the desk that never ended.

I don’t know where to begin on this project. It’s my first completed project and it sure did give me hell. I bought this little desk for $25 from Craigslist never imagining what I’d go through with it. It’s old and sturdy, has those beautiful dove-tail drawers and will last a life time. Oh, and it’s been painted black. Every. last. bit. of it.



I really wish I had a better camera so I can take better quality photos. This will be a future investment for. sure.

I can tell this was mostly if not entirely painted with spray paint which of course made my life worse since they were able to spray each and every part of it, but they actually painted some if it brown before the black. Most people would realize that they should go with the black, sand it down, add a few coats and distress it because OH it would look awesome and be WAY easier than stripping, sanding, stripping, sanding, priming, painting, stripping, walking away, crying and painting again.

My boyfriend’s mother has been the one teaching me and showing me the way of furniture prepping but on the particular morning I woke up ready to strip this bad boy, she went fishing. Really? I don’t even know where! I decided that I was smart enough to tackle the project and started away. I followed the directions and even Miss Mustard Seed’s instructions but it just wasn’t working the way I wanted. I was able to strip the top easy, but after that it started to take hours to get anything off! FIVE hours went by, and I finally started sanding to see if that was any better. It didn’t.

I decided to walk away for the night and the next day I had my helping hand. Apparently you don’t have to wait 15-25 minutes for the stripper to set and steel wool works just as great as a putty knife. OH and it only takes an hour to fully strip this desk, not five.


After finally getting it all stripped and prepped, I primed and painted. I noticed paint streaks on this piece and got frustrated again. I decided to let it dry and see what I could do with it then. Bad streaks, still. I sanded it smooth, bought NEW paint and tried again. After all that work I felt that it just looked to plain and simple so I tried something a little different and added a dark walnut stain.

This is how it ended up and I love it. Maybe it’s just me!




I’m glad that I learned so much with this piece, but its hard to take all that in at one time. I couldn’t let my frustrations and heart-break stop me, so I just kept trying again. It’s a good thing that I need a desk right now, or else I would sell this immediately. As soon as I find one that is the exact style I want, this one will be finding a new home. PLEASE help me feel better and tell (or direct me with a link) a piece you struggled most with. I’d love to learn from you!

Linking at Miss Mustard Seed, Between Naps on the Porch, Restore Interiors & Primitive & Proper


4 thoughts on “the desk that never ended.

  1. I don’t have a blog – but I paint alot of furniture – You really did an awesome job on this piece! I would never guess it was your first time. I LOVE it, you’re crazy if you sell it! It’s a classic neutral you’ll use for years. Congrats!!

  2. Yeah those handles make the piece worth it. I think this came out looking great with that stain you put over it!

    Some projects can be super frustrating (I’ve cried before). Sometimes you have to persevere and sometimes you have to walk away and do another (easy) project for awhile. Keep at it!

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