Need advice on what to do with this desk!

todds_sweetpeaJuly 10, 2013

I got this beast of a beauty at a thrift store for a steal, and had my DH and his burliest friend move it to my in progress crafting space, which unfortunately is in the basement. (Afterwards they said it will die and be buried there because they are NEVER moving it out!) Its got great character, but I'm torn between wanting to paint/distress it (thinking Annue Sloan chalk paint in Old White or Paris Gray) to make it work better in my dark space, and not wanting to cover the beautiful woodwork. Sanding and restaining it is not an option, way too much work for this DIYer, and as previously mentioned, this piece is not moving.) any thoughts? What would you do with this piece? (Also posted over on the furniture forum.)

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I would shudder to cover up that beautiful oak finish on the top surface. If the sides of desk or drawers need refinishing, I'd still go with sand and re-finish. In my humble opinion, it's a crime to cover up natural wood, especially this kind of beautiul oak. A few years ago, my brother and I talked until we were blue to talk my sister in law out of her silly idea to paint her maple early american dining set in colors to reflect mexican colors, i.e. bright blues, reds, orange, green. We were horrified that she thought it was okay to paint natural wood, especially maple, in such colors, and the way she would have done it sounded like a carnival ride. The dentil molding on the edge is wonderful, seems a shame to cover it with other than the original finish, as it reflects the beauty of the wood, as it is. If this is your craft area, I'd advise a glass top, which can be expensive, and leave it as is. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 9:43AM
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I agree, shudder to see that destroyed, especially with chalk paint!!!!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 11:08AM
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What a perfect crafting table it makes!
I suggest leaving the top (or lightly refinishing it) as that will be the best work surface. Chalk paint doens't seem like a good work surface to me. But I say go ahead and paint the side drawer parts. Just be care ful not to paint things shut which means a couple of light coats with light sanding in between. Not sure chalk paint is the best choice for this, but then I have never used it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 4:47PM
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Chalk paint won't stick to either an oil-based finish, or poly, so you'd have to scuff-sand it anyhow...and then it will burnish in funny places, and rub off in others, and whether that's 'authentic aging' or 'hot mess' is a roll of the dice.

if it were going to be someplace where is wasn't going to be covered with projects most of the time (it IS going to be a work surface, right?) refinishing the top might be feasible. the pedestals? not so much fun, especially those dentils.

what sort of crafts do you do? are you going to be running a rotary cutter across it? painting? that will give us some idea of what we need to protect it from : )

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 10:22PM
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I have a beautiful old desk from the extinct Uniroyal company in Eau Claire, WI. I have not done a single thing to mar's perfect, in my estimation. I store tons of craft and art tools in it, and do all of my projects on it's surface. I agree with the poster who suggested a glass top.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 7:44PM
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It's been a year. What did you do with it?

Here's one I did:



    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 11:19AM
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Its beautiful, you did such a nice job..

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 9:27AM
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Heck, it's yours, paint it any way you like!

The top looks like pine to me, might have been purchased "nude" then finished by the homeowner.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2015 at 8:11PM
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Gosh, she's going to use it for a craft table! She should do whatever she wants, and since it's been a year, I bet she's using it as is, and loving it! I'd probably paint it a shiny white, but since it's down in the basement, I might just leave it as is, and enjoy!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2015 at 7:29PM
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