Monday, November 18, 2013

Curbside Treasures : Boys Desk

A little more than a month ago my mom called me to let me know she had found a small desk on the side of the road, and snagged it for me.  She said it was in pretty rough shape, but she could see potential in it (if you have ever wondered where I get my love of salvaged objects from...now you know!).

The first time I saw the desk it was sitting in her backyard, in a torrential downpour, and I'll be honest - I didn't immediately have high hopes.  It made it's way to my house, and after sitting in my garage to dry out for a few weeks, I decided to give it a go.
 One of the legs had somehow been torn off, but since the leg was right there with it, that was an easy enough fix.  The top looked like maybe this had been someone's craft station at one point.
Lots of different paint spots, along with some graffiti and a few scratches.  I wanted to at least try to save the top of the desk, because I figured if I painted it, it would only be a matter of time before it got all chipped up from the boys "working" there.  So I got out my little sander and away we went!
And I sanded, and sanded....and sanded.  I actually had such a tough time sanding this that I partially dislocated my shoulder - if anyone can explain how the heck I did that, go for it! BUT ANYWAY - eventually I got it down to the bare wood, and then I went over it with a very fine grit to give it a nice smooth surface.

I didn't want to spend anything on this, so I actually just used the same stain I used on our dining room table to give it a few coats of stain.   At that point I was pretty sure it was a goner because for whatever reason, the stain was taking completely different on one half of the desk.
I'm still not sure why it took the stain like that, but after I did an extra coat on the lighter boards, the difference was subtle enough that I kept on going.  I let the stain dry for a full 24 hours, during which time I painted the rest of the desk with a sample jar of Valspar "perfect storm".  

Once the stain was dry I did a few coats of satin finish polyurethane, and more than anything this helped the top look SO much better.
There is still a light difference in the tone of the wood, but I still like it! Once it dried I moved it into the playroom, and quickly realized that the boys couldn't quite open the drawers. I think because it was a recessed pull, and they do have small hands, it was just really tough for them.  So I added a super simple (free) fix by drilling holes into the drawers and making rope handles.
Then it was a simple matter of sliding in a chair and getting out some crayons...
All in all, I paid under $3 for the paint sample, which is not a bad price for a child's desk!


We still need to buy some nice plush rugs for the playroom, so please ignore the carpet glue on the cement.  Its a work in progress, you know?!

So what do you think?  Worth the $3 I paid to make over this little curbside treasure?



20 comments:

  1. It's so cute Bekah, and a great price, obviously! Can't wait to see how the playroom turns out once you've worked your magic.

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    1. Thanks!! It's slowly getting there. The room doesnt look all that pretty, but it is such a functional SUNNY space! I'm so glad we have it!

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  2. Tell mama I need a trash picked desk if she sees one :)

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  3. Holy cow--That looks great!! You really have a talent for seeing the potential in things like that! Great job!

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    1. Just an FYI: I added you to the PA bloggers map. Thanks for joining! http://mailboxjourney.com/pennsylvania-bloggers/

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    2. Thanks! You did a great job setting that up, it is a great idea!

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  5. Oh man, Bekah, I love everything about this! The color, the ropes, the rustic planks...perfection. Totally worth the $3!

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  6. Beautiful restoration! Nice work. Love the color and those rope handles are perfect. Congrats!!

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    1. Thank you John! Maybe someday I will be able to actually MAKE furniture the way you do!

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  7. the rope handles are my favorite part.

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  8. $3?! No way! I love how it turned on! It looked great!

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  9. what are the dimensions of this desk? just curious?

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  10. what are the dimensions of this desk? its absolutely adorable! great job. i love trash picking! especially when you find great pieces like this one, it makes it that more special just knowing it was free and you made a masterpiece from someones trash lol

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