After shopping for a vanity for awhile and not finding what I wanted (within my budget), I decided to make my own. I love thrifting and I love Do-It-Yourself projects! So why not, right?! Before this, I hadn't upgraded my thrift shopping to furniture, however, I'd seen enough golden finds to want to try it out myself.
I set out on a mission to find a table (with or without drawers) or a desk, and a large mirror. Thrift shopping takes patience for a number of reasons - you never know what the store is actually going to have and you're probably going to have to dig before you find the good stuff - so I didn't expect to find it immediately. But I finally scored a quality Bassett desk for, wait for it... $20!! Please follow the link if you've never heard of Bassett or their $1K-$2K prices for this kind of furniture (yes, desks!) so you can truly understand how great of a deal this was! Needless to say, I was super excited. And when I went back to pick it up, I found a large mirror to go with it for *drumroll please* $5!! Woot woot!!
Commence project planning! I didn't like the wood color on either one so I decided to refinish them both. The wonderful thing about getting quality wood furniture is that, with a little elbow grease, you can redesign them this way. And when you watch HGTV as much as I do, you feel like you can do anything lol! I went to Lowe's for my supplies: sandpaper, wood & satin finish, sponges, paint brushes, cheese cloth... fun stuff! I borrowed my aunt's hand sander and got started.
Refinishing wood is a 4-step process:
- Remove old finish by sanding the wood (following the wood grain)
- Thoroughly clean the sand from wood
- Apply wood stain
- Apply wood finish
Sounds simple right? Well it is and it isn't. In that properly sanding wood is no joke! I felt like my arms were gonna fall off! My dad laughed at me cuz he thought I underestimated how much work it would take to get the old finish removed. Yea... he was right, but don't tell him I admitted that. Thanks HGTV. The pic above is when I first started sanding and realized I needed to step my weight up. It took a little while for me to get the hang of it. That was really where the most work was required in this project, which I didn't mind at all. Once I was done with the desk, the mirror was easy peasy.
When I thought I was done sanding, I learned the hard way how important following the grain of the wood was with my first coat of wood stain. Yep, that top pic is the result of me "getting the hang of it" with the sander. Ha! Basically, if you don't follow the grain the stain will show every wrong direction you chose instead. Fun fact. So I had to re-sand that part to get the smooth finish fro the bottom pic. Thank God that was the only issue I ran into. After staining and putting on the finish, I also switched the drawer handles (pictured below) to complete the vintage-like look I wanted. Very reminiscent of the vanity my grandma would sit at while I watched her hot comb her hair :)
I really enjoy creating and figuring out how to do things. I think it's kinda therapeutic for me, and when I'm done I get so excited when it turns out well. I love it! One of the best parts is I spent a little over $50 for the desk, mirror, and supplies. That cannot be beat. And if I get tired of the wood grain look, I can just paint over it. The drawers are so deep, it holds my ridiculous product stash, hair accessories, tools, and makeup quite well. Pretty much exactly what I wanted!