Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Art of the Thrift: Before and After edition

I have been busy working on all kinds of projects lately! So I thought I would take some time to give you a little preview of what’s been going on. Between weekly thrifting and alley furniture rescue, I have a pretty good selection of DIY projects to get done this month. When shopping at thrift stores, I often find myself looking at an object and thinking “I know what this is…but what else could you do with it?”. The same thing happens when I'm looking for furniture. First, I check to make sure that it is not severely damaged. If its going to take too many hours to spruce up I usually wait to find something better quality. Next I check for sturdiness. A worthy piece of furniture is only as good as how long it will last and how much you will be able to use it. And lastly I check the price. I like to find pieces that are inexpensive so there is more room to make some money back; or to get my own money's worth out of it (I know that sounds bad, but you’ve got to take care of yourself also). I do find that the less expensive pieces usually need a little bit of extra TLC, but that’s the fun part for me. So this brings us to the main event. The “before” and “after”...

So I had been looking for my perfect "dream desk" ever since I went to college. It seems like desks these days are all leaning toward that industrial, office-y feel. Not for me. I am into furniture pieces that are more on the vintage looking side, but unfortunately a vintage desk will run into the $100-300.00 price ranges. Also not for me. Over the Summer I was out with my boyfriend on one of our weekly thrift trips and I saw it...the most beautiful perfect dream desk ever (and it was only $25.00, I love half off days)! Well it was not exactly beautiful...

The last person to own this desk tried to do some kind of artsy polka dot theme with it. They used thick acrylic paint that you would use on a painters canvass. And it was coated in polyurethane. Awful. I decided that it had to be rescued. I spent hours sanding off the poly and scraping off the acrylic polka dot blobs. Then all it needed was a few coats of black paint, some wood glue, 2 new drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby and it was like a whole new desk!

I get so many compliments on my new (to me) desk. When that was all finished, I realized that I needed a new chair to go with. I had been using a counter height stool from my kitchen table, but it was far too tall and didn't really go with the desk at all. So it was off to the thrift stores again. I found the chair for only $4.99 at Goodwill. It fit all of my requirements and it was the perfect height for the desk.

Check out this beauty! Hahaha. The kind of piece only an up-thrifter could love! I took that baby home, did some sanding, priming, painting, recovered the seat...

And just like that I had my pretty new chair!

I had so much fun with these projects, and they were easy and inexpensive. I have a small vintage kitchen table, 2 upholstered chairs, a side table and a square coffee table to get finished this month. With my new Dremel 200 series tool I am hoping to get these pieces knocked out fast. I also have a few painting that need touching up and finishing. Hopefully my motivation will keep up and I will be able to share them shortly :)
Peace, love and paintbrushes,