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. ; )

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