April 14, 2011

New, Old Desk

I work at a small liberal arts college that is over 105 years old. 

In our storage room was a small oak desk numbered 22.  My co-workers were making room in storage for our letterhead, envelopes, etc. and decided to throw out the desk.

I was not going to let that happen!  I asked if I could take it home, since they were just going to toss it out.  SO, I ended up with this:

It is solid oak, scratched, dented and covered with pencil marks, decreped tape and
some 60+ year old chewing gum. How long have they been making gum?

I coverd the desk in Citra-Strip.

After letting Citra-Strip soak in for over 24 hours I went back with a scraper and scrapped the old stain/polyeurethane off the desk.

I scrapped for about 30 minutes until I had the majority of the old stain, pencil marks (even the gum) and Citra-Strip scrapped off the desk.  Then, I used mineral spririts to get the rest of the Citra-Strip and stain off.

It began to show its true colors. Beautiful!

I let the mineral spirits do its job for another 24 hours until all the stain was removed.  After it was completely dry. Next, I put the first coat of stain back on.

I went with what we had left over from our kitchen remodel and used the Minwax Ployshades in Mission Oak.

After it dried, I used some steel wool to sand it down. 

I waited about two days, mainly because its been so damp in our basement it took it FOREVER for the desk to completely dry.  Then I went over it with some Minwax Spray Polyeurthane.

The next day I brought the desk upstairs and put it in our dining room.  I'm not sure what I am going to do with it, but it turned out beautiful.  I'm so happy to know that I saved the ancient desk from the dump.

Here are some pictures of the final product:

No more 22!

I LOVE the dark color and the shine from the polyeurethane. 
I just wish it would fit in our kitchen. It matches our new cabinets so perfectly.

UPDATE:  I was told that this desk was pine.  I do not know my types of wood that well so it very well could be.  I just guessed oak based on the other pieces of furniture we have in the house that are oak.  Or, maybe they are pine too. ; )


Lamp Tramp said...

I love that you rescued this very cool old desk. What an amazing job, you will always cherish # 22, she is an older gal that just needed some love! I know you took lots of steps to restore her, but just look how she shines now. I'm smitten with her also!

Tina said...

I love your desk. It's nice to see a re-do in a stain. So many (including me) tend to paint them these days.
Love your blog! I'll be back to read more.
You have a new follower!

Rachael West said...

Ooooh I love it - glad to see you using that citra strip :+)

Sheila said...

This looks awesome! I'm in the middle of re-doing an old china cabinet. I'm totally changing it, though. Taking the glass out and filling it in. (it will be more like an armoire when I'm done.)
But man....i wish i would've seen the Citra-strip before I started sanding! LOL!

Liz said...

Okay - I'm in love. This looks like a miniature of my counter height dining room table. Do you sew? That would be such a nice sewing table.

storyteller said...

Old desk looks like new again! However, it isn't oak. It is made out of pine. It's still pretty, though.