Vintage find + family history = functional (and cute) kids' desk

Having a desk for the kids is ideal.  Before we had desks in our house, all the homework was scattered over the kitchen table, like constantly.  Then desks came....and life in the kitchen became much less cluttered.   Whether you need a designated place for your kids' homework, or a place to corral your paperwork, desks serve a great purpose.  There are many prospects out there........we just have to find them!  

That's what Tiffany did; she found the perfect desk she had been searching for.  But, it wasn't perfect when she laid eyes on it.   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 (this desk was the cool kind with real wood and chrome, and a cute built-in book rack!): 

The desk was in great condition, but the chrome was rusty, and overall it needed some TLC.   I decided to re-do all of it; the chrome, the seat, the desk top.  

The fact that the wood pieces (seat, desk top, and arm rest) unscrewed right off the chrome frame was a huge bonus, and later proved to be 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)  I loved this project even more.  

Tiffany indicated she liked teal, but was open to other colors.  I kept her home interior in mind when deciding on color. It was going to be a surprise.....(love surprises!).....

Here's what I did: 

1.  Clean & spray paint the frame

Once those 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!

A Two in One Desk:  Score! 

Speaking from my own experience, 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've been searching for a chair for Luke's desk.....they are either too wide, too tall, too short......Maybe I"m being too picky, but, the point is, if you can score a desk with a built-in seat, like this vintage find, that's a major win (hence the term "two in one" desk).  These desks are compact, and you can't beat the quality either! So, keep your eyes open for these at thrift stores or estate sales!

Vintage find + family history = functional (and super cute) piece for the home

And that is how recognizing the potential in a piece of furniture, can turn into a highly functional piece of furniture, that not only enhances the home interior, but has a family history that can now be represented and enjoyed for years to come.

Thank you Tiffany!  You did good, girlfriend! Did you put little jars of school supplies into that handy book rack on the desk yet? I bet it looks so cuuuute!  Study hard, boys. 

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