DIY Concrete-Topped Office Credenza

For months, I've been keeping an eye out for a mid-size vintage console table or credenza that wasn't too bulky and that had a functional, easily accessible storage area for a printer.

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I've seen a few here and there, but nothing jumped out at me as the perfect fit. I saw this vintage credenza a week or so ago at a used furniture store for only $39 and while it didn't jump out at me at first glance, it sort of grew on me over time.

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And I actually took a few quick photos and then I decided to pass on it.

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But as soon as I had the idea to cover the bad formica top in concrete, I knew it could be something super-functional and beautiful, so I hustled back to the store to buy it a day or so later.
I repeated the same steps on the credenza's top that I used in our laundry room redo. The basic idea is to rough up the formica, trowel on the Feather Finish concrete in several thin coats, with drying time and sanding sessions in between.

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A good sealer is a must here. Ardex makes one, but I just used a brand called Silkagard in a really thick coat. I don't know if this sealer would be heavy-duty enough for a kitchen application, but it's served me well in our laundry room and now on this credenza. (PS - in case you were curious about the laundry room counters, they're holding up really well! No regrets!)

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While the two or three coats of sealer were drying, I brushed on an oil-based coat of Benjamin Moore's Galapagos Turquoise using this same approach of placing the paint, sort of in the way you paint your nails.

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If you're careful to not put too thick of a coat on, you won't get any drips. But if you do, just let it dry and then sand and light touch up the mistake areas. The result should be a glossy, glass-like surface.

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Isn't that side detail pretty? I love the simple line.

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I'm so happy with how the matte concrete pairs with the glossy lacquered look. I left the concrete a little more raw-looking this time and I really love the contrast of pretty things with the industrial material.

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Also, how great is that giant yellow lamp I picked up at Goodwill for $5?

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It needed a new shade in the worst way, so I put one of my old black ones on it and the proportions are much better now.

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I love seeing the gold tortoise shell pattern peeking out from under the shade while I'm working a few feet away at my desk.

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Also, can I just say that a can of white paint does wonders for any room?! My office felt like a beige cave just a few days ago and now it looks bright and cheery with the new white walls and the new furniture. :)

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Three cheers for progress toward a happy and functional office space!

51 comments:

Julia Konya said...

I have been wanting to try these for a long time. I think you just moved it to the top of my list. So awesome. It's a gorgeous piece of furniture and this is the perfect addition to it. Love the lamp too. You are a genius!

Vicki Nugent said...

I have a similar credenza in my work space that I am going to try this on. Thanks for the great idea and the tutorial. It looks amazing. As soon as Christmas is over, I'll be getting to work!

Jenny said...

Hey Jenny - do you know if the concrete can be any other color than grey?

colleen said...

Stunning…. !Can't wait to see a full picture of the office.
House looks great… … you are turning your home into a work of art one step at a time!
Make sure you sit down at Christmas!

hollyo said...

Thanks for all the inspiring risks you take! Love how this turned out! Great work.

Aliceart said...

This is the coolest trick ever! I love, love this piece.

LisaM said...

oh my goodness, this piece is amazing!

Zoe Royall said...

Your color combos are genius. The yellow lamp with black shade reminds me of Lauren McGrath's/GBGP's first (?) apartment..I think you blogged about it way back when. I can't wait for your book deal where you photograph your entire house when it's done and we can see it in all it's glory! ;-)

Maurie said...

All I can say is: "You are incredible!"

Karrie Kaneda said...

SO good--- I think you've inspired me to try this in my kitchen!

Paulette Fletcher said...

love the pouf/ottoman next to it, where did you get it?

Jen Neely said...

Jenny,
Thanks for posting a link to your painting suggestions. Did you do anything to prep the (non-painted) surface of the credenza before painting it? For instance, did you apply liquid sandpaper, primer, etc?
Thanks!

kelly mcdonnell said...

Love, love everything about it. Can you please do a future post about choosing the proper lampshade for lamp. How you decide on scale? It's there a formula, base is x tall, shade should be y in diameter and z in height? Or do you just wing it? I have a lovely lamp from Brimfield waiting on a shade. I keep picking the wrong size.

{Hi Sugarplum!} said...

I can't even deal with this, it's so awesome.

European Paint Finishes said...

Wow. You just broadened what furniture we will troll for. Another awesome diy!!!! Soooo great!!!

European Paint Finishes said...

Wow. You just broadened what furniture we will troll for. Another awesome diy!!!! Soooo great!!!

Michelle said...

