School Desk comes out of hiding: Family history & function!

Welcome to Flashback Friday, where we re-visit a painted piece of the past.  I love transforming a piece of furniture, but if that piece has some family history behind it?  Well, that is the icing on the cake.  I love knowing these stories while I'm painting these types of pieces; it puts a whole new spin on the process, and is essentially, the core mission behind Novo Decor.... 

Re-creating & refreshing the home using what home-owners ALREADY OWN

It's time to bring those pieces of furniture out of hiding and display them proudly, share their stories, and remember their history!  This is what today's story is all about.

Tiffany was looking for a desk for her son, and then this happened....

When Tiffany's father-in-law found a collection of vintage school desks in an area church, she immediately saw its potential.  The coolest part about it, is that Tiffany's husband's grandparents founded that church years ago......and now, Tiffany and her family get to hold on to a piece of that history with this awesome "new" vintage desk! 

Tiffany contacted me with a photo of the desk, asking if I could do "something" with it. I said, "YES ma'am".  

The desk was in great condition, but the chrome was rusty, and needed some TLC.   

The wood pieces (seat, desk top, and arm rest) unscrewed right off the chrome frame, which was a time saver for spray painting the base.  Additionally, the screws were surprisingly cooperative (you never know with old rusty screws how well they'll come off). Huge bonus!

Here's a quick glance at the process.....

1.  Clean & spray paint the frame

Once the wood pieces were removed, I used baking soda and water to clean off the rust from the base.  I mixed half cup water with a bunch of baking soda to create a pasty texture. 

I painted on the mixture, let it sit a half hour,  then scrubbed it off with a light abrasive sponge. Most of the rust came right off.  The remaining spots were harmless, as they would soon be spray painted.      Once dry, I spray painted the entire frame using Rust-o-leum's "Oil Rubbed Bronze":  (three layers)

2.  Strip & re-stain

The desk seat and back needed refurbishing. Since they were authentic wood, I wanted to maintain that look.  I decided not to paint them. Once stripped and cleaned, they were ready for re-staining.  I used MInwax stain in "Dark Walnut".  

3.  Paint

Two layers of teal chalk paint were applied to the desk top, and arm rest.  Light sanding followed for a smooth surface. 

4.  Apply Wax (antiquing) 

Finishing the project with light and dark wax gave the piece an "antiqued" look.  I did this to the desk top and arm rest.   For the seat and chair back, I used a clear Polycrylic sealant.   Done!

One great Desk

It can be a challenge to find a perfect little desk for a "little" at home, not to mention a perfect little chair scaled to size!  I speak from personal experience......as I've been searching for a chair for Luke's desk.  The chairs I find are either too wide, too tall, too short......

But a desk like this one?  PERFECT.   With it's compact size, great quality, and built-in seat you can't go wrong!  Be sure to keep your eyes open for desks like these at second hand stores!  

Find those gems, haul them out of hiding, use them, and tell their story

And that is how recognizing the potential in a piece of furniture, can turn into a functional piece of furniture, that not only enhances the home interior, but has a family history that now can be represented and enjoyed for years to come.  I'd say this is a BIG SUCCESS make-over story. 

Happy school shopping (ug! how can this be happening already?!).....

Are you looking for an old school desk?   I have TWO left to custom paint just for YOU!  Here they are.....

Enjoy your weekend!!!!! 

-Kate