I've been on the hunt for a vanity for quite a while now. I've scoured Craigslist and local thrift stores and consignment shops. I've looked at traditional vanities and chunky desks. It was just that nothing seemed quite right. Or it was too expensive. Or I was unsure of how it would look next to my early century antique dresser. I finally pulled the trigger last weekend and bought a cheap $30 desk off of Craigslist. I knew I could give it a makeover. It didn't look too much like a desk. It's "leggy-ness" went well with my dresser.
The desk was a reddish color and the top and sides were laminated with a plastic coating. It was soooo glossy! My first task was to get all that gunk off using a sander. It was a messy job. I was so scared of breathing in plastic dust and getting cancer that I wore 4 layers of scarves over my face and still held my breath as much as possible. You can't be too careful. Once I got the laminate sanded enough that it'd take some paint, I moved on to the legs. The legs were just varnished so I used deglosser I had left over from when I refinished our kitchen cabinets last year. I never posted that before and after.....sorry! I'll do it. Eventually.....
Once everything was sanded and deglossed (just look at the difference in those two photos above. Exact same angle, exact same section of the desk top, no more reflection!), I was ready to start painting. I found some cans of old paint in our garage left over from whenever the previous owners painted the house. The color was "white dove." I painted the first layer. As you can see in the photo below, there was a lot of dark showing through. It ended up taking 4 coats of paint to cover all the dark and make it look smooth and consistent. I used a fine grit sand paper to sand everything between the third and fourth coats. Then I sanded the desktop one last time and applied a clear coat to the top.
Oh, and about those new drawer pulls. They were the only ones at Home Depot with the right distance between the screw shafts. Luckily, I like them. And, luckily, the brushed nickel also matches the drawer knobs on my dresser. Win win.
Now, it's a vanity! Soon I'll have my boudoir/dressing room/my half of the bedroom completely done and ready for a full reveal. I can't wait!