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Weekend Update: Credenza Completed!

Well, it took us two weekends, three coats of paint, one coat of polycrylic and a lot of elbow grease (and brass polish), but we finally managed to finish spiffing up the credenza I scored off of eBay last month for Dave's office. And despite this project being far more time consuming than I had initially anticipated, I'm pleased with the final results and consider it well worth the effort (especially given how little moola I ended up having to spend to get a look I am happy with!).

We ended up selecting Valspar's Scarlet Sun in a high gloss finish. We didn't prime the credenza because it was already painted white, but I suspect if we had used a tinted primer we could've saved ourselves one of the coats of paint. Given the smooth surface of the piece (and despite lightly sanding the top), we also had some issues getting the paint to stick in the first two coats. This could have been solved by using an oil-based paint, which will stick to smooth surfaces more easily than latex, but we managed to get a pretty scratch-resistant surface by spraying a water-based polycrylic (in gloss) over the final coat.

I decided to stick with the original hardware, primarily because it ended up being nearly impossible to find hardware that I liked that came in both 3-1/2 inch and 2-1/2 inch sizes (both of which are fairly non-standard as most hardware comes in 3 or 4-inch) and I didn't want to have to drill new holes (and fill the old ones). Unfortunately though, cleaning these babies up proved to be quite the task. We first soaked all the hardware in a salt and vinegar mixture for 30 minutes to an hour. After lightly cleaning them, we found that while this removed the first layer of tarnish, we still needed to go after them more seriously with a (very noxious, but highly effective) brass polish. Warning: the smell is seriously strong with this stuff, so if you use it, I'd work in a well-ventilated room (or outside) and take frequent breaks. The end result of our polishing isn't quite "like new", but I like how the hardware's patina preserves the piece's vintage-quality.

A few more close-up shots. What I love most about this credenza are the details; the faux-bamboo lattice work on the center and edges and the campaign-style brass corners really elevate the credenza into a statement-worthy piece. Even better, now that Dave has ample storage for his many, many collections, we've freed up a ton of closet space, dumped the cheap-o plastic storage bins that used to occupy this space, and given him 6 feet of display room for his favorite geodes and fossils. These pieces will be joined by a pair of table lamps (yet to be purchased -- any budget-friendly suggestions?) and a few more pieces of art to fill the large wall above the credenza. I promise to post follow-up pictures once we get the area styled, but wanted to share the makeover with you now rather than later.

How was your weekend? Did you get any projects completed off your "to do" list?

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