an adorable desk.

Happy 4th of July to all of my readers in the U.S. and happy Wednesday to the rest of you 😉

I thought it would be fun to go a little patriotic with the color scheme today in honor of the holiday.

Remember the desk I purchased at the Kenny/Armitage sales?

We came across it at the end of our shopping that day and I have to say, my sister is always game to try and fit stuff into her SUV.  So what if it’s mostly full already?  She will help me pull everything back out and re-arrange until the amazingly-bargain-priced desk fits.  Even in the rain.  That quality alone makes her the ideal garage saling companion.

Anyway, I mainly fell in love with the knobs on this desk.  Aren’t they adorable?  They give an otherwise fairly plain piece a lot more personality.  I’m so glad they were all there and I could keep them on the desk.

It needed a bit of repair, and at some point someone stripped some existing paint off of it and they didn’t do a very good job.  But it was nothing that a little glue and some new paint couldn’t solve.

After some gluing and clamping (handled by my handyman/neighbor Ken), I sanded lightly and then cleaned the entire piece with TSP Substitute.

Next I added two coats of Dixie Belle paint in Drop Cloth.  I left that overnight to be sure it was good and dry before I taped off some grain sack style stripes and painted them in Dixie Belle’s Yankee Blue (note:  all Dixie Belle products used on this desk were provided to me free of charge from Dixie Belle, but all opinions are my own).

I sanded to distress and then finished with Dixie Belle’s Easy Peasy spray on wax.

I gotta say, I love that stuff.  It’s SO much easier than traditional waxing.  Just spray it on, lightly spread it with a cloth, then just let it dry and you’re done.  I will admit that it is not the cheapest topcoat option available though.  It costs $19.95 for 8 oz.  The same amount of Clear Coat is $12.95, and you can get a 10 oz. can of traditional wax for $18.95.  But sometimes it’s worth the splurge to go with the easiest option.

I did two coats of the spray wax on the desk top for added protection.

When I brought this desk home the drawers were all fully lined with some rather old and grungy contact paper.  I pulled all of that out only to find even older and more grungy drawer bottoms.  It’s always a gamble what you might find under drawer liners.  Most of the time I find pristine drawers that were always protected.  But sometimes I find yucky ones that were covered up instead.

So I cleaned them all with Krud Kutter, then painted them with the Yankee Blue.

That ended up working out great on all of the drawers except the middle one.

The middle drawer had a large black ink stain that bled through the paint.  So I pulled out the Dixie Belle BOSS (blocks odors, stains, stops bleed thru).

I followed what I thought were all of the instructions.  I painted one coat just over the stain (no need to coat the entire drawer bottom), let it dry, then painted a 2nd coat and let it dry.  Once the second coat was dry, I painted over it again with the Yankee Blue.  But once again, the ink bled through the paint.  Egads.

So as my dad used to tell me, when all else fails read the instructions.  It says right on the jar that if two coats doesn’t work then a longer drying time of the BOSS is needed.  So I put two more coats just over the stained spot and then let it dry overnight.

That did the trick.  The next day I added a coat of the Yankee Blue over the BOSS and voila, no bleed thru stain!

After I finished the desk I realized that it really needed a matching chair.  I just happened to have a spare chair out in the carriage house.  It also needed some gluing, but once it was shored up I simply painted it with just one coat of the Yankee Blue, sanded to distress and finished with the spray wax.

I especially love that Dixie Belle spray wax for chairs, it’s so much easier to apply than other waxes!

By the way, the back of the desk is painted as well as the front.  Whenever a desk has a ‘finished’ looking back I always paint it too just in case the future owner wants to float the desk in the middle of the room with the back facing out.

Since it’s the 4th of July, I couldn’t help but stage this piece up against the carriage house under my flag holder.  I purchased that flag holder years ago at an antique shop in New Jersey.  At the time my sister was still living there and I was visiting her over the 4th.  This style flag holder was everywhere out there and I’d never seen one before.  Just in general I would have to say that people in New Jersey do far more decorating for the 4th of July than people in Minnesota, does anyone disagree?

Anyway, I was determined to find one and bring it home with me.  I have since seen them for sale here too though.

Well, I’m off to enjoy the holiday with Mr. Q, my sister and my niece.

If any of you locals are in need of an adorable desk, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details!

22 thoughts on “an adorable desk.

  1. Absolutely adorable!! I love it. I have always been a fan of the old red, white, and blue. Happy 4th of July 💥


  2. You took a fairly common desk and made it shine! I do love the knobs, sometimes the wooden knobs are what gives the piece personality. It’s great that you painted the back, it makes the desk much more versatile. I know it will sell quickly, it’s a fun piece. Yay for Ken, too! Have a fun Fourth, Linda!


  3. Love the desk and chair! The paints you use – do you clean up with water? (My question is directed to ALL the paints you use – not just the Dixie Belle you used here.) Thanks for your blog – I really love your work, your before and after pics, your staging, your writing style! I guess you can tell that I’m a fan! Hope you have a fun Fourth! I’m going to be on the lookout for a flag holder – love yours!


    1. Almost all of the products that I use are cleaned up with soap and water (I’m assuming you mean cleaning the brushes afterwards, right?) I usually try to mention it if they aren’t. Milk paint, Fusion’s acrylic paint, Dixie Belle chalk paint and the acrylic craft paint I often use for stenciling all clean up with soap and water. Most of the top coats also clean up with soap and water. If I use a product that doesn’t clean up with soap and water I use a cheap brush or a rag and then toss it afterwards, which isn’t very cost effective so I don’t do it very often. By the way, I absolutely love the Fusion Brush Cleaner and that’s what I use to clean all of my brushes. It leaves your hands nice and soft afterwards too!


  4. Love the desk and this 4th of July post. I have to share a quick story: I am teaching classes at a summer art camp. Yesterday we made American flag t-shirts for a fun 4th of July activity. A woman stopped by with her two children to check out the camp and possibly sign her kids up. But she was upset because we were being so “political.” Clearly she’s not from festive New Jersey!


  5. Love the desk and chair! Wish I lived closer or if would be at my house.
    I have a wood telephone table where the top has been covered with contact paper!!!!
    Why? I don’t know but I want to take the contact paper off so the top is wood again. Will Krud Kutter remove the sticky gunk that will be left when I remove the contact paper?


    1. There are lots of different kinds of Krud Kutter. The cleaner degreaser that I use before painting something does not do a very good job of removing the sticky gunk. There is an ‘adhesive remover’ version that might do a better job for you. You could also try Goo Gone which works well to remove adhesive goo. Just be sure to thoroughly clean the piece with a grease cutting cleaner after you use the Goo Gone.


  6. Dropcloth and Yankee Blue is a dynamite color combo! I am constantly amazed at how many variations of “a coat of paint” you can imagine. Have a soggy but fun 4th!


    1. It certainly was a soggy one! We went to the zoo and got completely soaked despite our rain ponchos (which I’m sure were incredibly flattering!) We still had fun though 🙂


  7. So nice! I love the respect you have for each piece you rescue; always wishing them the very best. I love to see these forgotten orphans shining in the limelight. As always, you impress and inspire me.

    Happy Fourth from your Qrasshopper


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.