Thursday, June 30, 2011

Advice Please?

Okay, this is where I pretend to have a loyal blog following and ask for help:

I desperately need your advice!
[cue the crickets]

Well, to my few (and I mean it in the very literal sense of the word 'few') followers:

What do you think about refinishing this desk?

Should I take the plunge?

How would you refinish it?

Some important facts to know:

1. It was originally my grandfather's so it's sentimental (aka I don't want to ruin it)
2. It's old: as young as 75 -- as old as 100 years?
3. I'm not trying to keep it original so painting it is my first thought.
4. Last and most important: I've never restored a piece of furniture, ever!

The top finish is pretty scratched up. I thought about putting a glass top on this when it's done. What do you think?

Hardware: all intact and not hideous at all.


1. Keep as is?
2. Keep original, but paint?
3. Change entirely -- to what?

I think she has pretty lines.

All the drawers need stops and could stand to glide smoother (suggestions?)

And finally, what type of finish? What color?

I'm thinking an off white, perhaps with some glazing, but am open to suggestions.

Oh and here is the matching chair. It's original to the desk.

Closeup of side detail

Back of chair.

Seat is some type of faux leather and I can see another layer of fabric under that.
To be honest, it's not the most comfy of chairs and I don't know if I'd want to sit in it for long periods of time at a desk.

So do I repurpose it for somewhere else?

Keep it with the desk b/c it's original to the desk?

See? I told you I needed your help!


  1. First of all I love the desk and the fact that it was your grandfathers is even better. I have a buffet that has been in my family for years that I loved but was afraid to change it. I finally took the plunge and painted it glossy black. And now it's perfect. Love the color,fits my style much better and yet I still have that special piece only undated. Go for it. I didn't have nice hardware so I replaced mine but would have kept the originals if I did. I would redo the chair and use it elsewhere and invest in a comfy one. Good luck! Can't wait to see the after pics.

  2. ok, here goes:
    1. beautiful desk, love the lines!!
    2. I would paint it & then lightly distress. Choose a color scheme that will go with your decor. If that's white/cream, then go with that.
    3. as for fixing the drawers--I'm hopeless with that, do you have a dad/brother/hubby/etc that can give you some help, ideas?
    4. the seat wouldn't be too hard to do, just put a nice piece of foam underneath before you recover, and it will make it more comfortable. my kids sit on a similar one and don't have any issues.

  3. Keep the chair! Put it in a corner if you don't want to sit in it! The two make a beautiful pair, and I wouldn't separate them! Antique white, with faint gold hardware would be beautiful! Fresh, yet antiqued!

  4. HI Robin
    This is my first time at your blog. I agree the desk is beautiful. I'm no pro at refinishing but I think sanding it down some and painting it would be really nice. You can google specific directions-but painting is pretty easy- don't be afraid:)
    Look forward to seeing what you do!

  5. Paint it, glazing is nice. What room will it be in and the c olors there? The aqua is really pretty...put a really good padding on the chair seat and you'll be surprised how comfy it is...and use it as a side chair to the desk...maybe as a table? Look for one of those old style wooden desk chairs with casters and arms to sit at it. I know Anthro and PB have them for obscene amounts of money...I found mine at Good will for less than $10.

  6. I say... paint both pieces off-white & distress. Add cup pulls to at least the side drawers. maybe something different for the middle drawer. Add a couple layers of batting & recover the seat to match. :) Oh! And rub a bar of soap or a wax candle on the drawer glides on both the desk & the drawer. Good luck!

  7. I vote for a pretty aqua, like your blog colors, with antique white or silver hardware. What a beautiful piece! Good luck with the process.


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