I needed a new desk for my apartment this year, but I really didn’t want to spend on a lot of money on one (they can be so expensive!). I went thrifting at Goodwill with my sister and came across this desk for $9.99! Below are the Before pictures.
It was in pretty rough shape. To fix it up, we needed a lot of different supplies. You need stripper, stain, lacquer, and tons and tons of sandpaper. First, I unscrewed all of the old knobs and then painted each of the drawers a different color on the inside (the inside wood was pretty ugly). I just used acrylic paint from Michael’s that you can get for 3/$1. Pretty cheap!
Next was the woodwork which was the really tough work. It is very time consuming and takes a lot of patience. I worked all weekend on this desk. First, to gather the supplies (they can be really expensive), we asked around to friends and family if they had any leftover woodworking supplies. You would be surprised how many people have old stain and lacquer laying around. We obtained two different kinds of stripper (a gel and a lacquer), several different stains, and lots of sandpaper. Using leftovers saved us upwards of $20 on supplies! The only thing we had to buy was an $8 lacquer!
We first applied a gel stripper and let it sit on the wood for a short amount of time and then scrapped it off with a tool. We then, wearing gloves, used paper towels to basically scrub the wood with the liquid stripper until all of the stain was removed. The combination of the strippers worked really well for us. All the strippers, of course, contained instructions on proper use.
After stripping, we got down to sanding. This is my least favorite part, it takes FOREVER. We sanded until all marks, cigarette burns, coffee stains, and scratches were removed from the wood. Here is the work in progress:
After the wood was stripped and sanded, we used a leaf blower to make sure all the dust was removed. Now for the fun part, staining! Below are the stain and lacquer that we used:
We painted on the stain with a brush and then removed it with paper towels. The application went very quickly! Lastly, I applied two coats of lacquer on the desk and 3 coats on the top of the desk. I used a brush and the lacquer we applied dried quickly and was really easy to use. Make sure you go quickly and try to get the lacquer as even as possible before it dries in clumps.
Lastly, I got to choose knobs! They are really expensive, and I ended up spending $24 on knobs alone! I went to World Market and used a coupon. You can get knobs for less money at placed like Menards and the Home Depot, but I made the decision that I wanted to use fun knobs seeing as I spent so little on the desk itself. Thus, the total price for the project was $42! I am SO HAPPY. I couldn’t even see a grain when I purchased the desk and it was so exciting to uncover such a beautiful wood. I think the grain is gorgeous and stain highlights it perfectly. I personally think that is a great deal for a wood desk with all of the storage that it has, plus I love recycling and old piece of furniture to make it beautiful. xoxo, Katie.