Vintage Desk Makeover


Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

You may have seen this desk recently if you’re following the One Crafty Contest by One Artsy Mama; it was my Round 1 project for the “paint” challenge, and a few people must’ve liked it because I made it to Round 2!  (Yeay!  And a big THANKS if you voted for it!)

I bought the desk at a church yard sale for $5.  It was old, ugly, had some scratches, and one of the corners was broken off of a drawer – not exactly the kind of desk most people would want inside their home, let alone sit at to do some work.

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

The first thing I did was remove the drawers and give the whole thing a good cleaning.  I sanded the scratches and filled all the little nicks with wood filler.  Then I had to tackle the issue of the broken drawer corner.

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

I applied the wood filler to the corner area and let it dry.  Then I went back and added another layer and let it dry.  I did this several times (sanding a bit each time before adding the next layer) until there was enough built up that you couldn’t even tell anything had been missing (once I painted over the filler).  Next I also sanded over the nicks where I had used the wood filler.

For my paint colors, I chose Montpelier Ashlar Gray (which was my top coat for my Chic Little Table Redo) and Churchill Hotel Maple (which I used to paint the vanity in the Budget Bathroom Makeover).   Why do paint color names have to be so long and hard to remember?

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

I used the same painting technique that I did for the Chic Little Table Redo.  First I casually painted the desk gray, let it dry, and then sanded it lightly – more around the edges and some of the curves.  For this kind of project you need to remember that the finished piece will look much better than how it looks “in-progress!”

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

Then I followed the same process for the maple color: paint, let it dry, distress it.  I was not going for a perfect look – I like the idea of a beautiful, weathered vintage piece.

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

The hardware was gross and layered in grime.  I really didn’t even want to touch it!  But I decided that cleaning it up and reusing it would probably be better than buying brand new drawer pulls that wouldn’t look authentic – and you guys know how much I love to buy new drawer knobs!

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

I did a little research and discovered they weren’t real brass.  Then for lack of better resources (i.e. a wire brush), I used regular sandpaper to get rid of the gunk and give it some shine!  Since the desk had a worn/weathered look, I left the hardware a little imperfect also.  I think it’s a great match, and the silver even brings out the gray in the desk.

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

Here’s how it all turned out!   (Pay no attention to the hay on my recently reseeded side yard.)   😉

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

I couldn’t resist including a few of my French books from high school and from a Paris vacation a while back.

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

And here’s a closeup in case you have a thing for vintage red typewriters like I do…   I got this one when I was about 13 years old and dreamt of typing a great American novel on it.  I also have the case it came in and the manual – dated 1956.

Vintage desk makeover by Girl in the Garage.  An old tattered yard sale desk was repaired and revived into something definitely worthy of bringing inside the house!

It still needs some cleaning after being lost in my parents’ garage for almost 20 years.  (Thanks mom, for digging it out!)  Does anyone have any suggestions for cleaning the keys that won’t harm the letters?  Right now there’s a white film on them and water didn’t help, but I’m nervous to try any chemicals.  Thanks in advance!

I’m happy I could finally share my desk with you since Round 1 is over for the contest.

What will Round 2 bring?!?  I’ll share that project next week!

Jen

Miss any of my recent posts?   Catch up here:

10 (Mostly) Easy Ways to Update Your Home Decor

Big May Giveaway: $750 Cash!

8 DIY Seating Makeovers


 photo just-paint-it-ad-border-wide_zpsmka7ckdc.jpg

18 Comments on Vintage Desk Makeover

  1. Marilyn
    May 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm (4 years ago)

    What a super cute desk! 😀

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Marilyn! 🙂

      Reply
    • Jen
      May 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm (4 years ago)

      Awww thanks Clydia! Glad you stopped by. 😉

      Reply
  2. Sue
    May 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm (4 years ago)

    I bet that typewriter is worth something! It looks great on your desk!

    Reply
  3. Michelle@yagottahaveahobby
    May 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm (4 years ago)

    What a gorgeous little redo! I’m just getting into DIY furniture projects, and I love what you’ve done! You’re so inspiring. 🙂

    xoxo
    Michelle
    Michelle@yagottahaveahobby recently posted…Mason Jar Herb GardenMy Profile

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 22, 2013 at 10:51 pm (4 years ago)

      Michelle, that is SO SWEET. Thank you so much! I do try to inspire others so I’m very happy that you feel that way. Good luck with your projects! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Alli
    May 23, 2013 at 4:17 am (4 years ago)

    I love the desk redo and the step-by-step instructions, including the pics. And the red vintage typewriter is awesome! Well done!
    Alli recently posted…I Heart Coco (Chanel)My Profile

    Reply
  5. Amy @ StowandTellU
    May 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm (4 years ago)

    Love your desk re-do and congrats on making 1st round!!! Nice warm and cozy colors you choose, that red type writer just pops against the desk! No idea on how to clean those key pads though. Hopefully someone will have a good tip for you ~ Amy
    Amy @ StowandTellU recently posted…Sewing Room Lazy SusanMy Profile

    Reply
  6. ingrid@nowathomemom
    May 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm (4 years ago)

    love the transformation of this desk; so pretty, I love everything about it! Ingrid

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Lindsey! 🙂

      Reply
  7. amy @ commona-my house
    May 31, 2013 at 9:12 am (4 years ago)

    What a great little desk this turned out to be!!! I’m so glad that you shared it at Give Me the Goods Monday Link Party! I love that you showed how you repaired with the wood filler- so glad to know how to do that now!
    XO!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *






CommentLuv badge