Vintage School Desk

I was pretty excited when I saw that a friend was selling this desk and I had to get it. I was of course unsure where it would go at first until I realized my youngest has a rocking chair in his room that I could switch it out with. The desk is in great shape but needed just a little love. My first step was to strip the wood which I did with Citristrip. I only had to wait an hour before removing it. While I was removing the gel from the wood I noticed that the metal it self was painted and the paint was coming off as well. My original plan was to paint the metal with dark metal paint so it would have more of an industrial look. Now I can just remove all of the paint from the metal and save myself the time of taping off all the wood to paint it (so I thought). Yippee!!

With all of the stain removed, I lightly sanded all of the wood to prep it for staining. With the  metal being left dark, I wanted to keep the wood fairly light to go with the the metal and wood accents in my sons room.

Your projects will not always go as planned and this is one of those. After stripping the wood, I began to strip the metal because it appeared that all the metal underneath was dark, as I was hoping. It turned out to have many layers of paint and I ended up with two different colors of metal.  Now I’m back at the beginning and will have to really clean and prep the metal so that I can do what I was planning from the beginning (paint the metal). I learn something new from every project I do.

Never underestimate the importance of prep work. This project was full of it. Not only did I strip and sand the wood and metal but in order to paint the metal I had to mask off the chair with tape since the whole thing didn’t come apart. The picture below shows how just a little light hand sanding can make a big difference. The wood on the chair has been sanded and the desk top hasn’t.


For the metal I applied two coats of a metallic spray paint which is exactly what I was picturing. The wood on the other hand did not exactly turn out as I envisioned but I still love it and the desk looks adorable in my little mans room. It’s imperfectly perfect with notches and scratches still left from previous owners.




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