and a half.  I have some left over for touch ups if need be.

Truthfully, it's a beautiful color, but I decided to do the greek key after painting one side, as you can see in the above picture.  It was channeling the Golden Girls....Miami circa 1982, cue "thank you for being a friend..."  I felt like the greek key trim on top coupled with the fabulous new hardware would be perfect to take Golden Girls edge off.

This is the hardware I chose.

Lion Head Brass Drawer Pulls via D. Lawless hardware.  .65 cents each!  They look much more yellow in the stock picture.  They are beautiful in person!  I have to say, if you are in the market for new hardware, not only is this site affordable, but they have really quick turn around.  I ordered them on a Sunday afternoon and they were in my mailbox on Wednesday afternoon!

Back to the desk.  I painted two coats of coral and then this happened...

I  promise it's not that creepy neon shade!  Weird lighting, but even weirder than that, look at that line!  So frustrating.  Not at all what I was going for!  Where's that clean line I was dreaming about?  At this point I panicked a little and then started weighing my options.  I really liked the trim on top, so I decided to try to salvage it.

Quick trip to Hobby Lobby, utilizing my 40% off coupon, of course. Then we had this.

That's more like it!

Hello pretty!  Now that I had the line issue straightened out, I hauled it back outside to give it a glossy coat.  I'm sure my neighbors think I'm certifiable, but whatever.

Remember those yucky drawers?  They got painted and prettied up with new liners, too!

As with humans, it's important for a desk to be pretty on the inside too! 

Now it was back inside and ready for styling, which is really the fun part.

I grabbed some accessories I'd been collecting specifically for this elusive desk.  All of them gathered from, you guessed it, thrift stores!

Target mercury glass lamp base.  New, with tags.  $54.99 @ Target, $6.99 @ Goodwill!

Threshold for Target lampshade.  $6.99 @ Goodwill.

I found this really cool three tier brass piece at Goodwill for $3.99!  Apparently, it is a mid century brass tidbit server.  Who knew?  I found one

Vintage Hollywood Regency Brass Pineapple Tray 3 Tier Tidbit Server

$120!  Yikes!  I guess it was a pretty good find.

I thought it would be cool for keeping desk essentials like paper clips, binder clips and stamps close at hand. 
Mid century Trojan horse bookend, marble or quartz, $4.99 via Savers.

Milk glass artichoke fluted vase:  $1.99 via Goodwill
Old canning jar: .49 cents via Goodwill
Doused with a coat of my favorite metallic gold spray paint and serving as a pencil cup.

 The next project for this room remix will be a chair makeover for the desk!  I hope you enjoyed this little play by play and that you love the outcome as much as I do!

Linking up at:


  1. What a great job! I love, love, love it! Great tip on the paint pen! I could have used that when I painted my desk! Pinning because it's just that beautiful!

    It's Always Ruetten

  2. Actually, please e-mail me at derrick@dlawlesshardware.com. I'd like to discuss something with you! Good work!

  3. Thank you all for your kind comments! I'm so glad you like it!

  4. Big smiles here as this is very similar to a piece I just finished for our dining room but in black and white. Such a fun color. Visiting via Serenity Now.

  5. Hi Pamela! Thanks so much for stopping by! I'll need to check out your piece too, love black and white! It's so classic. Have a great weekend!

  6. Wow, that really is a beautiful desk! Great save!

  7. Glamorous is right. Very nice!

  8. Absolutely love it!! That coral is gorgeous.

  9. Beautiful Desk. What did you use to do the gloss coat?

  10. Just beautiful! Isn't it fun when all your hard work is so gloriously satisfying at the end! Smart move with the paint pen and the ruler!

  11. I have the same question as Kristi V. What did you use for the gloss coat? My daughter is re-painting her desk right now.

  12. Epic re-do! So inspired!!! Good for you!!!

    1. Thank you, Ramona! Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Hi guys! Thank you so much for stopping by! To answer the question about the top coat, I used Krylon Crystal Clear Gloss spray. It's protective as well as non yellowing. Hope that helps! I would love to hear how your projects work out.

