Oak Desk Re-do: part 1

Sunday, December 30, 2012
To see the finished product, check out Oak Desk Re-do: part 2

While I was out scoring this a-maze-zing dresser set last week I came upon this little oak desk. Its solid wood and very unique. I love the different sized drawers. The owners made me an offer I can't refuse so on top of the trailer she went. The husband and I were actually out on a date for our 5th anniversary and you should have seen he and I trying to squeeze everything on top of a small trailer and my even smaller car... but that's a story for another day.

 I ended up not being able to fit the desk in with the rest of the pieces, so the boys and I took a trip the following morning to go get it. I was so proud of myself, getting it lifted up and tied down on the trailer all alone. I did have one small disappointment when I got home though. I noticed when I bought the desk the two outer drawer faces were cracked and broken, but nothing some strong glue and some clamps wouldn't fix. On my way home I took a peak to see how my cargo was traveling and I discovered one third of one of the drawer faces had cracked through and fallen off somewhere along the road. As I'm writing this I'm still super bummed. That meant 2 more hours of work and a lot more effort to construct two new drawer faces. Oh well, It's still a fairly basic project. 

It was that early 80's, speckley oak, so of course that was going to go. Plus, you can kinda see in the photos the finish was cracked and peeling all over it. The nice part about all that is though, it's easy to remove.

This was the perfect opportunity to bust out one of my new Christmas toys. I just have to say, I don't know how I lived without a belt sander before. The little palm sanders just don't cut it for some jobs
 I've been wanting a more serious sander for a while, and now I have one thanks to my always-helpful father-in-law.

So off the top stain went (Man I love that sander!). Unfortunately it involved hand-sanding (ugh), but it went pretty fast. First 60 grit, then 150, ending with 220. The top came out nice and smooth.While sanding the top, I realized it was just screwed on, so off it went too.

I rubbed in 2 coats of oil-based Minwax stain. I mixed what I had of hand. I think it something like 1/2 Golden Oak, 1/2 Special Walnut. Of course that was pretty yellow, so I added two coats of Classic Grey to help tone it. In my opinion, Classic Grey has a blue tint to it, so I knew it would help take out some of the brassy color.

(pardon the crappy lighting. It was well past sunset by this point)

Definitely better, but I wanted something more "antique", less "vintage". I added a chocolate glaze, wiped off and let dry. I then mixed a black glaze, brushed all over and wiped the majority off, making sure to leave some shadowing in the crevasses. Since I was going for an old look I then took my brush with a small amount of glaze and feathered it on the corners and edges, darkening them slightly more.

Topped it off with two coats of Polyacrylic in satin (my favorite sealer) and my desk top is now done.

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