October 9, 2016

Weekend Closet Makeover (Before & After!)

Disclaimer: This project is sponsored, unknowingly, by my wonderful mother in law, who gives me all over her left over paint samples. Carol, I sincerely appreciate your indecisiveness when it comes to choosing colors. xoxo

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One of the projects I have been talking about doing for months is making myself an office space somewhere in the house. I wanted a designated location for bill paying, occasional blog writing, and a spot I can set up my work laptops (I have two!) on the evenings or weekends I catch up on work. The need for the space grew exponentially when I landed a fantastic project at my job, one that allows me to work from home several days a week. So rather than working each night until 8pm at the kitchen table, I designated a couple of weekends to get down to it and build my office.

But where?

Here:

My craft closet.

In the earliest stages of Wall Bed, I decided I wanted a convertible room. My hope was to have a space that was fluid and easily transformed into whatever I needed at the moment. Guest room? Check. Craft room? Check. Library? Yes. Office? Why not!

My original plan was to add a built in desk to the closet, with a few shelves and a power supply, where I could set up shop and still maintain a reasonable - preferably organized - storage space for my abundance of craft glue, sewing utensils, candle making gear, and glitter. And I have a LOT of glitter. But my plans changed a bit when a few weeks ago, Matt sent me a picture of this desk, left on the corner by a neighbor who clearly did not see its worth:



Lovely isn't it? We hauled it from the neighbors house to our garage where it sat for a few weeks while I decided what to do with it. My first thought was to update, re-stain and sell it (and heaven knows I may still do that), but it occurred to me that it would make the perfect working desk instead.

So to start, I sanded the whole desk using 80 and 120-grit sandpaper and my orbital sander (this bad boy from Black and Decker - which I absolutely love!) to remove previous stains and to rough up the paint so that the new coat - a left over sample, thank you very much - could be used over it. [A note about sanding: always sand in the direction of the grain!] The color I settled on for the body of the desk is Lazy Gray from Valspar. It's a silver-y gray purple and is complementary to my Wall Bed Room, which is a purple hue.



For the top, I smoothed it down with a 220-grit sandpaper and attempted to stain with the Classic Gray that Minwax makes. Confession: I am totally head over heels for the weathered, beachy look and I cannot shut it off. Sadly though, the wood didn't absorb the color well and it ended up looking splotchy and dirty, as opposed to weathered and I just didn't like it. So I sanded again and chose their Red Oak color, which we had laying around from a prior project. The color was luscious and a medium dark which shows the grain of the wood beautifully.

Minwax Classic Gray
Minwax Classic Gray
Minwax Red Oak
 After the paint and stain had both had a few days drying time, I covered the entire desk with Minwax's polycrilic which I prefer to polyurethane, as it isn't supposed to yellow over time. I did three coats, sanding light between, to give it a smooth finish.

I then replaced the original knobs with these resin ones that Matt picked out from Hobby Lobby.

Then came the closet portion. I dreaded pulling everything out of the closet, simply for the fact that I didn't have anywhere else to store it while I worked. But with all my junk spread on the floor, I was able to start the process of putting my closet office in motion. Matt stepped in and did much of the prepping and painting process, as while this was going on, I was frantically cleaning the house in anticipation of some lovely dinner guests. He prepared the closet by pulling down the shelf that was in place and patching the holes with spackle. While we waited for it to dry, we drove to Lowe's and picked up a couple of shelves and brackets. I decided on two large shelves, and a smaller, corner shelf (this one - which is also available at Target!).


Matt quickly painted the closet a bright yellow [another on-hand sample courtesy of my MIL! called Concord Buff] and let it dry awhile, following up shortly after with a second coat. After several hours of drying time, he hung the shelves by first marking the heights I wanted them, followed by marking three points along the length (starting from the center, outward), firmly screwing in wall anchors, and securing the shelves in place. He was also kind enough to move the desk into the closet for me, by removing two of the legs and reattaching once the desk was in place.



I followed up with a shopping spree at Marshall's and Target where I found all of the supplemental goodies:

  • The chair is this one, though I was lucky enough to find it at Marshall's for $50.
  • The bins are these striped ones and these, in navy, from Target (also available here and here).
  • The pen holder is actually a cup that just happened to be the same color as the bins.
  • The painting is one that I found at a garage sale, but you could easily replace with something like this or this or even these
  • The lamp is one I had that Matt's mom gave us. But had I bought one, I would have liked this honey brass desk lamp or maybe this beautiful LED one
  • The flowers are actually my bridesmaids bouquets, similar to the one that I made and talked about here

I was able to categorize and store all of my craft stuff in the bins but I'm not totally finished yet. I'm still debating on whether or not to replace the door with a curtain, and I may still change swap things around and replace the art with something else that I stumble upon, but for my intents and purposes, this is the perfect space. So happy with how it came out!

XOXO

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