Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Side Tables Turned Desk

This particular DIY took a bit of a detour, as my projects often do. I started with these Pier 1 side tables that had seen better days. 
They were particularly tall for side tables and way too narrow to sit nicely beside a couch or bed without wobbling, so I decided to turn them into a desk for our office/guest room.  All of my teaching takes place online so I just need a comfortable spot to park my lap top that is out of the way of our curious toddler. 

Using a 16"x72" stainable wood panel that I picked up at Lowes (I used the same panel for our floating cubby buffet) Dan helped me cut it down to 52".
This is where the detour began. My original intent was to paint the whole unit white. But I found the white paint didn't do much for the piece or the room. After sitting on this solution for a couple days I had the brilliant idea to add gold leaf (technically I used composition gold leaf) to the edges of the desk top, shelves, and drawer fronts. I love a little gold. It was a fun and artsy process that I enjoyed, I've never worked with gold leaf but the end result felt a little too Donald Trump for my liking, too much gold makes me think of the billionaire (and money doesn't always buy taste).
There really is a fine line between fun gold accents in a room and gaudy. Unfortunately, I had hit the gaudy mark with this one and knew the white and gold HAD to go. That's when Dan's design advise popped into my head, "Paint it Black." Forget the glitz and glam of white and gold and go with classic black (I really do prefer classic to glitz and glam anyways).

A little sanding removed the gold leaf and as long as I was experimenting with new mediums I went with black enamel. Jenny Komenda from Little Green Notebook had used enamel to paint her laminate bathroom cabinets and I loved how much shine and depth it offered.

I found enamel to be easy to work with, it's like paint just thicker (and smells much worse). The thickness helped conceal the fact that the side tables were made of MDF and the desk top wood,  they now have a unified look.

My new desk is nice and slim and offers just the right amount of space to work without taking over the room. I learned how much more powerful gold is in small doses (preferably in vintage pieces). And as Dan pointed out the desk is the same color as before (although technically those side tables were a deep chocolate brown and now it's classic black with a bit of shine)!

For more on this space check out the office chair update and no-sew curtain DIY.

UPDATE 10/10/13: check out my desks new home as a media console in our living room.



  1. That looks great, and easy to do! Good idea.

    1. Thank you! It was easy, the hardest part was picking the right paint ( :

  2. Hello, I've just happened to read this article and it really interested me. I want to build an new chair now. Mary S. Hernandez


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...