  14. well done Krista!! I love this and am so inspired. I have an old vanity table in the bedroom that needs a facelift

    1. Thank you so much! I would love see your vanity (before or after). Happy painting!

  15. Beautiful color! Really good sense for the details that make this such a great addition to any room. Excellent job!

  16. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I'm so glad you stopped by!

  17. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Thank you for stopping by!

  18. LOVE it! you did a really beautiful job. You would appreciate that I recently released an app for color inspiration.. I have since found out that a lot of talented DIYers are loving it.. it's called Color911.com Check out my pinterest page to see how inspiring it can be!
    http://pinterest.com/color911/boards/ I look forward to seeing more of your great work!

    1. Thank you so much! I'll definitely check that out! Have a great weekend.

  19. I love how your table turned out ! You did a great job ! Your pineapple tier such a great find, love Goodwill !

  20. This is gorgeous! It's definitely making me want to make a trip to my local goodwill and do some redecorating of my home office :)

  21. Great job, great color! I thought I would share with you a tip I learned to get a crisp paint line when using painters tape. After you apply your tape, paint over the edges of the tape with clear glaze so that part of the glaze is on the tape and other is on the surface and then let it dry. Then proceed with your paint. When you pull the tape off you will get a clean line everytime. I learned this trick several years ago when I painted stripes on my bathroom walls. I had painted stripes before and knew I wouldn't get a completely clean edge and didn't want to have to touch up a room full of stripes. So I started doing some research and came up with this trick. I have used it several times since. Always works like a charm.

    1. Stacye, that is a fantastic tip! What kind of glaze did you use?

  22. Love love love this! I hope it's ok to "share" a thought on something you could do to greatly improve it's 21st century functionality --- Take the right hand side 2 lower drawers OUT. Remove the faces of the drawers from the actual drawer compartment attached to it. If you can dismantle the wood from the drawer boxes - hang onto them. Now, take the two faces that you've removed (the pretty coral painted face-fronts), and attach them to a piece of wood (perhaps the drawer remnants might fit?) cut to fit them perfect when they are placed at the same spacing as they were when they were drawers (if that makes sense). Apply hinge hardware to the right side so that it will attach by the hinges to the frame of the desk body. Now, you can put the computer tower INSIDE this area, and it will still just look like drawers from the front. :) Be sure to cut a hole for the power cords inside the new "cupboard" space as well.

    1. I just had to respond to your idea, it is splendid and good to know for future revampers!! thanks K.P.!!!

    2. Hi K.P.! That is a GREAT idea! We actually reconfigured the room so the tower is no longer under the desk and is hidden by another piece of furniture.


  23. I stumbled upon your blog just a couple of days ago and I absolutely love it!! It's wonderful to read a blog that truly exemplifies budget spending. I get a little discouraged when I read blogs of those where items are in the hundreds, that's great for them, but little 'ol me is all about budgeting! I especially love what you did with this desk, the coral is one of my faves and the hardware and stencil design is gorgeous! I will have to find something to revamp inspired by this :) thank you so much!!

    1. I'm so glad you found the blog Ka`ili!


  24. Chinoisserie chic. You chose the perfect color and details. I think a ghost chair with a flokati fur mat in the seat would be fetch. Can't wait to see your chair re-do!

  25. Love how this turned out! I have a similar pattern to the one you used that I have printed out and am waiting to use on the right piece. I'm also crazy about getting straight lines, but it's good to know the pen works so well! Thanks for sharing!

  26. Beautiful color! Love all the accessories you found too!

  27. I haven't checked to see if anyone addressed your bleeding issue with the tape. I was going to explain it, but found this instead (yay, pictures!) http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Paint-Clean-Lines/

  28. Hello I just did my first ever project I used valspar reserve paint. It's supposed to be very durable do I still need a polyurethane sealant on top of that?

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  32. Thank you so much for this! I have a little secretary desk I paid $20 for and am redoing. Totally copying your design, only gloss black with silver trim.
    I was really wondering what to do, thank you!!


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