My new little piece of heaven!

Well I have just finished my very first “refinishing” project – and I am SO EXCITED about it. Five minutes after it was done I was thinking about what I will do differently next time, but oh well… It’s the same as when I am unpacking groceries, as I empty the bags I’m making the new list as I realize all the things that I forgot! LOL

Anyway, let me start by saying that it was a much bigger job than I anticipated, and sanding SUCKS takes forever. But other than that it all went quite smoothly and I really enjoyed it. It took quite a while… having three kids makes it hard to get anything accomplished, much less something that requires me to be in the garage for much of the time! So, I didn’t pressure myself to have it all done in one weekend and I took my time.

The end result is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself, and I’m VERY happy with it.

May I present to you, my FREE Kijiji desk:

*baby not included

1 - Before

Isn’t it gorgeous??? No? haha… no, it’s not. (Although the one year old hiding underneath is pretty beautiful if you ask me!) It was pretty junky looking and while I liked the character it had in the lines along the bottom, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do much with it. However being the Kijiji addict that I am, I was NOT about to turn a blind eye to a FREE desk… especially since I really needed one. Our family room is quite large, and there is a perfect corner for me to have my own little nook with a desk for my laptop. My husband has a little office in the basement and the kids have basically taken over the rest of the house, so this desk that I am currently sitting at is essentially all I have in the world.

And I love it!

When I first brought it home, it was just a worn out old desk with dated hardware and lots of crayon and marker all over it. It lived that way in our family room for a few months until I figured out what I wanted to do with it, and then I got started. I found this photo on Google images for inspiration, which was pretty amazing because if you look closely, it’s the EXACT same desk! I knew that I wanted a white, distressed base and a dark wood top… darker than this one, but you get the idea:


So, my first step was to remove the hardware, take out the drawers and paint them. I am a serious Annie Sloan Chalk Paint worshipper, which makes things super simple! No sanding, no priming, just painting! I used Pure White for this project, and the drawers were done in no time. Two coats of paint, one coat of the Annie Sloan wax and they were ready for distressing.

While the kids ate their lunch, I took each drawer out to the front porch one at a time and sanded them down until the old wood was slightly showing through. I paid special attention to the edges, as that’s where a naturally distressed piece would show its wear and tear after years of use, and I wanted it to look as naturally worn as possible.

iPhone pics June 2013 079

Then I went on the hunt for hardware, and found these at Lowes. I didn’t want something so dark, but they matched so well and they were also slightly distressed so they were pretty perfect! Best of all, they were in a pack of ten for only $25 – ding ding ding! We have a winner, folks!


Once the drawers were all ready, the REAL work began.. holy smokes. Since I was painting the base of the desk white, I only needed to sand and stain the desk top and thank GOD for that! First I tried sanding it by hand… no go. Way too hard. Then I got my husband’s sander out, but it was his grandpa’s and thus it’s like 30 pounds and I would still be vibrating today if I’d kept using it! LOL… finally borrowed one from the neighbours and it got the job done, but it still sucked took forever.

Finally, it was time to stain! I am SO happy with the colour, it’s so beautiful and rich. I chose to go with a satin finish as opposed to glossy, I just liked it better…


A few coats of Poly Urethane to seal the deal and I was ready to paint once again. That went quickly and the great part about the chalk paint is that it dries SO fast – by the time I finished the first coat, I was able to start applying the second one! Some light distressing by hand, a little bit of wax to protect it, and I had one lovely desk!

3 - after


7 B&A

I can’t wait to start on my next project. The kitchen cupboards are ALMOST done and then I get started on the chair I found to go with my new work space. The area between the drawers where you tuck a chair is quite narrow, and I had trouble finding something slim enough. But then I was browsing at Goodwill once day, and there it was:

chair 1 chair 2

Not sure what I’m doing with it yet… all stain, all white, or a combination of the two like I did with the desk, but despite the stains on the seat (gross!) I thought it was cute and had some character. I found some GREAT fabric to recover the seat, and I am excited to see them together when everything is done.

So, how did I do? Just an “A” for effort, or does it actually look okay too? Any tips that I can use on my next go ’round? I’m sure I have a TON to learn.  I also still have the old, vintage handles that were on the desk when I got it… any ideas of what I can do with them?

Hope you’re having a beautiful weekend!


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