Sunday, April 1, 2012

Before and After: Vanity Desk

Remember this beautiful piece of junk we picked up at Schiller's Salvage last weekend?

It may have a few scratches and dents here or there. And sure, its hardware isn't all intact (but whose hardware is at that age?).

It's got class and style, though. I fell in love with the small details in the drawers and its solid, dainty legs.

But before I go straight to the "after," let me explain why we chose to paint. And why we chose to paint distressed blue. We thought about sanding and refinishing the piece, but we were afraid we'd sand away the floral details in the wood because they were just as deep as some of the scratches it had. Then we decided on blue simply because it would fit perfectly into our bedroom. Easy as that!

And we love it!

Close up of some of the details

Giving it a distressed look:
Painting a piece of furniture in a distressed finish is one of the best ways to maintain its old charm but still give it a fresh new look. Before you begin to paint, you should add small spots of vaseline where you want the natural wood to stand out.

After doing this, simply paint the entire piece of furniture.  When it has dried, you can wipe off the spots where you placed the vaseline. It works wonders!  The benefit to using vaseline is that you can maintain the color of the wood underneath the paint, instead of sanding it to bare wood. We did use a 220 grit piece of sand paper to help touch up a few of the spots.

To dress up the vanity, we spent $15 on the following accessories:

$5 rusty bird cage
$5 rusty broken chandelier
$5 fresh flowers

The rusty bird cage housed a dirty little junkerbird named Alfred (I feel compelled to name every fake and real animal that enters our home...). I brushed the cage with a brillo pad to remove some of the rust and then spray painted it a hammered brown (okay, Pete did because the paint fumes probably aren't safe for pregnant ladies). Then Alfred got a sponge bath and is now a beautiful, dirty blue. Here he is before and after:

After. I guess he looks appetizing all cleaned up ;)

We picked up the broken chandelier from the Antique Faire yesterday. It needed new wiring and we added a light cage to the top. We painted this in the same finish as the bird cage. We'll post more about this chandelier soon!

Now I'll be blogging in style on my beautiful "new" desk!