Creating A Pretty Place to Paint – Part 2

Last month I invited you on my journey to set up a new painting room.  <If you missed it, you can read Part 1 here.> 

As I began, I was in a dilemma about whether to re-use and refresh what I had or start from scratch and purchase new furniture at IKEA .  After some wavering back and forth, I decided to go the frugal route and begin with what I have.  A secondary goal I have is clear out and get rid of clutter in our home, so with that in mind buying more stuff didn’t fit my objective.  Plus I really don’t know what I need… drawers or shelves, shelves or drawers ???  It’s was overwhelming me!   So for now I’m refreshing and placing my furnishings in the new room, then as things begin to come together, if I see something isn’t functional, I can clear it out and replace it with a specific item for a specific purpose.

So that decision made, I began refreshing with white paint!  First I painted two 2-drawer file cabinets to use as a base for my work table.  I used DecoArt Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint in Everlasting… a simple cottage white.

Even though the cabinets were a light beige, it took me 4 coats of paint to cover them.  They probably could have used a 5th coat, but I lost patience at that point and moved on!

For my work tabletop I used a 28″x80″ unfinished birch door that I’ve had for 20+ years and it was currently in the basement sitting on 2 more file cabinets.  I decided to go with a crisp contrast to the white, and painted the door with DecoArt Vintage Effect Wash mixing Black and Brown to achieve a dark espresso color.  This color ties into the floor and to my area rug.

I did two coats of the wash, followed by 3 coats of Traditions Satin Varnish.  You could use any varnish, but I’m using up things I have on hand.  In this photo, the wash is still wet.  You can see the final effect below.

We had a little desktop shelf that my husband built to put our office printers on.  It began as a black laminate shelf from Home Depot with 6 chunky unfinished furniture legs attached to the bottom that were painted black.   After a while we changed our printers, rearranged our office,  and this shelf was added to our clutter of unused stuff that we keep ‘just in case’.  So I pulled it out and painted it white using DecoArt Curb Appeal Farmhouse White.  Here it’s in progress and eventually was painted all white.  It took 2-3 coats to cover the black.


I have 3 stained oak wall racks that hold 2 oz. bottles of paint, so I painted one of them with the Curb Appeal Farmhouse White.  The other two are still in my basement filled with paint that I need to purge.  One or both may eventually make their way upstairs with a coat of white paint also.

We have a couple Mid-Century Modern half round console tables.  So I grabbed the one we were using as a night stand in the spare bedroom and thought it would make a good stand for my TV, plus it offers some additional storage underneath.  I wanted to pick up the dirty aqua blue in the rug, so I painted the doors of the console with DecoArt Vintage Effect Wash – Patina which is a toned down blue green (sort of the color of tarnished copper).  I put on 2 coats of paint, enough to give an even coverage but still transparent enough that the underlying dark wood grain shows through.  I put a coat of Black Vintage Effect Wash over the top section to add some darker richness to the stain color, and repainted the base with Curb Appeal Black.  Finally a couple coats of DecoArt Americana Decor Soft Touch varnish, some new oil rubbed bronze knobs (not shown in these photos), and I have a new TV stand.

Here are the pieces I’ve painted and arranged.  I haven’t quite decided where to place the first paint rack, so I for now have it sitting on the desktop against the wall.  I’m thinking I may raise it up several inches off of the desktop to preserve my desk space.

Below I added a large piece of plexiglass to the desktop for protection, two articulating clamp on lights with daylight bulbs, and my video camera on a tripod. The articulating lights I pulled from my trade show setup.  I like the contemporary brushed nickel look of them and since I don’t plan to do anymore trade shows, it’s good to put them to use (but now what to do with the other 8-10 sets I have in the garage… lol!)  After turning them on I found they do create a bad glare on the plexiglass, so I think I’ll order a 24″x36″ black cutting mat from Amazon to lay over the plexiglass.  Plus the cutting grid will be nice for measuring things as I’m working.

Next steps…

  • Work on electric extension cords/surge protector placement to begin plugging everything in but still keep a neat appearance.  The 25 ft. orange extension cord lying on the floor under the desk isn’t going to do it!
  • I have an IKEA lazy susan that I want to paint and make into an organizer for the desktop to hold brushes and paints as I’m working on a current project.  
  • I have some more pieces from my basement that I want to paint and add to my setup… a small microwave cart with 2 shelves that I’ll place at a right angle on the right side of the desk, a narrow DVD shelf that will be good for storing larger jars of paints and finishes, and some heavy duty metal shelving that can hold storage containers of paints and supplies.  They all need a couple coats of white paint, then I’ll move them into the new space.
  • Figure out how to reupholster my desk chair.

I’ll continue to share my progress, so subscribe to my blog if you’d like to follow along.  I do need to get things functional as soon as possible, so I can get back to my job  of creating art.

I’d love to hear from you with any ideas or suggestions, so feel free to comment on my blog or my facebook page…

<If you missed it, you can read Part 1 here.> 


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