Friday, April 19, 2013

Office Progress: A Confession

As I have mentioned before, when Joe and I purchased this house, it was a bit of a fixer-upper. It had a great layout, plenty of closets, and way more space than we needed. Structurally it was fine, just very dated. I think we purchased from the original owners and they hadn't updated much. We got to work right away, getting new siding and windows within the first month we moved in. We painted the kitchen cabinets, put down some new flooring, painted miles of yellow oak trim and eventually moved onto refinishing the floors and updating two of the three bathrooms a couple years later. Here is just a taste of some of the originals:

Not the same exact view but close - the family room before and current. So much panelling!

Part of the kitchen before and current.
Sometimes, looking back, I wonder why we bought this house in the first place! Anyway, in the past 4+ years, we have done at least something to every room in the house. In some cases it was just paint, some places we added carpet and a couple rooms were gutted. The only room that remained untouched was our office. What could be a lovely fourth bedroom, den, craft room, or office, became a dumping ground for bills, paperwork, video games, craft supplies, endless computer cords/cables, magazines, baby stuff, etc.

The room when we moved in was a white box with yellow oak trim, and this awesome little built in desk tucked in the corner. I am afraid this may be one of the only "before" pics I have and its super embarrassing:

Told you - dumping ground.

We had high hopes for the room, and even bought a Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation Kit the summer before JJ was born thinking it was one of those things that "needs to get done before the baby arrives". I had seen lots of reviews about it online, and it looked like the perfect solution to the ugly yellow oak:
Source: Newly Wife Review
Well, the kit sat in the box for more than a year. Finally, a couple weeks ago, Joe got bite by the reno bug and we (by we I mean Joe) got moving on some office updates.

I am going to be real with you here and let you know that our projects take a long time (our half bath reno took like 3 months and the thing is like 6 SF). They take even longer now that we have a very active toddler. So I figured instead of waiting until the room is done to post about it (which very well may never happen), I would post in real time. So this is a little intro to the room and the little progress so far.

I am pretty sure the desk was meant to for a child because it used to have another set of drawers to the right, but we took them out when our legs kept hitting them. That was the only "improvement" made in over 4 years. To get things started, Joe cut the middle support near the desk top to open it up and allow us to have double monitors. Then he busted out the kit to test out the color on one of the shelves:

We went with "Espresso"
I was a little afraid it might be too dark, but we went with it anyway. After maybe 10ish hours of work (stretched out over a couple weekends), he followed the steps: de-gloss, 2 bond coats, then the sealant.

The top of the shelves after one coat.

The desk itself after one coat.

While I am thrilled with the results and think the kit was great, Joe might have a differing opinion. He was the one to do the grunt work, and his hand and back cramped up a couple times trying to get every crevice. I think having to do the underside of each shelf and the back of the cabinet doors made it a little more time consuming. Remembering back to painting our kitchen cabinets though, I definitely think the kit is the way to go. We spent days in the basement sanding those doors, and with the kit, there's no sanding involved. I will say, though, that some of the top sealant coat is a little streaky. Joe thinks it because the kit sat so long and he might not have mixed it well enough. It's really not that noticeable though so it doesn't really bother me.

I don't really have a good pic of the finished product as we just put the countertop back on to set the computer up (so I could actually type this post). But I will tease you with these terrible iphone pics since you sat through this super long and wordy post:

I will get some more finished pics soon, as well as details on some other modifications Joe made to accomodate wires and a vent for the computer tower. Next time, though, I am going to talk about the challenge of the desktop (which is clearly done) and hopefully soon we will have some more non-desk-related progress ... like trim painted, color on the walls, and maybe even some decorating! Happy weekend everyone!

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