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Monday, October 19, 2009

Evolution of a Desk...

We have shared various DIY projects with you- some that were an immediate (and easy) success, and others that were a little more of a challenge.  Generally they have turned out well, without too much stress and heartache.  But lest you think they are all so easy...

Enter this off-white desk/ vanity.  I purchased it with the intention of painting it to use in my bedroom.  It also came with a little upholstered stool.  I loved the "louis" lines of it- a striking contrast from the parsons desks you see so often (I love them as well!). 




I had been inspired by this Roche Bobois coffee table I had seen a while back.  It had similar lines to my vanity (and a much higher price tag), and I loved their use of a fun color on such a formal piece of furniture.



I have green and blue in my bedroom, and I thought coral would provide a fun pop of color.  I was wrong.  I really think that for bedrooms in particular, too many colors can make the room feel schitzophrenic and not so soothing.  More on that later.

I went to Home Depot and picked out what I thought was the perfect coral color.  This was my first time painting a piece of furniture with a brush rather than with spray paint.  Let the record show that spray paint is 10000000 times easier.  If you can find a spray paint color you like, definitely definitely choose spray paint over using a paintbrush, for furniture at least. 

 For whatever reason, the Behr Youthful Coral I purchased showed up as bubblegum pink.  Awful.  I truly cannot imagine how this could be called coral, but it was.  I honestly wonder if it was not mixed correctly, because there is nothing coral about it. 


So, back to the paint store.  This time I headed to Sherwin Williams, where I have had better success in the past with choosing colors.  They usually have a "designer" (?) on staff who can direct you.  The color I chose at Sherwin Williams was Coral Bells, which ended up being a much truer "coral."



I cannot emphasize how much more work it is to paint furniture with a brush.  Just to get the color even, not have any drippage, etc, is so much more difficult than with spray paint.  I had to do about 4 coats to get it even, which involved yet another trip back to the paint store.

Of course it started to rain, so I had to bring everything inside to finish it in my kitchen.




And the finished product.  I thought I was happy with it.  I recovered the bench in my drapery fabric- green Bamboo Garden from P.Kaufman.  You can see my wall color and the bench fabric to get an idea of the colors in my bedroom.  After about a week of the coral vanity, I realized that I hated it.  I think a pop of color is great in certain rooms, but not really in a bedroom.  Sure there are exceptions, but coral just did not work in my room.  Of course painting the desk had been so much more work than I ever expected that I really really put off doing it again.




But this weekend, I decided I couldn't live with that coral any longer.  I thought that without the bench, the vanity could definitely work as a desk in my living room.  I have always loved this Amy Fine Collins desk- it is more ornate than mine, but it still is similar.


So I decided to paint the desk black and use it in my living room instead of in my bedroom. 

First step was to put primer all over that lacquery coral.



Next- to paint it black.  I used a basic black gloss spray paint.  It could not have been easier.



And the finished product- so far I am quite happy with how it turned out.  I may end up using some gold paint around the edges so it is more ornate like the Amy Fine Collins desk above.  But for now, this fits into my home and my life alot better than the shiny coral.


Here is the whole view.  It's funny how seeing a photograph puts things in perspective- I know I need to lower that birdcage a bit. 


I am trying to decide if I like the ghost chair as the desk chair, or if the styles are just way too different.  What do you think?


So three paint jobs later, I finally have a piece of furniture I am happy with.  Have you had a similar experience?  Tell us about it!  DIY projects can be a challenge- sometimes it takes a few tries to get it just right!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow- looks SO sophisticated in black! Coral definitely sounds fun in theory but black you will never get sick of!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

It is soooo disappointing when a project doesn't turn out as you saw it in your mind's eye. I really like the way the black paint changed the look. It looks terrific.

DAM said...

I dig the Starke chair with the desk, both traditional designs, but in a modern finish - clear Lucite and lacquered black.

How did you get it to have such a high shine?

The Matters of Style Girls said...

DAM- I used just basic Krylon black gloss spray paint. I guess it is just the "gloss" that made it so shiny (which is exactly what I wanted). It almost looks lacquered, right?

Jaime said...

Wow fabulous piece and fabulous DIY makeover! I like the coral but the black looks amazing too- much more practical I think. :)

Soma Pradhan said...

I adore the black! As for the ghost chair, I almost want it to be clear, or stark white. Oh, and I love the bench fabric!

spark! (Ada-Marie) said...

I love the black -- looks fabulous. Bravo!

central bark designs said...

Love the black. Classic. And thanks to you - my leopard print flats from Target just arrived! And they are Fab!

Julie said...

It looks beautiful! It's definitely worth the work, and I think you'll be much more satisfied with the black!

Sparrow's Nest said...

I can totally identify. Sometimes the ones that look like the easiest are the troublemakers in disguise.

Jenn said...

Wow, that looks amazing. I'm so impressed with that paint job. I liked the coral, but black definitely looks more sophisticated and will go with anything.

Allyson/HBMomof2 said...

Love the desk in black! Much better choice. I am not a fan of the chair, but I am more of a traditionalist. I might use a shape that is more traditional, but with a funky seat fabric, maybe a black and aqua zebra to pull in the color from the bird cage and make it more modern. Random thought, you could paint a chair gold to highlight the birdcage again and the desk hardware.

Good for you for sticking with it until you are happy. I have never regretted painting my dining room 5 different shades of tan/brown until I was happy. (My husband may disagree with me though.) I am a new reader and I just love your ideas. I will never look at second hand furniture the same again.

Lindsey said...

I like the starck Louis with the black lacquer, but it's looking a little cold. I'd throw a cozy throw or pillow on that chair and change the lampshade to something a little warmer, perhaps a grasscloth shade with a cute tape trim for some color. Xo L

Lindsey said...

I like the starck Louis with the black lacquer, but it's looking a little cold. I'd throw a cozy throw or pillow on that chair and change the lampshade to something a little warmer, perhaps a grasscloth shade with a cute tape trim for some color. Xo L

I Have To Have It said...

Love it! And I love the chair with it--it's a great mix of different styles.

Where did you get the desk? I've been looking for a smallish, non-Parsons desk myself.

Pigtown-Design said...

You could take a gold pen and run it around the top of the table to provide an accent. It looks brilliant with the black lacquer

ashlina said...

oh the joys of the journey....
i am so impressed that you had the guts to continue to change it until you found exactly what you wanted...
you go girl

Brianna said...

love the desk, I have been looking for something similar for my bedroom. I agree that spray painting is soooo much easier

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