20 May DIY Grey Striped Desk Saga
Rest assured there is no desk in this universe that is small enough to go there. This was a TINY spot. I thought I measured it at 30 inches long. I searched everywhere, considering everything, even a flip down desk like this one. At one point I thought the Abbott Desk from Ballard would work (totally cute, and comes in white/powder blue!) until I re-measured my spot only to realize it was a hair LESS than 30inches. Ugh. So I finally starting Googling how to make a table. How hard could it be?
The supplies portion was insanely easy. Really all you needed was a flat piece of wood, four legs, and four plates. The best part was it turns out they sell ready to go legs at Home Depot with a screw coming out the top (mine were $9 each). The guy in lumber cut me a table top just to the size I wanted (yes, he did ask me the measurements a few times thinking I had messed up – 12×28?). So far so good. Got home and painted it all white. Next I drilled the plates into the bottom of the table top, and screwed the legs into them. At this point, things were going so smoothly I was thinking Sweet Sanity might start selling tables.
Let the Epic Fail moments commence…. EPIC FAIL MOMENT #1: The next day one of the legs seemed rather wobbly. I tried to screw it in a little tighter whereupon it snapped off. The screw actually slid right out of the table leg. Crap. No coming back from that. I abandoned that leg and tightened the others, only to have a second leg break off. There are no photos of this. That would be because a mental breakdown was occurring.
At this point I could have gone back to Home Depot and bought two new legs and repainted them. But it was 8pm and I was pissed. So instead I decided to remove the silver plates and drill the legs straight in from the top. The screws were going to show – yep. Lovely. It was even more complicated because those legs were a little shorter once the plate was gone, so I had to use scrap wood wedgies to try to fill the gap. Leveling table legs is pretty much impossible.
But finally she was standing. The next order of business was a table ‘apron’ as they call it to hide the junk underneath. I had a genius idea to use molding for this. Back to Home Depot, a strip of it cost less than $1. I needed to get those nice angle cuts only achieved with a miter saw, so again stood in line for the lumber guy. He cut them beautifully. IF I had measured correctly. When I got home I realized it was too short. EPIC FAIL MOMENT #2: Instead of heading back to HD for a re-cut, I split the piece down the middle so the far ends would still line up with the side piece angles, and shoved another spare piece of wood in the middle. I consider this a low point in the project. I was using wood filler like it was my job and appalled by my impatience and stubborness.
The Big Save: After a good night’s sleep, followed by ridiculous amounts of wood filler, wood glue, and white paint, I decided that Grey Stripes make everything better. Using some sample paint I had and a couple layers of polyacrylic top coat the mishaps became less and less noticeable. The screws in particular were a little more hidden.
And once the ‘Baby Giraffe’ table was officially in its corner, and the pencil cup and binders strategically placed, I was truly happy I had not given up on her. I doubt half the people passing by would notice the mistakes. But I did want to share the horrifying build process to let everyone know that meltdowns happen. Stubborness and impatience happen. But that’s ok, it just makes the saves that much better. XOXO