Ever been to parts of Mexico where the vendors shout "Almost Free" about their wares? Well, I'm about to show you a project that cost me next to nothing. And by nothing, I do not mean that I had tons of items lying around the house waiting for use and that's what made the thing free. Nope, I had to buy one thing and everything else I got totally free from my sources.
First off, there was a coupon for a free quart of Clark-Kensington Paint plus Primer from Ace a few weeks ago (FYI: tomorrow they're doing the same free quart deal except only 40 quarts per store will be given away. There was a coupon in Wednesday's circulars). I sent Ryan to get a red similar to one I had seen from Ballard Designs. We have an armoire that needs refinishing, and after I saw this version (for over $1200!), I thought I could do that myself.
Only problem is that the color Ryan bought isn't exactly right for that particular project. Please don't ask me the color name because I can't find it--it's not even on the can (I later found out that the neutral base for the free can isn't really appropriate for this vibrant hue anyway). So I needed to use the paint on a different piece of furniture.
While trolling Craigslist for cast-offs from freshly divorced Kansas Citians, Ryan found this desk listed...for free.
This isn't a true "before" photo because Ryan had already taken the hardware off, but this is close. The desk's finish was in terrible shape, but it was structurally sound. It's a desk you'll see re-painted all over bloglandia, so there must've been thousands made in this design.
And here it is after two coats of brushed on paint and a coat of satin poly on the top. I decided to leave the brush strokes and keep it aged looking.
The hardware is a little outdated. Problem? It's a non-standard width, so getting new hardware would've required filling up the old holes and drilling new ones. I decided the hardware was charming enough, so it stays.
The desk will be for random projects, sewing, and for Ryan when he needs a flat surface for his laptop. All we need now is a lamp 'cause this one is totally inappropriate. It'll do for now, though.
So that's our (almost) free desk! We bought the polyurethane for a few bucks and have plenty for future projects. Otherwise, all it took was some elbow grease and a sharp eye for deals.