Quarantine project: before and after

Spliced photos showing before and after of a desktop refinish

Over the weekend I undertook a project that I’d originally intended to do when I moved into my apartment, but I was on a deadline with a big project for a museum, and there was no time. Since then, well, I just haven’t thought about it except once in awhile.

Then last weekend I got a bee in my bonnet about it. I thought about waiting until Memorial Day weekend, when I would have three days before it would need to be finished, now that I work from home again. But nope! I decided to rush into it, if only for the feeling of accomplishment that such a project can bring.

It also doubled as a way to keep me from spending too much time on the computer over the weekend— successfully! Below are a series of process pics showing the stripping and re-painting.

So, it essentially went from whitewashed with a grid of metallic gold paper (squares cut from joss paper), to whitewashed with metallic gold stripes! But as the old polyurethane had long since gone yellow, it really does look fresh and crisp now.

As always, these projects take about four hours longer than I ever expect, so the total clocked in at around twelve hours. Below is the full photo of the finished desk, with all the tech back in place.

photo of refinished, white and gold striped  desk with computer and other desk items back in place.

For this project, I used some of the less dangerous, more eco-friendly (so they say on the label) varnish stripper, which is part of what took quite a bit longer than expected, and more elbow grease. My body ached for a couple of days after this, particularly because I was working on the floor, as you can see in the photos.

It was totally worth it though! Has anyone else done any big DIY or other projects while sheltering in place?

4 thoughts on “Quarantine project: before and after

  1. After Effects is an animation app. It’s structured similarly to Photoshop, but it is a timeline, so all the attributes of something can be key-framed (scale, position, rotation, etc). It also has the video-editing capabilities of Premiere and other editing apps.

  2. I love the new look…and am coveting the large computer screen. (I’m not a Mac person – my dream computer is a Microsoft Surface Studio – I’ll never spring the money for it, though.)

    I had hoped to do more composing and recording, but my audio interface decided to limit its capabilities to just blinking red really fast and clicking. I don’t need that, so guess my project will shift to finding a new audio interface. Too bad, ’cause I really don’t want to do all the research again.

    I’m also trying to figure out a better way to manage my 22,000 digital photos…ugh.

    Sounds like you had fun with your project – that’s good.

    All the best…

    1. Thanks so much! It was a good weekend project, and very good to spend less time sitting in front of my machine 🙂

      Sorry to her your technology is limiting your creative flow; that’s frustrating. And Oh, I hear you re: tens of thousands of photos! I can’t even keep all mine on my computer b/c I was running out of room to use as disk cache for running After Effects. I’ve never found a reliable way to keep them organized with software. The Mac Photo app gets very slow and bogged down; I tried Adobe Bridge years ago, but the interface was poor at the time and you could only really search one folder/directory at a time (pointless!!) so I gave up. It may be better now, though.

      I just keep them in folders by year, then by month within that, and group large collections into their own folders. Time consuming but it’s something I guess.

      Good luck on your research for a new audio interface!

      1. I am using Lightroom, which I find to be pretty good. I just never have the time to catch up. Bridge is available to me through my subscription, but I don’t really understand it well enough to try it. Maybe it’s for projects that involve different kinds of media.

        No movement on the audio interface yet…ugh.

        I’ve never heard of After Effects – what do you use that for?

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