Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Being Brave and Painting Laminated Furniture

Since we moved into our house a year ago, I have wanted a sewing/crafting desk.  I loathe lugging my sewing machine out of an upstairs closet, hauling it (+supplies) downstairs & spreading stuff all over the dining room whenever I want to work on a project.  Thus, I don't end up using my sewing machine as often as I would like to & have neglected to make several wedding/baby gifts over this past year that I WANTED to do, but didn't get around to doing.  I have decided that I am going to remove the dresser out of our "kid guest room" to make room for a craft center.  Finding a functional piece of furniture for a price that I am willing to pay is proving to be more of a challenge than I was anticipating. When I was out in the garage the other day--it hit me...

The "beautiful" 1970's laminated student desk & hutch that is currently sitting in our garage would be PERFECT...if it wasn't so dang ugly & outdated. This was my husband's desk growing up, and up until a couple months ago it was still adorably stuffed with souvenirs from his childhood like cub scout memorabilia & grade school notes.  We were basically going to be giving this piece of furniture away at our garage sale...so why not try painting it?

The desk in its natural, buried state in the garage
(Yes...that is a R2D2 fish tank...and 1 of our kayaks)
I have heard over & over again in my life that "you can't paint laminated furniture." Apparently the paint doesn't like to stick or the finish looks weird?  So I'm hesitating about this upcoming process, since the desk is a combination of hardwood & laminated wood.  Luckily, others have stepped into this territory before me.  In a Google search earlier this week I came across these instructions on an awesome blog called Living with Lindsay, which was also mentioned on Lifehacker (I heart Lifehacker!).  She gives great instructions on her experience on painting laminated furniture.  Hopefully my attempt turns out half as beautiful!

So stay tuned on the updates on this project.  Unfortunately, it looks like this project is going to be about a month in the works by the time I:
1) clean the piece [hello garage spiders. Ick.]
2) Sand the entire thing
3) Prime it & let it cure for 7 days
4) Paint 1-2 coats & let it dry
5) Convince the Hubs to help me haul it up 2 sets of stairs

I can't lie--I know this project will frustrate me, but I'm really excited about it.  This will be the first piece of furniture I truly transform.  I have refinished/refurbished 2 antique pieces, but I've never "re-imagined" a piece of furniture.  My mind is running on this one...I will keep everyone updated on the progress.  For now, I will leave you some "before" detail shots (complete with dust, junk, etc).

Ahh...laminate + hardwood...this will be fun
(& a large amount of vases leftover from our wedding...)

Ah--tacky brass pulls. Love it.
These will be pulled & the holes filled in.

And the grand finale...

Yes--you are seeing it correctly, this desk has half-dollar sized  faux-screws ALL over it.
 Thankfully these pop off pretty easily & just leave some glue to sand off.
I want to know what 1970's furniture designer thought
"hey, I know what will class this up a bit--giant-sized screws!"

No comments:

Post a Comment