Friday, 1 March 2013

Glitter Top Desk / Vanity

I used to have a small vanity table with a stool in my bedroom, that I painted and reupholstered of course. It had no storage, so I kept all my makeup and hair stuff under my sink in the bathroom. This was not very practical, so I decided I needed to upgrade.
I wanted a vanity for my bedroom, but something with enough room for all of my makeup, hair products, nail polish, etc. (And ladies, I am sure you know that can be a lot of stuff!) Researching vanities, most didn’t have the ample storage that I needed. I figure, why not use a desk and make it into/use it as a vanity.
I had been browsing my favourite spot to pick up furniture – kijiji, but wasn’t able to find anything that I was in love with. Was chatting about this with my parents, and they mentioned they had an old desk of my grandfathers that needed a home. And when I checked it out, it was perfect! (And the price even more so – FREE!)
Before picture
This desk was bought I believe in the 1930’s by my maternal great-grandmother for my grandfather. She thought if he had a nice desk, it would encourage him to study more. Wrong! (Sorry great-grandma!) But now this desk has been passed along to me, with a great story behind it.
Got the desk into my workroom (aka the kitchen/livingroom of my condo) , it has some water damage to the desk surface and a couple chips taken out of it. As with any furniture redo, start by deconstructing as much as possible. For this one, there was a rail on the back I could remove, pull out all the drawers and remove the hardware. Then, I filled in all the chips with wood putty before sanding the whole thing down.
Water damage on the top
Chip on the side
For my credenza project  (HERE), I had borrowed a friends mouse sander. I decided it was time to invest in one of my own, and for $30, it will save you a lot of time if you are sanding large flat surfaces.
Chips filled in
After I sanded down and cleaned off all the dust, I taped off the surfaces. I had a couple special ideas for this project. I wanted to paint the desk black, but have the inside of the drawers another colour, as a fun surprise pop. I had leftover wall paint from my bedroom in an Oscar de la Renta type pink that would be perfect!
After I painted all the insides of the drawers, then had to retape to paint the outside of the desk black. 
For the top, I also wanted something a little different. I have been envisioning a sparkly table top for a while, so I thought I would try it out. It would also work well for this project to disguise the water damage to the top of the table, some of which was still visible after sanding and painting black as it went pretty deep into the wood.
Rubbing glitter into the top (first method)
The glitter I bought at Michael's. If you are ever shopping there, use a coupon, they always have them. You can even go online and use it from your smartphone. Often they have coupons for 50% off an item of 40% off your entire purchase. Why would you not go online for 2 minutes to save that much?!
Now, I am not going to lie,  the process of creating my sparkly table top was not an entirely smooth one. There was some trial and error, but you guys can learn from my mistakes.
First method of application was to basically paint glue to the top of the table and then rub the sparkles onto it with my fingers. The glue I was using (Gorilla glue) did not enjoy being watered down, so I was using it straight up, so to say. This application technique worked pretty well, but gets the fingers quite messy.
Second application method, I tried mixing the glitter into Mod Podge and painting that onto the surface of the desk with a foam brush. I did not like the result of this, as the Mod Podge took away some of the lustre and effect of the glitter.
View of the top
Third, I was conceiving ways to cover the glitter, or to create a coating over top. Here I tried some epoxy – fail. This stuff was expensive, was not easy to apply, smelled horrendous and was messy (perhaps I am partially to blame there.) The worst part of the epoxy was that it created a glass-like finish over the glitter that removed all of the glitter/sparkly element from it. This I then scrapped off of the desk.
I returned to a technique similar to my first one to cover the desk completely. Or sometimes brushing on glue and sprinkling the glitter in a certain area that needed some spot coverage. I think brushed off the loose-ish glitter by hand.
To seal it all in, I used multiple coats of spray varnish. While this doesn’t give a completely smooth surface like the epoxy would, it lets the glitter retain its sparkle!
To finish off my fabulous desk, I needed some fabulous hardware! These were the most expensive piece of the project, about $6 per knob at the Home Depot. I love them though, they look like little diamonds, and really finish off the piece and add glamour.
Diamond shaped knobs
If you are thinking about doing a glitter or sparkle top desk, feel free to ask me any questions. I love the final result, and can’t wait to get my new makeup battlestation set up! Here are some pictures of the result: 

After picture - drawers closed
After picture - drawers open
Closer view

1 comment:

  1. Love it! And I really, really love that the insides of the drawers are pink - so fun!