Tuesday, 2 December 2014

A refurbished school desk for vintage rustic wedding

Hello! So, I have working on this project for a month but now I can finally show you! I had this old school desk in storage with the plan of fixing it up someday and then my brother Brett requested it as the signing table at his wedding so someday finally happened!

Here is what it looked like to start off with; I had started trying to take some of the paint off on the corner and discovered that there were at least four layers of paint on it. With further work, Scott and I counted seven different colours of paint! I feel like these pictures don't really give justice to how ugly this desk was. The paint was obviously never sanded back before any of the previous layers so it looked crusty, the inside was a delightful combination of paint and rust, and the whole thing was dirty. Gross.

Scott and I started off by coating everything in paint stripper and then stepped back to watch the magic happen! Spoiler: nothing happened. All the paint stripping videos I'd watched on youtube had shown a wonderful bubbling potion like effect, and all we got was a sticky desk. Disappointing. Nonetheless, we started trying to manually scrape off the paint. I was still finishing uni at this stage, so we were mostly doing this on the weekends and worrying that it wouldn't be finished in time. The weekend before the wedding, we realised that there was no way we were going to get all the paint off, plus we still had to paint and seal it. At this stage, we had most of the paint off the wooden top, but the legs were a streaky mess. Luckily, my dad, Kevin, had just recently found a second hand wire brush attachment for his angle grinder so we made plans to head down to the country a couple of days early and get this desk cleaned up properly!

We had managed to loosen up the paint well enough that we could detach the top from the base; the screws had been painted over so much that they were originally completely invisible under all the layers! With some help from the angle grinder, orbital sander, and belt sander, we finally removed all the paint. I swear I heard some of kind of angelic chorus at this stage! 

We painted over the metal again (it was almost physically painful) because otherwise it would have rusted and all that work would have been for nothing! The paint we chose included a primer, is made to prevent rust, and was a very close match for the colour of the bare steel. You can see the hinges and some of the screws in this picture; they were so coated in layers of paint that we had to use the wire brush attachment to grind it all off and, for the screws, file deeper notches in the heads so a screwdriver could actually be properly used on them! Shoutout to Kevin for working that one out! ~___^

We used a sanding sealer on the wooden top of the desk which deepened the colour of the wooden into this lovely golden shade. Since Brett and Lavinya's wedding aesthetic was vintage rustic, we didn't putty up the scrapes in the desk. This desk has gone through a couple of generations of school kids and we wanted that to be evident! ^___^

There is still some work to be done on it though; we painted the desk Thursday afternoon and figured with a 4 hour suggested drying time it would be fine for Friday afternoon. But, it was very cloudy and humid and when it was moved to the ceremony location some of the paint got scuffed up >____< Also, one of the inner corners of the lid is badly damaged and the hinge couldn't be properly attached. So, after the ceremony (which was beautiful!) the desk went back to live in Kevin's shed for a while; I'm hoping to visit again before Christmas and finish up these last remaining touches.

It does look so much better though, Mum and Scott are both wanting to take it home now! I guess we'll have to wait and see who wins this bit of furniture tug-of-war ~___^ Also, can we just stop for a minute to admire Anne and Kevin's garden? The grass was legitimately that green! Brett and Lavinya's reception was held in mum and dad's garden so they did heaps of work on it and it looks gorgeous!

I did make one other small thing for the wedding; Anne had this vintage suitcase for guests to leave their cards in, but it needed a little something-something. I used baker's twine, chipboard letters and hearts, gold paint, and a scrap of hessian to make this little banner. I felt very lucky to be able to sit down and mess about with craft supplies while everyone else was working so hard! But don't worry, I chipped in more afterwards ~___^

As per usual, I completely forgot to take any photos on the actual day! One of Anne's friends, Michele, took this photo of the back veranda where we all had dinner. Almost 70 people were seated here; good thing my parents are fans of a big veranda area!

Anne snapped this photo of Scott and I just after the ceremony; I'm not sure what we're giggling about. Perhaps what a high refraction index my pale, pale skin has?

And, of course, I remembered to take a selfie ~___^ My curls lasted for so long, all I did for the next four days was gently brush them back into place and they looked so great! For my hair this is seriously low maintenance, I want to get my hair set every week now! ~___^

I love weddings; it was so nice to see all my family fancied up and having fun together! I am hoping that the professional photos turn out well so I can have photographic evidence of how well we all scrub up ~___^

I'm quite sure my brother doesn't read my blog, but nonetheless; another big congratulations to Brett and Lavinya!

- Lisa xx


Amy said...

What a lovely post! :)
Amy xx

Perfect Imperfections

Lisa said...

Thanks Amy! I love weddings, they're always so lovely! ^___^