Sunday, July 10, 2011

Roll-top Desk

I love furniture re-do's. In my head, I'm brilliant and tackle them all the time. I always look at thrift store furniture and think of what I would do with it.

But I never do anything.

I tell myself I don't have the room or the time or the money for all of the things I'd like to try. In truth, I'm a little chicken. I've failed enough to realize that I'm still a novice at furniture revamps. Luckily, I have friends who have faith in me.

One such friend, Melissa, is always giving me encouragement and the means to try out new things. See this post for my first transformation of a side table for her. Then, she jumped from side table, to this...

That's right...a roll-top desk. It's huge! Massive! But it can't scare me!

Ok, here's what I did with it. It's not finished, I still have some minor details to fix and then the poly-clear coats for protection (here's a random question: would a paste wax be a better way to go with this??)

First, I sanded the whole thing down and then I used some leftover paint from a previous project called sage-tint, and my Purdy brush to apply 3 coats of paint.

After that dried, I used my stencils to apply the number and painted them in with burnt umber craft paint. Then I took my 150 grit sandpaper to sand down the edges and corners of the desk.

I re-used the old knobs and sprayed them with oil-rubbed bronze from Rustoleum.

Melissa is a big fan of color so I had a little fun on the inside of the desk. Those cubby holes were a killer, so I taped off the edges and used my aquamarine spray paint to cover the brown.

(Sorry the pics are dark, I was lazy and waited until night to take pics! And, the desk is in my garage...not the best place for a photo shoot!)

I taped off a little section (sort of a like a writing area) and used my foam brush and gray craft paint. I then sanded over the area with 100 grit paper.

I'm having a lot of fun with this desk, and incorporating a bunch of things I've always wanted to try. The knobs had a little plate underneath them (see the roll top knobs?) and I'm leaving those off, so the screws are now too long. I need to get shorter screws and then finish the protective coat. I'm wondering, too, if I should add a faux glaze? Or just leave the edges raw and the desk a crisp color? Help!


  1. that looks great, turned out fab. winks-jen

  2. This looks great! I love the look of roll-top desks, but frankly taking on a project of that size scares me too! I think it looks great. As for your questions...if it's going to be a desk that is going to be USED, I'd go for a polycrylic clear coat. If it's more of a display piece, I'd use wax. I like the look of the simple distressing with no glaze. JMHO!

  3. WOWIE! That looks like a lot of work, but the pay off was HUGE! No wonder you were lazy at the end:) Nice job I would suggest you use polycrylic it's more durable. See you at the the next party.

  4. Looks great. Love the punch of color inside!
    Dropping by from Met Monday. I hope you'll come see the nursery I helped DD2 create.


  5. Lovely! I'm at my mom and we are checking all my favourite blogs together and she loves the blue little "niches" you painted inside!

  6. Wow Meg. That is fantastic. I have a roll top desk too. But it's still the original brown because I have "furniture re-do phobia". Now you've inspired me. I would love, love, love for you to link this to my Inspiration Board party.
    Thanks for the inspiration.
    carolyn | homework

  7. This is gorgeous!! You did an amazing job!!

  8. love the numbers and the pop of blue! it turned out great, meg!

  9. Wonderful job here! I am so glad to see your post. I don't have a roll top desk but just picked up a small bread box that has a small roll top. I can't wait to redo and paint it but I'm having a little trouble deciding what I want to do. Thank you for some much needed inspiration!

  10. Love the numbers on the drawers!! Very nice. Thanks for linking this project to the simply Creative log party over at 365 Days to Simplicity!


  11. The light blue and the numbers are just great!

  12. I love the way that turned out. You did an amazing job!

  13. Oh WOW! This is sooo darling!! I want one:) Love that POP of blue inside.

  14. What a fantastic transformation. I have always loved roll top desks ( someday maybe I'll have one!). Thanks so much for linking up to this week's BFF Open House!

  15. I love the desk! Looks great!


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