Project Eleven: Decoupage Desk


Found Item: Wood table with center drawer and tapered legs.

Where: In the alley by Washtenaw and Coyle, a few blocks from Indian Boundary Park.

The Makeover: It’s possible someone didn’t have time to redo this little table once they discovered the ethereal lavender theme didn’t turn out as imagined. Or maybe it was used as a kid’s desk. Once the former owner gave up the purple ghost, they entered it into the public domain by a dumpster in West Rogers Park.

The table needed sanding and a coat of Kilz primer before two coats of water-based eggshell paint. Paper adheres better to a matte finish paint like eggshell than a semi-gloss or satin. The paper elements for decoupaging came from and an architectural elements book found at the public library. Though I can’t remember the name, it was an oversized, dusty book filled with black and white scrolls, stone carving patterns and illustrations of period interior embellishments.

desk31Since it was in the reference¬† section, the book couldn’t be checked out, so I used the library’s xerox machine. The copies were then soaked in tea and left in the sun to tone down the bright white quality of the copy paper. The patterns were then cut and glued onto the table top and sides. When the glue had thoroughly dried (I waited a day), multiple coats of water based polyurethane were brushed on until the wood and paper surface was smooth.

Materials: Off white eggshell paint (on hand), 10 xeroxed copies @10 cents each, $1.89 bottle of Elmer’s white glue from Osco, Olympic water based polyurethane (on hand), but a quart is around $15.



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