Coral anyone?

Q: What do you get for a $1.50 when junking on a beautiful Saturday morning?

A: You get a cute, new shower curtain, a cool, old wooden crate, a spray can of metal primer, 4 matching, wood dining room chairs, a 7ft tall china cabinet complete with glass shelves and doors, and a student desk with spindles!!!!  Geesh….cloud nine!  Such an awesome score!

Obviously, I was totally giddy after my find.  The result was me diving into projects like a fiend!  The first piece I tackled was the desk.


The first step was to remove the old stickers and hardware….cuz the entire piece needed to be hit with a sander…especially the desktop which was the only piece of the desk that was made from press-board (weird)


I used regular primer on the entire piece, except for that weird press-board top.  Since that surface was still pretty slick after a good sanding, I opted to use metal primer on it….I figured it would really adhere to a non-porous surface and make any paint I use afterward stick on tight (after all, nothing worse than Zestin‘ up a piece and then watching the paint just scratch off…ugh, no thank you!)


Now it was time to tackle the ONLY woodworking aspect of this project….the broken-off leg.  The fix was so simple, anyone could do it (with the right drill bit of course).  The first step was grabbing a tall enough spindle from The Home Depot, costing me roughly $10 (which I was happy to pay, since the desk itself I got for free, teehee)

Oh, and I wasn’t too concerned about my spindles not matching…I think it actually became a design aspect of the piece to highlight.


To do this right, you need a 3/4″ dowel and a paddle bit for your drill measuring 3/4″.


First I measured the height of my spindle, to make sure that I wouldn’t have a wobbly table (no bueno)…and I cut off the excess jagged edge of the broken leg.



Then I found the center point of both my spindle and the now sawed-flat, broken-off desk leg and began to drill away.

Ok, and this is a dumb shot!  This drill and bit have some force, but this pic makes it look like the spindle just stood there and took a beating!  I am totally guilty of posing here!!  Ugh.  If I didn’t actually hold the spindle in place, with a bit o’ force, this baby woulda hurled through the air, essentially stabbing my car through the windshield.  (I guess, like reality TV, not all is as it seems 🙂 )


I drilled about an 1 1/2″ into both the leg stump of the desk (seen here) and the new spindle.  Then, I inserted the dowel to mark off the depth (so that I would know where I was going to need to cut).  Muy importante!!  Make sure that you measure both pieces, because you will need to make a cut on your dowel that is the depth of both holes put together.  When all is said and done, this 3/4″ dowel will be the support strength for the new leg.


Make a quick cut….you will only have, roughly, a 3″ piece of dowel that you will be using.


Enter Gorilla Glue (love this stuff).  Squeeze a bit into both of the holes and then insert the dowel and get your desk upright.


Once my leg was on nice and straight, I busted out my power staple gun with it’s 1″ staples.  Securing it all the way around not only added stability for the leg in general, but it gave it the pressure needed while the Gorilla Glue dried.


Note: If you have ever used Gorilla Glue before, then you know that it expands to like 10 times it’s volume as it dries.  Soooo, you need to occasionally check your project as it dries, using a rag to wipe up the glue that will undoubtedly begin to seep out and drip down the leg….this will save you time in sanding, later.

After I let the leg dry and had a chance to hit it with some wood putty and sanding, the piece was finally ready to be painted purdy 🙂


We chose a medium coral for the body and a light coral for the drawer fronts (btw, see that red can?  That is how we managed the perfect shade.  I have a huge can of bright orange paint inherited from a family member who tried to go bold in their house and then had second thoughts….so we mixed that bold orange with a bit of my red paint and we got this fabulous coral…pretty, right?)


Oh, and I couldn’t help but play up the difference in the spindles with a bit o’ two-tone painting….so sweet!Next, we measured out some cute gift wrap paper that we picked up from The $1 Store.


A light touch of the exacto knife, and we had nice smooth edges.


We gave a nice coat of Mod Podge to the drawer fronts and the front of the desk (which we decided, for balance, to make into a “false” drawer front).  Of course, we did one at a time, so that our Mod Podge didn’t dry-out on us.


After the addition of some drawer pulls, she was lookin’ cute!!


We got such a big reaction from people when we took it to the Morro Bay Street Fair!  So much fun 🙂

Ok, not bad for the first piece from my $1.50 Saturday haul!!  Thanks for checkin’ in….and as always, there is more to come!