Making Goodwill furniture look GOOD

I do like to frequent the Goodwill.  Okay, all thrift stores (including the terrifying DAV, for those of you in Central VA).  Not only can I find clothes for all of us, shoes (usually just for me), and random household items, I can usually spot a quality piece of furniture dumped by someone who had no use for it.

Two weeks ago, Beard and I had gone camping, and on our way back I coaxed him into stopping at Goodwill.  Don’t ask how this works; he’s a sweet man.  I spotted a lightly stained wooden desk for $15.50.  I had been scouting out a desk for myself for several weeks now, since my husband uses all of his desk (and doesn’t share well :-P).  I hmm-ed and haw-ed over this desk for far too long until Beard made the decision for me.  He got a “Sold” sticker from the woman at the register and promised to pick up the desk later in the week.

Of course, I hate light-colored staining.  I don’t know why; it just doesn’t look nice to me at all.  It looks very early 90’s, and we all know how styles in the early 90’s have been praised…

So my solution was I needed to paint this desk.  My color of choice:  black.  Our home has mostly light (almost pastel, but not so gross) colored walls, so black furniture sets it off nicely without making my home look like a Precious Moments book.

I grabbed some supplies for the job at Lowes and Walmart.  I want you to know that I used the absolute cheapest version of things possible for almost every supply.  My husband and I are constantly arguing over price versus value; are more expensive things actually better.  So to test my theory, I used cheap-o stuff.

First, my hand sander:

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A Black and Decker Mouse.  This was the only item purchased at Lowes, and it cost $43.  That may seem really expensive, but honestly, check out some of the other hand sanders some time.  Orbital sanders, for example, start around $50, and though they can be more useful, Beard chose the Mouse for me because the pointed front allows me to get into little corners.  Love it!

From Walmart I acquired my Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Spray Primer in gray.  Since I was painting the desk a dark color, a darker primer allows me to use less coats of paint. 🙂  I also grabbed a quart of Krylon Color Creations Black Satin Finish paint, as well as a 2″ paint brush labeled “Good”, but only because Beard wouldn’t let me get the “Economy” brush.  (On a side note, I was thankful for that.  This brush was actually a lot nicer than I expected.)

Of course, in order to do the job correctly I had my husband help me disassemble the desk, then I was able to get to work sanding it down:

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I didn’t have to take every speck of stain off the wood, just rough it up enough for the priming coat.

Now, I will warn you that I used spray primer.  And I stink at spray painting, so I really just put a good, thick coating on.  If you have any skill at spray painting, do two or three thick coats of primer; it’ll work better.

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Then of course I applied paint.  And more paint.  I ended up with three coats of paint, and no, I didn’t take any in between coat pictures.  That’s because the first two had paw prints on them.  Seriously.  I can’t keep those kitties out of anything.

After letting the final coat dry for at least 24 hours, I had my Builder Beard put the desk back together:

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Pretty shnazzy, huh?

 

Next up:  A mild rant

 

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