Posts tagged ‘DIY’

August 29, 2010

How to make The Writing Desk new again.

About a year ago, I moved to St. Louis, and for the first time since high school, had my very own furniture in my room.  Now, I’ve loved all my furniture (in room 312 in Syme Hall, three different rooms in Bagwell Hall, Wolf Village apartments, a room at Hotel Amend/Dean, Belmont Flats in Dundee, and 7 Fedral), it was nice to use all of the things I picked out when I was younger.

One of these items is what I picked out in middle school as my “Writing Desk,” not to be used for such mundane things as homework or writing thank-you notes.  In truth, I think I wanted to be like Jo March or had romantic ideas of becoming the next Jane Austen — I wanted a place my very own to wield my pen and write the Next Great American Novel.  And for such a venture, of course, I needed The Perfect Desk.

Now, I don’t remember where I got the desk, at some antiques store in New Bern.  I thought it was beautiful.  It has long spindley legs, it looks lady-like with its three small drawers to keep your paper and pens in, and fit perfectly under my window where I would sit at it on a perfectly uncomfortable straight-backed chair with an embroidered seat, looking out over our backyard through a window that I had hung Belgian lace curtains over.

The Writing Desk had been sitting all on its lonesome for five years, with a lot of papers and notebooks piled on and under it, forgotten when I went to college and bigger and better things.  When I moved out here to St. Louis, though, I decided it should make the trip.

The Writing Desk, all wrapped up for the trip to St. Louis -- it's the blue thing on it's side on top of the boxes on top of the trunk.

Much to my chagrin, however, while I still think it is lovely and elegant, it wasn’t in great condition at all!

my battered Writing Desk

Not only was the wood not in great condition, but the pull handles don’t match, something had been done to the desk top at some point in its history, the right drawer comes apart if you don’t pull it out with just the exact knack!  It’s amazing how many things you overlook when you just want to love a piece of furniture.

And so, to at least make it look a bit more presentable, one day the week before our classes started, I undertook Project Desk Rehab.

If you haven’t discovered the wonders of Old English wood oil, you really should.  It will change your world.

Old English, aka Magic.

Right before your very eyes, the wood turns beautiful again.  Just dust the wood well, put a bit of the Old English onto a clean rag, rub over the surface, and then go back over again with another clean rag until dry.

Desk Rehab in progress.

And at the end of it, you have a beautiful desk!  Now, instead of looking old and unkempt, it just looks like it has character.

Beautiful once more!

Now, after a year’s worth of wear and tear (including four tough courses, two grants, a review, bill-paying, and any number of non-romantic things), it’s probably time for a touch up, but with something this easy, I’m willing to bet I can keep The Writing Desk looking nice until I have a time and a place to gaze out of a curtained window and ponder my Great Novel.

What projects have you done that were an easy fix but really rewarding?

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