We left off on Friday with a poorly painted off-white desktop:
After putting it back in the living room (as the bedroom wasn’t really ready for its big reorganization yet), I thought about the ways I could make the desk feel less plain, more integrated color-wise…and just cuter in general.
I was pretty sure I knew what I WANTED to do, if I’d I thought of it BEFORE I painted the whole black desktop white, my task would have been done already!
I wanted to add a cute greek key, a striped border, or black detail to help the desktop pop.
Here are a few examples of my inspiration:
Source: Centsational Girl
Source: Dwellings By DeVore
Source: Apartment Therapy
Then I began to look at my chalkboard door and wonder if I should replicate that pattern…
At this point I was really wishing that I had thought of this earlier! It would have been so much easier to tape out my pattern over the original black surface before painting the rest of the table off-white! That said…I did need to sand and de-gloss the rest of the black table top before painting. Even if my hindsight had been 20/20, I’m not sure that the Frog Tape could have lasted through the necessary table top prep.
Regardless, my task was now to create a black border on an off-white table.
But first I needed to fix my messy paint job. I picked up another sample container of Cottage White and a foam roller that promised a “smooth finish.” The results were much better this time, and I was ready to move forward with my decorative border.
I started out by working with my framing square to measure the placement of what would eventually be the center tape line. I needed to be sure that it was equidistant from all the edges (and therefore straight). My plan was to border this center tape line with painter’s tape on either side, and then carefully remove the middle piece to reveal the border that I would then paint black.
Does that make sense?
I bet photos will help:
1. I used a framing square to make sure my tape was lined up properly.
2. Then I carefully placed tape on either side, being sure not to overlap or leave a large gap next to the neighboring tape. I also avoided creating wrinkles in the tape as these can allow paint to slip underneath and ruin the neatness of the project.
Next, I carefully removed the center piece of tape, being sure to maintain the straight lines I so carefully measured out before, when re-affixing the remaining tape.
I made a spur of the moment decision and decided to see what the desktop would look like with this pattern (the same as the door) painted in negative. At the time it seemed easier than cutting out the pieces necessary to create a solid border, and I thought we might really like the pattern.
Then (because I’m a little OCD), I taped the edges of the table so I didn’t end up with any black where it didn’t belong.
The moment of truth.
When the paint was dry, I removed the tape and saw this…
It was…interesting? It wasn’t what I was going for. I was getting a “Country Cottage” vibe – and not in a good way. I liked the pattern that the green tape created…but the negative of it was not as cute. Luckily, I knew what I needed to do to save this desktop…AGAIN.
Back to taping I went. Then I used an Exacto knife to remove the squares that needed to be filled in.
After watching paint dry for a 7th or 8th time (I’m losing track now) it was time to remove the tape and see my (hopefully!) final product.
Phew! MUCH BETTER! This was working for me. Clean and classy, but more interesting than before.
Now it was time to officially move it into the bedroom!!
Of course, I couldn’t wait a moment longer to see everything all put together, so I begged my husband to help me hang the bulletin boards before bed. I needed to wake up in the morning and see my latest accomplishment.
Frog Tape to the rescue (as usual)! We used a long piece to mark the height and double-check the level-ness of the four nail holes we needed.
Then we marked the center line of the tape, and split the distance to the center of each pre-drilled frame hanging hole. (Those totally have a more technical name, but I’m pretty sure you know what I mean. I don’t actually need to sound like I really know what I’m doing…right?!).
The Frog Tape prep worked! The nails lined up, and the bulletin board was LEVEL!
Success :) …That’s my cheese ball.
A few days later, the sunlight was perfect for an impromptu photo shoot of my new office. (I didn’t even feel the need to use quotations that time!!!).
I admit I love waking up to this calm and inspiring office space every morning. It isn’t overly girly, but I still find it makes me coo with approval. I’m really looking forward to having an office area I can use regardless of the sunshine (the old one was too close to the windows to allow me to work on my computer brighter days), and it’s more private than the living room for working on weekends, or when Baby Boy is napping.
Last but not least, I love going to bed and waking up to see our lists of Future Vacation Ideas, NYC Adventures, Home Improvement Projects, Before Baby Lists, and a few of our happiest memories. Talk about feeling grateful, motivated and inspired! Don’t worry, I’m done with my mushy-gushy feelings…for now.
This project may have taken me a while to get right, but now that it’s done, the feeling of accomplishment (after frustration and perseverance) is as refreshing and delightful as an iced latte on a sunny day.
What? I’m pregnant…I’m allowed a little poetic bliss about coffee every now and then!