It had been over a year since I got the tanker desk and I did start working on a few pieces. Unfortunately, the project was just too big and too time consuming for me.
In order for this to have been successful, I seriously needed body shop equipment to take out the rust and the dings on this thing. Then when it came time to paint, a simple coat of spray primer and Rustoleum paint wasn’t going to cut it. I was quoted about $500 for powder coating which was one option. The other was to take it to get it painted but the shop never got back to me.
It wasn’t an easy decision to give up on the project because I had already put some time and effort in disassembling. I had even started working on a couple of the drawers. As much as I wanted to continue, I also had to realize how big the desk was for my office and once it was reassembled, it wasn’t going to be moved.
It’s now out in the curb. Sadly, this desk is most likely going to end up as scrap but there is always an off chance that someone will drive by, see it, and decide they want to make this into their pet project.
I finally started on the project!
I began on Thanksgiving by dry fitting the first couple rows. Sounds simple enough – the first day was a mess. Using a chalkline was a joke – the glue would mix with the chalk and I ended up putting more glue past the line than intended.
I didn’t realize the glue was like taffy. I definitely got a real workout this weekend. :-/.
The second day was a little better. I decided to use my laser level to draw out a line and then got a straight edge and sharpie to mark the line. That helped and I only got a little glue past the line. Another thing that kept me busy yesterday was finally installing the table saw. That thing is AWESOME – I’m glad I opted for this instead of a miter saw.
This little guy saved me by getting the access glue off – and pretty quickly too. Otherwise, I would have just spent the day crying and scraping by hand.
I got the floor from the dining room and the living room to join up too. YAY!
I wasted a little of the taffy glue when some of the top skinned over and dried. There is still about a third left but not sure how much of that will be usable when I do this again the coming weekend.
Trim is in the house and you can see the bottom pic for more detail. I’ll get the wall done during the week. I can move the cat tree back to the window too so the boys will have entertainment.
The trim was also painted and will go up this week. Just on the completed wall.
Other than the knobs, which are in the mail, the credenza is now complete.
Here’s a quick recap.
I took apart the pieces and cleaned them before spray painting the metal frame with Krylon Chrome paint (I found it at a crafts store). I thought I could use a spray lacquer but that turned out to be a waste a money so I stuck with Benjamin Moore’s White Heron in High Gloss.
I also drilled holes on the back for ventilation.
Then, once that was complete, I used my Benjamin Moore (leftover) Turquoise Powder paint and turned it into Chalk Paint.
The formica top was peeling apart so I had decided, early on, to use some of my leftover zinc sheet from my fireplace project. The only thing I should have done was add more contact cement. There is an air gap right now but since it isn’t a serving table, I will live with the flub. I spent the week shaping the metal onto the table top with my trusty mallet. I hadn’t intended to use nails on the sides but I needed to secure the sheet down (thanks Pat!).
I was doing fine with my hammer until near the end and now have a nasty blood blister on my thumb. 😦 BUT, I got it done.
The next morning was spent soldering. Never done it before and didn’t use enough flux a few times so the melted metal just fell off.
After that was done, I sanded it out so most of the rough edges were gone and blended into the table.
For the doors, I cut down the double doors and originally wanted to use a .25″ lexan but busted it while using a circular saw (another lesson learned). I can still salvage a good chunk of it for a future project though. I ended up buying a piece of acrylic (plexiglass) that was cut to size. I originally wanted to use perforated sheet metal or even cut out the center of the doors (before they were cut down) but ended up finding a cool stencil and used the White Heron as the stencil paint. For the doors, I used satin Super White so there’s a tone on tone effect.
So here’s the after!
I didn’t get a good seal on the stencil for the acrylic and spent last night and today scraping the design back. I also added a little Looking Glass spray paint to give a silvery, mercury glass effect.
UPDATE – knobs are on!
The top piece of the fireplace was attached yesterday and it now has a nice zinc surround.
What a difference from this.
I still need to add a piece that will stand off from the cement. But for the most part, this is complete. 🙂
CORRECTION – I’m not quite done. I still need to solder the seams together and add some caulk to the sides but the main part is done.
When I bought this a couple weeks ago, there were some signs of wear so I needed to prep it for a new paint job.
I stripped most of the paint off.
Then primed it with a spray primer. I ran into some problems when I ran out just as I was adding primer coat #2. 😦 Luckily I had some flat black primer in the garage. (I’m hoping I won’t regret using that).
Just brushed on the first coat of high gloss paint- Benjamin Moore white heron. The second coat will be rolled on with a sponge roller.
Also, I managed to get absolutely MAULED by bugs while working in my garage.
I’m one step closer to getting the fireplace complete.
I just finished cutting out the metal pieces that I’ll use for the surround.
The machine in the pic is a sheet metal cutter and greatest thing ever! It took me less than an hour to get everything cut. Had I used tin snips I’d still be cutting, I’m sure.
There is still a 3′ x 5′ piece left over. I think if I find the perfect salvaged desk, I’ll top it with the remaining.
Working with zinc for this project will also determine if I want to continue using it (spare bath surround? Kitchen backsplash?) or not.
The last pic I had of the hearth, it was pretty plain. I added a little more of the leftover concrete mix to give some trowel marks and to soften some of the harsher ridges.
My intent was to use something to stain it and then seal. At the same time, it was a small area so I didn’t really want to spend a lot of money buying some sort of stain. So I grabbed some pennies and added them to a solution of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to create a pretty blue color. I wasn’t sure if it would add color to the concrete or not. I also had some alcohol inks I made that didn’t work on my intended project. There was no rhyme or reason on how I added the color. I knew it would be hit or miss but I really wasn’t spending any money so it didn’t bother me.
This pic shows some of the blue from the copper solution but it didn’t last. I added some of the black alcohol ink (which turned out to be a murky, green color) and also some dark blue. Then I added some sealer that had the pigment added, using some of the more concentrated stuff in random areas.
I followed up with another coat of seal. As you can see, the blues and greens did stain the concrete and give it some character. There is still a shadow of the grout lines but I think it still works. 🙂
Taking a break this week but next week should be the beginning of the metal phase (hopefully the last phase of the project).