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Thrift Store Desk Refinish

January 04, 2019

Thrift Store Desk Refinish

This writing desk refinish was such a great project. 
It's so satisfying to repurpose old furniture,
and it's easier than you think!

My daughter moved out recently, and just like that, I had a new home office! I was excited about it, so I started looking for a desk.
Thrift Store Desk RefinishI went to a couple stores and looked online, but I couldn't find anything halfway decent for under $600, and the furniture wasn't even made out of real wood.

I was bootstrapping my business- I needed money for everything.
I couldn't spend that much on one piece of furniture. And honestly, I had no idea what I was looking for, anyway- until I stopped into a local thrift store.

I spotted the desk right away, but thought it was a little strange looking at first. As I looked around the store, though, I kept coming back to it.

It was an old writing desk, made by a family owned furniture company out of Pennsylvania in the 1940's. (I looked it up after I got it home, it had a big stamp on the back of it)
Thrift Store Desk

With a price tag of $35, it was looking pretty attractive.
It was very well-made out of old pine wood, with dove-tailed drawers and an interesting, broad shelf on the bottom.
It was missing some hardware, but I planned on replacing that, anyway.

So I took it home and hit Lowes for some supplies. At $45, the sand paper, new hardware, primer and paint cost more than the desk did.

Fresh paint is easier and faster than stripping and staining, so I choose olive green (no surprise there) and ivory spray paints in a semi-gloss for durability. And I found some nice, new bronze drawer knobs.

The Whole Shebang:
1. I removed all the hardware. Very easy, the knobs just unscrew.
Vintage Shop Desk RepurposeThen I removed the draws.

2. I wiped the whole desk down with a damp sponge. 

3. Sand, then sand a little more. 
No heavy duty work, just knocked off some of the old finish with a medium grain paper. Then I wiped it all down again with a damp sponge, removing all the dust.

Thrift Store Furniture Repurpose




4. Spray with primer. I did two light coats, and let it dry, completely.
Paint primer's great because it reduces the amount of sanding I'd have to do without it! (I find any primer will do, I had some Rustoleum in the garage, so I used that up first) 

5. Spray with paint. I used the ivory paint for the drawers and the green for the rest of the desk. Two light coats did a very nice job. Make sure to let the paint dry completely between coats.

Desk Refinish


6. When it was dry, I screwed the new knobs on and that was it, a brand new, beautiful desk for under $100!

And I love it so much :-) 



Thrift stores are a great source for stand alone furniture pieces. This desk fits my needs perfectly, and I really like the way it came out. If I can do it, you can do it, too! 

 

 

 

 

 




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