Ok..this might be one of my favorite areas of your house. And that's saying a lot seeing as how every post makes me want to copycat a little bit!!! I love the yellow lamp with the pink floers, concrete, AWESOME cloud art and that turle paper clip holder (seriously?! Where is that from?!). Can't wait to see the rest!

Michelle said...

Apparently I can't spell...sorry about the previous post!

mollyskj said...

GENIUS

House of Pemberley said...

You are so amazing! Love it!!!

Callie said...

looks gorgeous!!! totally transformed!!! you have the best eye!!

Becca said...

You have the golden touch!

sarah said...

Jenny, this is amazing and brilliant. i want to do white walls in my next house, and you just pushed me over the edge. white walls with lots of color. i'm in love.

Sarah C. said...

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! This is perfection. I love it and wish I could buy it. You should get together with CB2 or Crate & Barrel to produce some of the items that you've upcycled since most of us don't have the imagination to make this kind of makeover happen!

Dominique DeLaney said...

This is great....I love the color! It adds so much depth to your office!! Looking fab in there!

Cynthia said...

It's so hard to pick a favorite but I think 'Spring Rain' would be my first choice :)

Trish E. said...

To heck with work today: I'm going to the Goodwill Store!!
This is so fabulous and inspiring. We are looking at a move soon and I feel so stagnant, yet at the same time, I need to do some updates for house selling...

Merry Christmas, and thanks for your entertaining and informative blog!

emily said...

you just made all the world think twice about those ugly credenzas you see at the goodwill all the time...such an amazing project!

Love This Space said...

I love seeing this. I'm going to try the concrete top on my bathroom counters (70s formica) but putting it on a table top is a great idea too. No worries about coasters!

anna.r.halpern@gmail.com said...

This looks amazing! I'm going to have to try out that paint on some furniture!

Gwen, The Makerista said...

Really beautiful Jenny! I have to say, you make painting with the oil based look so easy! I recently did my first piece and didn't find the application to be as simple. I sanded the whole thing down really well and still had a lot of variance in the finish. This looks great though!

Jamie said...

I love this look! I've been wanting to try the faux concrete look since you posted about your laundry room counter tops! I may have to try it on a desk or end table!

PARIS BEE kids blog said...

Oh WOW! I love this transformation. I would love to try this at home!!! Thanks for the inspiration!


xoxo PARIS BEE

Patty said...

more office pics, please!

Ivy de Leon said...

This is so cool. Love your creativity and originality.

Sarah said...

Gorgeous credenza! What a great office space. What color white did you use? I trying to pick the perfect white for my home and it's a lot harder than it looks!!

Hayley said...

I really love the credenza and the amazing transformation, but I have to say I LOVE that yellow lamp just as much!! You sure have some amazing thrift stores in your area!

Anonymous said...

You made home improvement looks so effortless when it is so much work!

Suzanne

Karen said...

What an awesome transformation!! Beautiful. I love the way you painted/concreted it and the way you styled it. Gorgeous! I would love to look at that every day myself :)

Jenni said...

Jenny,

I love the way this looks and I was wondering if you thought this application would work on a tumbled marble sculpted vanity top? (think yellow and white circa 1978 with molded shell sinks). I'm having a hard time finding something that will work and hold up and I don't have the money to replace them, so I was curious...any thoughts???

hope @ hopefulgardner.com said...

Gorgeous! Really nicely done.

thefolia said...

Amazing job--Touché!

designchic said...

I didn't even know this was possible - just love the concrete top!!

cjinphx said...

I'm in the Phoenix area. What stores do you visit for vintage furniture? Where did you get this piece? It's beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

cjinphx said...

I'm in the Phoenix area. What stores do you visit for vintage furniture? Where did you get this piece? It's beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

priyanshu kumar said...

nice blog.Wfs-Store Kitchen Worktops Direct Provides a wide variety of worktops are available in the market today, and it’s a daunting task to decide between the different options available.

emily.kathryn said...

This looks so great, I love the paint finish with the concrete top!

Lauren said...

I am always amazed at your ability to take something from ugly or boring to absolutely gorgeous - thanks for sharing!

Anneke at This, That and Life said...

Oh wow ~ this turned out amazing!!!

Amy said...

Hi Jenny - So beautiful!!

Do you think it would be possible to apply this oil-based painting technique to furniture made of laminated particle board? What sort of prep work would I have to do?

I absolutely love your blog - thanks so much for sharing all of your wonderful projects with us!

tara - as long as its fancy said...

Great transformation! I love the contrast of the raw concrete with the glossy finish, too!

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