Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Identical Vintage Desks

The other day I was blog hopping and I clicked on a blog named Creative Southern Home because this picture of her refinished desk caught my eye....

Nice looking desk, right?  Sturdy, great lines, beautiful coloring and I did a double take because hey, that looks like my desk!!  What do you think?

So here's a funny story.  Anne over at Creative Southern had recently bought her desk and refinished it for her daughter.  You can read her story about it here.   At about the same time, I was out hitting garage sales when I came across this well loved beauty....

My desk had a garage sale price tag on it for $ 50.00 that was marked down to $ 40.00 and was then repeatedly marked down.  By the time I got there and showed interest in it, it was marked down to 10 bucks and when the old woman saw we had a truck, she begged me to just take it - for free!    :-)   Oh, was I giddy - what a deal!!  I practically clapped my hands and did a jig but I refrained myself.   Honestly, I fell in love with that desk at first sight, even though it was pretty beat up and missing one handle that I later found stuffed in the drawer.  The thing that sold me on the desk was the cool metal plate on the top drawer that read Chicago Office Furniture Company.  Since I'm from Chicago that sealed the deal!  Into the back of the truck she went.  The desk - not the old lady.

We took her home and I removed and stained the drawers inside and out and fixed that broken handle. 

Then I gave her a complete light sanding and a good staining all over and finished up with a couple of coats of Poly U.  On the top of the desk there was a couple of bubbly spots and cracked veneer.  I really didn't want to sand them down too far and then have to mess with fixing that veneer. 

Since I'm keeping this desk for myself and taking it to the lake house for my desk top computer, I decided to just put some old maps on the top of the desk.   I copied some maps from my map book, burned the edges and then smeared them with a little ash to age them a bit.  Then I took mod podge and glued them down and once they were dry I sprayed them with 2 coats of an acrylic sealer.

After that I covered the desk top with 4 more coats of poly U.  So here's the finished version of my desk complete with strategically placed maps which won't bother anyone who is writing anything.  I have empty spots at the top right and left corners where the computer and my printer will go.  I probably could have skipped the whole map gluing process and just laid maps on top of the desk and covered the whole thing with a sheet of glass, but I really didn't want to spend the money for the glass.

I was telling Anne at Creative Southern Home about my desk and she suggested we run a dual post about our dueling desks.  Isn't it fun how we met over a shared passion for refinishing furniture and it turned out to be the same piece of furniture and we are in completely different states?  Stop by, check out her blog and say hi!

I can't wait to get my desk down to the lake.  It's going to be awesome in my sunroom.  I'll be sure to take pictures and post them when that finally happens.

I'm linking up at Obsessive and Creative and Sunny Simple Life.


  1. What a funny coincidence! Those look like nice desks!

  2. So cool. I love what you did with your desk. xo J

  3. What a beautiful little desk, I love it! :o)


    1. Thanks Tania - I can't wait to get it to the Lakehouse.


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