Sunday, December 8, 2013

Boring Desk Refinish - Lego Desk Fun!

My son loves Legos.  He has an insane collection of sets, but the problem is that once he builds them, he doesn't have a good way to store them, so they just get dumped in buckets and never rebuilt.  It drives me crazy because the sets are pricey, and I hate that he only builds them one time.  I've been scouring the good old internet for ideas for Lego tables, but he is almost 10, and everything I find seems geared toward much younger kids.  We rearranged his room last week, and I told him we would go find a desk to refinish for his new Lego table.  

We headed out to my beloved local Re-Store last Wednesday with our fingers crossed.  We wandered around, not falling in love with anything.  There were a few pieces that were just okay, but nothing we really loved.  Eventually we stopped and looked at a roll top desk (which was not what we had in mind), and the more we stood there looking at it, the more potential we saw in it.  It was $60, which was more than we had wanted to spend, but we were there on "Spin the Wheel Wednesday", so we knew we could spin and get anywhere from a 5% to a 40% discount.  We put a hold on it, and then went back later in the day with my husband.  At the checkout, my son spun the wheel and was grinning from ear to ear when it landed on 40% off.  $38 including tax and we were on our way!

The desk only took up space in our garage for a few days and then I had to get to work on it.  Below freezing weather was headed our way, and my husband wanted his parking space back. :)

I started by washing the desk with a damp cloth and then repairing a couple small holes.  I removed all the hardware (my son didn't like any of it because, and I quote, "it looks old fashioned, and I want it to be modern") so I wasn't going to reuse it.

Next I made chalk paint (I mix 2 tbsp unsanded grout in 3 tbsp of water, and then stir it into 1 cup of paint...other projects I've done with chalk paint here, here, and here).  I had the quart of paint on hand from a free offer that Glidden had awhile back.  I used it to refinish an old school desk that is aleady in my son's room, and he wanted the big desk to match it.  I painted two coats, let it dry for a day, and then brushed on a coat of polyurethane (which I had on hand already as well)
 for extra protection.  

Paint and Polyurethane I used...

With two coats of paint...

After Polyurethane

I ordered four 10"x10" Lego base plates from Amazon (they were on sale for $3.94 each) and attached them to the desk using Simply Tacky.  I originally planned to glue them, but liked the idea of using the Simply Tacky product because I wanted to be able to easily remove the plates someday.  I knew using craft glue would make that difficult and worried about potential damage to the wood.  I just peeled little bits off, pressed them to the back of the plates, and stuck them to the desk.  It was easy to re-position them and they are stuck on there well enough that won't lift off when he plays.

The next task was to find hardware for the drawers.  It took a trip to four different stores to find what I was looking for... modern, yet appropriate for a boy's room.  I found that things were either very ornate, or silver, or I couldn't get handles and knobs that matched.  Finally found triumph at Home Depot and it only cost me $11.51 for five knobs and four handles.  

As soon as I had the knobs on, my son went right to filling the drawers and setting up his minifigures, so I didn't get a picture before everything was added.  Here is the final, and much loved product.  This was definitely one of my favorite projects that I've done so far.

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