Desk salvage – before and after…

Not only do I have a reputation as a hoarder, but after my chair transformation post many now picture me on weekends scouring the streets for furniture people have discarded.

And you are forgiven for harbouring those thoughts as I introduce yet another item I found on the footpath about a month ago…. a gorgeous wooden desk.

This item actually found me. Our neighbours (across the road neighbours, not next door) had placed it on the footpath for anyone who was game – did they know Bernice lived across the road from them? I awkwardly to its new home on my own, down the hall to the back garden. As you can see in the before photo (above) the previous owners had made an attempt at stripping one drawer, and sanding back some of the paint, but must have proved too labour intensive. So it was left on the footpath for another over-enthusiastic restorer to take on.

It was not an unusual sight for my husband to come home to find me in my ‘Hey Bernice’ clothes (usually a T-shirt my sister has discarded with an obscure band name on the front which makes him laugh when he sees me with electric sander in hand, tiny shorts and ‘XXX’ written across my chest) madly sanding, paint stripping, painting, planting… and usually trying to do two projects at once. This particular day I was half way through restoring my outdoor chairs when the desk called my name from across the street. Naturally I was temporarily distracted by the (needing to immediately determine how hard it would be to strip the paint off).

I thought I might be able to sand the paint off, but proving quite stubborn, I opted for paint stripper. I had to do two coats of stripper (three in some of the stubborn areas). I didn’t want a clean wood finish, I was happy with remnants of white paint, as long as it wasn’t too messy looking. I then gave it a whisk over withe the electric sander (my new best friend!).

Choosing new nobs for the drawers was tricky – I wanted to use the beautiful French ceramic nobs I had spied in a shop nearby (having failed to convince my husband to allow me to replace our wardrobe handles with them – he can never claim he doesn’t have a say in our house decorating!). I tried one of the white ceramic nobs… which didn’t look quite right. So, I went back to the shop, and noticed they had a similar crystal version (not as ‘obvious’ as the white) – they were perfect!

The finished product….


Who knows where I will find my next challenge…


5 responses to “Desk salvage – before and after…”

  1. I love the before and afters … can’t wait to see it.

    1. After shot if up now – the post went live before it was done!

  2. But where’s the after shot??? Don’t leave us hanging!

    1. Sorry to leave you hanging… the post published before I had finished it – the after shot (and an edited version) is now live!

  3. Looks really good, can’t wait to see your finished product…

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