BAM! I did it! I didn’t believe in me, but I did it. I actually finished a DIY project. (I’m hearing applause in my head right now.)
I bought this vintage school desk years ago. I loved the idea of these little desks, and I wished and wished for one until it actually appeared at a local vintage market. I meant to fix it up when I brought it home, but it stayed a shabby mess until I put some pink on the lid, like you see below. That was a side effect of that washi tape trend last year where everyone felt like it was a good idea to put tape on furniture— remember that? Yeah, that’s tape.
As you can see, the desk was not in great shape. What I didn’t get a clear picture of are all of the scratches on the legs and the broken slat/bar at the bottom.
To get started, I peeled off the washi tape and started sanding. I sanded forever. The desk was splotchy and scratchy and called for a good deal of sanding. I used a coarse grit— I know I should have gone over it with a finer grit after that, but my arms were tired and it looked good without the further sanding (it really did!). Plus, I wanted to move on to fill the holes from where I removed the broken parts at the bottom. I chose to leave the one unbroken bar in case it helps with stability. I don’t mind asymmetry.
After washing the desk with some sugar soap, I taped off the legs and the top area of the desk. I knew I wanted to paint some of the top to give it some visual balance, and after some deliberation, I settled on painting the pencil tray. Once I painted that, I decided to also do the lip of the lid. You can always paint more, but it’s a headache to take the paint off, so I tried one idea at a time.
After doing 1000 coats of paint, I removed the tape and went over the unpainted areas with wood oil. It’s a blend of linseed and a few other things— very easy to find at a hardware store. Oil was WAY BETTER than varnish in this case. It wasn’t messy, it was quick, wasn’t too shiny, and it goes on evenly because you just wipe it on with a cloth. I LOVE WOOD OIL NOW. I really recommend it.
I’m very happy with the result. It’s not perfect by any stretch, but it looks 100 times better. I’m proud of me :)