I was commissioned to do this piece by someone from Craigslist. She had contacted me originally about a TV stand I was a-sellin’ that ended up not living to see the light of day, due to a Gorilla Glue mishap. Suffice it to say, the would-have-been-tv-stand-buyer and I remained in email contact, and as it turns out, she needed a desk. She sent me a picture of one that she liked, here it is:
Just days later, while I was doing some errands, in a not-so-good neighborhood in Chicago known as K-town (for Kill town) I found it. The desk that would become hers.
When I found this desk, its striking resemblance to the one my buyer, Sonya, had sent me stopped me in my tracks. I had to acquire it no matter what. It was in an alley, in someone’s backyard with a bunch of junk, so I don’t know if I was technically trespassing or if it was the garbage area, but some of it was gated. The desk was behind the gate (i guess that would mean I trespassed), and I got out of the car in this ghetto hood in my fancy dress with tights on, and thought about climbing the fence. Then I noticed that the neighbors had pitbulls – and not the friendly ones. In essence, I had to work fast, and I was at risk. Gunfire could transpire at anytime. I grabbed that desk, grabbed three of the four drawers, and figured i’d come up with a solution for the missing drawer. It was just too far and the gate was locked. I tried driving around front to trespass from that angle, but the gate was locked there too.
I got the desk home, and had to figure out what to do with it.
Happily, I realized I needed to use.. the saw. I sawed the crap right out of that place on the right where a little drawer would have been, pulled/unscrewed any remainder pieces, and immediately created more leg room. Nobody would ever know that a drawer had once been there.
Then I simply had to clean all that crap on top of it. I wanted to retain the neutral ivory-tone of the desk, and Sonya had told me she loves metallics, so I thought I’d keep the gold trim too. She also told me she wanted something with pastels, particularly coral, as that would match the room she was putting it in.
So I got out some Benjamin Moore paints that I already had in the house, that industriously, I had found in an alley as well, and sent her the color palette for approval, which I received. I then decided each drawer would be painted a different color, and the top drawer would be coral to pronounce its presence. I also repainted the entire base with a very neutral beige-gray paint from Behr (which I also found – crazy huh?). I’d like to take this opportunity to say that paint brand/quality does indeed make a difference. These paints looked beautiful, and went on smoothly. By comparison, some of the Rust-oleum paint I use, which is cheap, doesn’t look-a so good. Although I suppose it sometimes depends on its purpose.
After painting the base and the drawers, I then repainted the trim with a metallic gold (WHICH I ALSO FOUND), let everything dry, and put a protective top coat on (which I bought). Note: I had been making a mistake in the past, putting top coat for stain over paint. So I asked at Home Depot what to use over paint, and they gave me actually a Rust-oleum Paint Cover. Shit takes some time to dry, but is definitely worth it both for the protection it provides and the polished look achieved.
The final touch would be the knobs. This required an emergency trip to Anthropologie, as Sonya was on her way, because I discovered that the knobs I planned to use had broken. This desk would be all about the shabby chic differing knobs on each drawer. The top and bottom drawers have Anthropologie knobs, and the middle drawer has one of the antique original knobs that came with the desk when I found it. Looks very cool, methinks!
Sonya was so happy with her beautiful desk, she decided to take a glamour shot on it.
Sonya was also kind enough to send me a picture of the desk in its new home.
So, I am now available for commissions. woot!