I’ve been spending a lot of time in the garage these days and a lot of time away from the computer. I’ve really missed blogging on the regular and hope to get back into it.
I was in need of a decent desk and chair to work at, and I was lucky to be given these unwanted rough gems (the chair above and the desk below) from my granny in-law.
This old desk actually had an ugly beat up piece of fiber-board glued to its top and just looked plain nasty when I got it. I should’ve taken a photo of it before I ripped it off! What I found underneath was pretty nice hard wood. I thought, with a bit of sanding, staining and varnishing, this old thing could look just like new (only better) ;).
I covered the chair in Handi-Strip with a cheap brush to melt the 4 layers of paint off. It took longer than I had anticipating to scrape off all that history! I also discovered a manufacturers sticker underneath the seat that says “Imperial Chair Co. Holland. Michigan.” I looked up the company name and it turns out that it was a furniture company that was manufacturing furniture in the early 1900’s!
I used Acetone for general cleaning up of brushes and when I needed to wipe down the furniture to dust off any debris.
I had to fill in quite a few cracks and holes in the chair and desk with stainable wood filler. Once the filler was dry, I sanded everything down with my handy dandy power sander. I was a bit nervous when it came time to stain the top of the desk and drawers. I used a dark walnut color and was worried it’d be too dark but it turned out just the way I wanted. I then varnished the the top of the desk and drawers, one layer at a time. I waited for each coat to dry overnight before I lightly sanded any bubbles with fine grade sand paper.
I used Cover Stain Primer to prepare the rest of the desk and chair for their new coats of paint. I love this stuff! It just seals everything up and gives the paint a good surface to adhere to.
I chose a high gloss enamel paint called “Houseplant” green for the chair. They only sold it by the gallon so I’ll be sure to use it again for some other future garage project.
I painted the desk with a semi gloss enamel paint called “Panda White”. I wanted to leave the top of the desk and drawers unpainted so the desk still had character and can tell its story through its grain and scratches. I did some investigating with the help of a clue (map of telephone lines) left in the drawer of the desk, that it belonged to the Mountain Bell Telephone Company. Some guy used it in his office some time between 1911 to 1991!
Pretty interesting, huh?
I can’t wait to have a proper work space set up. A place to decorate and make me feel cheerful and inspired. At the moment I’ve got my new desk and chair in the basement and, it’s not pretty down there. We’ve been looking for a rental home, so hopefully (fingers and toes crossed) we’ll get a call back from one of our applications soon and then these new beauties can be set up properly in a nice space. I think they deserve it 🙂