Help! What Color Should I Paint My New Desk?

I decided to change up a corner of my room. Here’s what it had looked like until now:

IMG_440809555It’s cozy looking, but I never sat in the chair, so it was pretty much just a dust catcher. So I decided to put a desk there instead. I probably won’t sit at the desk (I’ve never liked using desks), but it’ll be nice to keep stationery supplies in/on it. And I had an old desk from my grandparents lying around, so it’s free!

Ain’t she cute?

IMG_440814818But I can’t decide what color to paint it, so you should help me!

Here are the options I’m considering:

1. White

Under The Table and Dreaming: Home Office and Work Space Ideas & Inspiration | 75 Creative Desk Areas(100+) desk |New office with prints from @Sarah Chintomby Tolzmann @Inslee Haynes Haynes and Southern Weddings Shop via Etsy

2. Robin’s Egg Blue

Love the blue desk and contrasting wood shelves in this modern home office nookThis is clever, very clever.  I would make my closet into my sewing area!  Maybe than I would be able to do more sewing because I wouldn't have to take my sewing machine off the kitchen table every time I want to work on a project!boys room, locker for storage, ive seen these at habitat for humanity

3. No paint!

15 Beautiful and Inspiring Workspaces | Apartment Therapytumblr n2qg9xMw6Y1rqeb09o1 1280 620x413 70 Inspirational Workspaces & Offices | Part 21wooden desk with metal stool and red typewriter

5 Things to Consider:

1. My room is in the attic, where there are sloping ceilings and few windows, so it tends to be a bit darker up here. Having a lighter colored desk is appealing for that reason.

2. I like the clean, sleek look of the white. But white shows dirt easily and I tend to get a little bored with white.

3. The Robin’s Egg Blue is a color I have running throughout my house (lots of light blue, aqua, and turquoise, with yellow accents). I love it, but I might get sick of it at some point. I think it would be super cute, but it might be good to go with something a little more neutral and a little less twee..?

4. I almost always dislike brown wood. (If I’m going to have something wood, I’d prefer it to be kind of grayish ashy, like distressed barn wood.) So I do like the idea of keeping it unpainted because it’s more neutral and “grown up”, but I just don’t know how much I’m going to like having that color wood around forever. It’s also kind of dark for this attic.

5. The finish is imperfect. It’s an old desk, so it’s all scraped up. It’s not terrible (I wouldn’t be annoyed by it if I kept it as is), but it justifies painting it (in my opinion).

IMG_440812802So what do you think? Any preferences? Or do you think I should do something else altogether? And either way, should I do something funky with it like a stencil, two-tone paint, gold accents, etc.?

Hiding Your Router (or anything else)

So! You have an ugly router or some other digital device or object that cannot be moved, but that you can’t stand looking at every day. I had this problem recently, so I set about trying to fix it. (Turns out, I found another solution, but I still went through the trouble of making this whole thing, so I want to get credit for it!)

I decided to make a stack of fake books, a la this:

Hide your router.

I’ve seen this picture many times before, but I’ve never seen a tutorial, so I decided to make one!

Step One:

Measure the device that you want to hide (the width, depth, and height are all important) and the space that you want to use to hide it (e.g. the shelf, table, etc. that you are going to place it on).

Step Two:

Obtain some books. I found all of my books at a local antiques store. You can find cheap books anywhere (thrift stores, Goodwill, etc.), but you may have to pay a little more if you want them to look a certain way. (Mine were about $4 each.)

Photo (24)Make sure that they add up to be the correct width to hold your device, keeping in mind that you will lose some width when you deconstruct them. You may also want to think about how they all look together (i.e. maybe you want them all in the same color family, or you want the titles to relate to one another).

Last, it will be helpful to find books with loose bindings, if at all possible. For example, you will want to avoid books like those on the left (pages pretty firmly bound to the spine), and opt more for books like those on the right (I found that pages bound with that thread band on top tend to be looser):

Photo (21)

Or if you find one that’s already kind of coming apart, that’s would be great. This one came apart like buttah:

Photo (23)

Step 3:

Find a cardboard box or some other container that matches the general size of the device that you’re hiding. Make sure everything (your device, your book line-up, and the box) is about the right size.

Step 4:

Cut the pages out of the books. I used a box cutter, you could also use an x-acto knife or something similar. There was really no special trick to this. The hardest part was just going for it and making the first cut (cutting up books definitely feels sacrilegious).

Photo (19) - CopyFor the first and last book of the line-up, you will want to keep the outside book covers as well as the spine. For the books in the middle, you will just want the spines.

