A repurposed desk can be turned into great new pieces. My favorite had been the desk I repurposed into a kitchen island. But now I have a new favorite. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you’ve already had sneak peeks of this “tower of terror” as I fondly refer to it. It has been a challenge.
Grab something to drink and/or a snack folks—this is a long post!
The desk enjoyed quite the life back in the 90’s:
It had definitely seen better days. There was some water damage on the bottom trim.
I removed the top of the desk, and all of the bottom trim pieces, stacking the left side on top of the right side to see if my vision was really going to work.
This is a “dry fit” to see if the feet I had thrifted a LONG time ago were actually going to be put to use.
Indeed, I thought they would work. I got busy attaching them. I first drew circles around each of the four feet. The bottom and top of this cabinet are pieces of MDF I had left over from when I built my media center.
I drilled four pilot holes inside each of the circles, added some Gorilla Wood Glue and attached the feet with drywall screws.
After drilling the pilot holes it’s easy to get the screws successfully into the feet.
In order to get the crown molding to clear the drawers, I had to beef up the top. (I later filled those large holes with some wood putty and then spackling)
I cut some 1x’s down to size, and attached them with pocket holes using my Kreg Jig® R3.
Can you see that had I put the MDF directly on top of the drawer tower that I would not have had room for the crown molding trim?
I used some of the original holes and added some pocket holes to attach the two pieces together. The two pieces were still a little unstable.
You know how that cheap furniture has cardboard backings that you tack on with those little nails to keep is “squared up”? I decided my tower needed a little strength in the back.
I used a piece of luan to sturdy it, and keep it squared.
Time to start painting. Oh-do you see those two pieces of Gorilla Tape on the drawer front? I filled all the original drawer pull handles with wood putty. I use tap to keep the putty from coming through the back side.
I used ScotchBlue painter’s tape to hold my plastic. I didn’t want to paint the drawers, because I wanted them to slide in and out easily, and they were still in pretty good shape.
I patched all the holes that originally held the left and right sides of the desk together. I used my HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer to apply some primer to all the pieces.
After a coat of primer I saw that I still needed to do some patching. I used spackling for this.
Sanded and another coat of primer. Looks better, but not as good as I would like, hence the nickname “tower of terror”. (in hindsight, I wish I had put luan or bead board on each side)
After the first coat of black paint.
Way back when, I received some great products compliments of Plaid/Martha Stewart. These awesome stencils were part of that selection. I’m trying to figure out which stencil I wanted to use. I decide this one (far right) is too small.
I opted for the larger version. I used some of Martha’s craft paint, it was a very light shade – actually a shade of blue. I was sort of going for an aged gray look.
After I painted on the first sheet of stencil, I decided it was too “stark”. I was looking for more of a faded (aged) look. I didn’t want to sand back the drawer, so I actually used a damp paper towel and sort of scrubbed/scraped off some of the paint that I just painted. No pictures of this step—sometimes time is of the essence and a blogger doesn’t have time to pick up the camera!
If you can’t tell, I laid the chest down on it’s back to do this step. Doing it this way I didn’t have to tape my stencil. I used my HEM GUIDE to make sure that the space was equal on the left and right side.
After I painted the stencil, I marked the drawers with painter’s tape so that I would easily get them in the right order when I moved it in the house.
Time for some knobs! Do you KNOW how expensive hardware is these days? OH MY! I recently joined a Bunco club. While getting ready for our latest game-I made a deal with myself. I said to myself –“gail-if you win at Bunco, you can return whatever you win in order to buy some overpriced hardware”. Well, as luck would have it I not only won FIRST place ($25), I also won floater! ($5) wooohooo! I almost went back on the deal with myself. I found it VERY difficult to spend so much money on knobs/hardware. I ended up getting these very cute glass knobs at Target for gasp $15.00 a package! I still can’t believe it. Thank you friends at Bunco for buying my new hardware!
Okay—just checking . . . are you still with me? I’m tired of writing this post, are you tired of reading it? lol Do you need a bathroom break? Go ahead, I’ll wait for you. fa la la la la (enjoying some Christmas music while I wait on you)
Welcome back! We’re almost done.
If you’ve ever tried to center hardware and get it the same on each drawer, you know how difficult it can be. This handy Jig from Rockler makes it easy. I won this jig from the DIY Club when I won their monthly contest in October 2010 with my Toddler Bed.
The block on the left lines your hole from left to right, while the plastic piece centers your hole top to bottom. The automatic center punch “dents” a little hole which acts as a guide for your drill bit. LOVE it!
You can see how adjustable this jig is. It seriously is very helpful. Granted, I’ve only used it a few times, but the thought of aligning EIGHT knobs without this jig would have been very time consuming.
I got the knobs on in record time!
Due to the weather conditions and me NOT wanting to tote this tower of terror back outside, I opted to take pictures in the living room where there is plenty of natural light.
You can see that although there are actually SIX drawers, I put EIGHT knobs on this chest. I like the fact that the two very deep drawers appear to be two drawers instead of one.
This chest can be multi-purposed. I’m not sure which room it will land in, nor what I will actually use it for. It can be used for office/tax papers, lingerie, or even jewelry. If used as a file cabinet, the deep drawers could hold file folders. If used to organize accessories, the smaller drawers could hold belts, while the deep drawers could hold handbags or boots.
What would you store in the “tower of terror?”
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Edited to add: I have placed this beaut in my bedroom. The larger drawers hold some boots. The smaller drawers hold all my blog stationary stuff like business cards, stickers, etc. The top drawer holds my orphan socks…you know the ones the dryer didn’t eat!