refinished office desk

our last big renovation project for the study is complete. and we finally have our garage back (well sort of, we’ve missed so many recycling days and i have an online shopping addiction so it’s currently still overflowing with boxes).


anyways, we purchased a desk from the UW Swap Shop for $35. first of all, that place is awesome. they sell the university’s old and used furtinute and other miscellaneous stuff for really cheap. and they have some hidden gems – maps, old books, card catalogues. we bought this desk which was in decent shape, but had some major scratches (the desk is on it’s side, it’s not the picture):


we took it home in a u-haul and it spent a solid week and a half in our garage without getting touched. it’s hard to focus on these projects during christmas when all you want to do is eat, drink, and hang out with family. so this weekend we decided to get to work. first we cleaned out the desk and took off all the hardware. we had an unexpected surprise – the desk was full of chemistry lab notes and pamphlets from the 80s. they are fantastic. the graphics are beautiful. the messages are hilarious.


anyways, after prepping the garage (and going cross country skiing!) we began with the stripping of the varnish. holy chemicals. this was not a pleasant task, but it did work pretty well after a couple applications. safety first my friends:


next, jason spent about 8 hours sanding down the desk. even with an electric sander this is no small job. he didn’t have the proper eye protection, so we improvised. these goggles weren’t going to make it to next year’s ski season anyways.


finally, after sanding and wiping everything down with tack cloth…and cleaning out our extremely dusty garage…we were ready for staining. this was actually the easy part. stain and wipe, and voila:


and then the boring part of sealing it all in. jason put on a couple coats of polyurethane to make it nice and shiny (and scratch proof). and then it was new year’s eve. new year’s day we finally got it into the house. goodbye falling apart ikea desk, hello new favorite:


One thought on “refinished office desk

  1. Pingback: the finishing touch | Things I Made Today

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