Step 5:

Glue the book pieces to the cardboard box. I used craft glue, you could also try a glue gun or rubber cement. This was more of an art than an exact science. Sometimes I put the glue on the book spine itself, but most of the time I put the glue on the cardboard box and just pressed the spines onto it. I also put glue in between the spines to get them to stick to one another. Try not to smash the spine down onto the box too much, because you still want the spine to look puffy like it still has pages inside.

Photo (20)

Photo (22)Step 6:

Let dry. This depends on the type of glue that you use, but I just let mine sit over night.

Step 7:

Place your device inside, and voila!

Photo (19)

 Bonus project!

I got a few really cool looking covers, so at some point I’d like to frame them and just have them up on a wall.

Photo (26)

 

 

PAINTSPLOSION!

It’s been a while since I made a new post because I have been very busy being a painting maniac. I think I’ve finally finished all of the main paint projects I’ve had on my to-do list.

And here they are!

1. Painting a dress! I found this dress/top/tunic thing at Target and I fell in love. It’s the perfect fit, it’s super soft, super comfy. It was just a little plain. So …I bought three of them. Because I’m insane. And left one plain and patterned the other two. Love em!

2. I needed to put something on my wall, and I really like that old window frame look, so I found an old window in my basement, cleaned it, and sprayed the glass with a reflective spray paint (Krylon Looking-Glass Paint), and now it’s this nicely aged mirror thing.

3. I’ve had this dresser for almost 20 years, and it’s great, but unattractive. I wanted to paint it, but was nervous because it’s completely laminate. Very plastic-y. But I found this tutorial, and basically just bought the exact stuff she used, and followed her instructions (for the most part). I never have the patience to wait in between coats long enough, so my dresser has some imperfections, but it’s good enough for me.

4. Been wanting to paint this little bathroom cubby since I bought this house 4 years ago. Finally did it! And this is a plain ol’ Ikea table I got years ago.

5. Boring black tv trays. Must make everything Aqua-colored!!!

6. Boring Target tv stand. So much prettier now!

Whew! Okay, now I can get on with my life. And catch up on all of my tv shows.

Look What I Did!

Dresser 2I just painted this hutch thingy! Boy do I love Before and Afters. Here’s the before:

Dresser 4It belonged to my grandparents, and after both of them had passed away, I received a few of their wonderful pieces of furniture. This one had been in my garage for a while, because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. But I had some left over paint from another project (I’ll show you that project someday soon), so I dragged this out, and got it started!

Dresser 5It had one of these fantastic drop-down lids, and became a desk. I really like it this way, but I would never use it as a desk, and I didn’t want to keep it closed at all times, so I decided to remove the lid and storage shelf (which was broken, see above pic). I kept them, in case I decide to add them back someday.

Dresser6I would have felt pretty bad about painting this if it were in really good condition, but the varnish/lacquer/whateverthiswouldbe needed to be updated anyway. And I don’t like large chunks of brown in my house, so I had to change the color.

Dresser 1Ahh chevron. I might have to change the pattern someday when chevron becomes just so “last season” that I can’t even stand to look at it anymore. But for the moment, I really like chevron (trends are trends for a reason, no?…usually). I ended up kind of marking out a grid onto the desk with a pencil and ruler, and then laying the tape down to fit into the grid (to ensure that my stripes weren’t off-kilter or poorly proportioned). Don’t know about you, but I can never get painter’s tape to work properly for me. So after pulling it up, I went back in with a tiny brush and fixed up a bunch of spots.

The white outlines on the drawers were a pain in the neck!! I couldn’t use tape or a ruler or anything since they’re not straight (I was outlining ridges that were already on the drawers), so I just had to freehand it. Which took forEVER. And if you look at them closely in person, you can definitely tell it’s hand-done. But it’s good enough for me.

Dresser 3Final Thoughts!!

This was my first time painting furniture (I know! What a newbie!!), so it was really fun to figure this stuff out. I haaaaate painting (like painting walls), so I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to this, but it was soo easy and quick!

Just how easy? Here are my steps:

1. Remove hardware, clean item (I just used a wet paper towel and then dried with a cloth).

2. Paint it! I used just some gray paint with primer in it from Home Depot (it was actually exterior paint, because it was from a previous project). I did about two coats. It probably took me about a half an hour (aside from the chevron and outlining on the drawers…that’s a whole other story).

No, I did no sanding. I know! The surface wasn’t super slick or anything, so I didn’t feel it was necessary (and I’m lazy), and it seems to have worked out just fine. Now I’m looking around my house at the million other things that I can paint. PAINT ALL THE THINGS!!!