Thursday, August 19, 2010

DIY Transformation: From Crusty Ole' Cabinet to Fly Lookin' Desk

When I moved into the Luck Cabin there was this one old cabinet that was no longer attached to the wall... just sitting empty next to my front door. At some point I had slid it across the room and started using the top as a spot to prop up my laptop and do all things internet related (like dis' blog!) After a while it dawned on me that I could add some legs to the thing and actually use it as a desk - and by flipping it over it would make the perfect flip top storage desk!
(Thanks to Bort for the idea of having it open on top, to resemble a kid's school desk.)
  • a long tree log to cut four legs
  • 8 screws (to attach 4 log legs to cabinet)
  • old cabinet
  • milk paint
  • sponge brush & matte knife & paper cut outs (for decorating)
STEP ONE: The Legs!
My uncle helped me attach the legs to the cabinet - the best way to do this is to be able to set the cabinet up on something that is the height of the legs, that way screwing in the hardware to hold them in place is much easier.
The other thing that needs to be right is each leg needs to be the same length, and FLAT/parallel on the top & bottom --- this may take a little extra effort when you are working with organically shaped logs rather then perfectly straight manufactured wood.
STEP TWO: The Stencils & Drawings!
I used a negative or relief technique to get the shapes i wanted - in stead of using silhouettes, i cut out the shapes and taped them down to the surface of the desk. I wanted to keep the light green/mint/pastel color that was already on there - and used black Milk Paint as my top coat color to carefully paint over the shapes. (Most of ya'll know by now I am in love with milk paint!! It is interesting to work with plus totally non toxic and bio-degradable!)
As the surface of the black paint was drying on top the old toxic mint colored paint, I decided to use the black paint like a scratch board and cut into the slightly moist black color with a matte knife - in this way i could draw back into the paint!!! Super fun. (I think the scratch method into milk paint is something that could be taken alot further....)
I did three sides and the top with relief pictures/stencils and drawings-here are what they looked like (above and below) as I was working on them- with the paint partly wet....
(i was going with a nature/primitive drawing theme.)
Hell yeah :)
And I ended it with a vague quip on the front....

The top opens up, just as planned... what do ya'll think I should hide in my special desk?
All done and shoved into it's corner in the cabin, ready to have a laptop on top and me sitting in front. I think it rocks!!


Stephanie Rogers said...

Droooool. This is one rad adaptive reuse project! I love the way you think.

Kittie Howard said...

Stephanie said it all, I mean, WOW, what an amazing finished project. Girl, you rock!