Hello again friends at G2B, Amy. I just got back from a 7 day vacation in Florida and I am super refreshed and excited to share with you how to refurbish an old school desk. You know what desk I am talking about, the one with the pencil sharpener on the top that you sat at in elementary school. Yes that one!! Ok now that we’ve reminisced for a moment let’s get to work, shall we?
I am going to refurbish the top back to it’s original glory and spray paint the legs. I am tackling the legs first and then the top but first I want to get all the sanding done on both the top and the legs so that I don’t risk ruining anything after it’s been painted.
For the top I got out my trusty orbital sander with a 150 grit to get off the shiny finish and then I changed sanding pads 2 more times to finer grits (higher numbered grit) to get a nice clean finish. I then changed over to an even finer grit sanding block, working with the grain of the wood, to get out the left over circular grooves that can sometimes be left behind from an orbital sander. (It is important when sanding wood down to the bone to start with a higher grit sander then work down to a finer grit for a nice smooth and unblemished finish, especially when staining.)
To keep the top from getting spray paint on it I taped newspaper over the whole top, sanded the legs with a low grit sanding sponge and then spray primed them with a rust-stopping primer. (When sanding anything, always wear a mask, but especially when sanding metal. I am pretty sure you don’t want 50 year old metal particles in your lungs now do you?!?)
After 2 coats of primer. I sprayed the legs with 3 thing coats of black satin finish. (Why black you ask? Because I was finishing this desk for a little boys super hero room.)
Now it’s time to take the newspaper off the top of the desk and fill in those holes where the pencil sharpener used to be. I bought some minwax stainable wood filler (key word stainable)and squeezed it into the little holes and spread it out with my finger. I let it dry and then sanded lightly over the top to smooth it out.
It’s stain time folks. I couldn’t find the “perfect” color, so I made my own by mixing two different colors. Easy solution isn’t it! I chose Rust-oleum wood stain in wheat and summer oak. Together they made the perfect honey colored top just as I remember drawing on top of in grade school. Guilt kicks right about now! (Hey, no one said I was an angel as a child hehe.)