An Antique Desk Makeover

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Rarely do I keep furniture for me.  In fact, several of the pieces in my home that I had purchased years ago for myself are still awaiting their face-lift.  Hopefully, that will soon be remedied as we continue to remodel our home.  My treat-to-self is that once that room is completed, I can add the finishing touch of finally redoing whatever furniture belongs in there.

One of the rooms we are intending to remodel is our front living room, which would include a little office space for my husband and I.  Back in my post about my garage mess stash, there was a little gem peeking out at you.

An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces


I found the antique desk on Craigslist almost 2 years ago and the chair was curbside during city cleanup.  

An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I had tucked this sweet desk away intending to use it as my desk for my computer and office space. 

While working through my stash, I wouldn’t let myself touch anything that would be for me until I had worked on everything else first.  Motivation.

But, silly me should have known that there’s always another gem around the corner. tsk.  I found a fantastic industrial oak desk (which I will reveal later) that is larger and has more storage for what I needed, so… I decided to sell my sweet little find.

An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The desk’s structure was in awesome shape and I just loved that carved braided edge.  However the veneer was missing in large chunks on several of the drawer fronts, so that had to go.  With the help of my little man (who gets paid per pull, by the way), the drawers were prepped for refinishing.

An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

In my post, 10 Furniture Refinishing Essentials, I offered advice on how to remove veneer in the easiest way possible.  After using the method of soaking the drawer fronts with a towel overnight, the veneer peeled off like butter off of hot toast.

An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Once the veneer was removed it leaves the surface rough, which was easily remedied by sanding them down to give me a fresh smooth surface to work with.

Since I knew I wanted to distress them a bit after painting, I stained them with a dark color so that it could peek through the paint.

Now for that gorgeous top…swoon!  I would have loved to refinish the whole piece and stain, but since that veneer was missing the only choice was to paint.

You have to admit that paint with stain really rocks!

An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Can you believe the chair was out in the trash?  That splat detail (that curved part of the back) is fantastic and I love how it accentuates the same shape and design of the original brass pulls on the desk.  

An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Truth be told, I originally intended to use a different fabric for the seat and was trying to mix a paint color that would coordinate – fail.  The paint color I ended up with I actually like better, and when I went to my fabric stash after I finished the desk, I couldn’t believe I had a fabric that would match perfectly.  eek! I love it when that happens.

An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Enter in sellers remorse….do I sell it? …it’s just so lovely..hmmm…maybe I can keep it?  This is one of the downfalls of this biz, if there is one.  Not having enough room to keep everything you like can make one turn into a hoarder. I’m definitely a purger – just ask my kids.  

I couldn’t be more happy with the way it turned out.  You can imagine that it didn’t last long in my shop.  One of my all-time best fans is Diane, and I’m super-excited it got a wonderful home with her.  She even redecorated around the desk, and better yet, I just finished a custom dresser-turned-entertainment stand for the same room as her desk.  

Maybe I’ll show you the dresser transformation if you ask. :o)

An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com
Okay…you asked.   My client wanted a similar, but not identical color, so I mixed up a different color and here’s how it looks before…
An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

previous owner’s photo

She didn’t want the mirror, so it’s mine for the taking, and the veneer was damaged so that needed removed.  Overall, I couldn’t have been more happy with how it turned out.  She loved it too!
An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
An Antique Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I love a happy ending, don’t you?


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38 Comments

  • Lani @ Simply Fresh Vintage

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I’d gladly work at that desk all day long.

    September 25, 2014 at 5:54 pm Reply
  • Rapunzel

    Very cute! It was like that chair was MADE for that desk!

    September 25, 2014 at 7:26 pm Reply
  • Acorn to Oak

    Wow! It’s beautiful!

    September 26, 2014 at 12:04 am Reply
  • kellyorr

    So very pretty, Larissa! Wonderful job!

    September 26, 2014 at 2:12 am Reply
  • Bliss

    Diane knows good stuff when she sees it! The fabric is perfect and a beautiful match for a beautiful desk.

    September 30, 2014 at 2:51 pm Reply
  • ReDo It Yourself Inspirations

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    October 3, 2014 at 11:15 am Reply
  • ReDo It Yourself Inspirations

    Hi Larissa! (I had to edit)
    You’ve been caught having a fabulous furniture makeover. I featured your desk and chair at this week’s Friday Five. It’s posted today. I’m sure everyone loves your work as much as I do!

    Have a wonderful weekend! Robin @ Redo It Yourself Inspirations

    October 3, 2014 at 11:17 am Reply
  • Walking on Sunshine

    Beautiful work! Coming over from Bloggers on Blogger.

    October 7, 2014 at 4:33 pm Reply
  • Vanessa

    Stunning, I love the hardware. I am in love with those curvys. The chair perfect. You hit the jack pot with the desk and chair.

    October 7, 2014 at 10:46 pm Reply
  • Debbie parrish

    Wow this so pretty. Loving the color! What is it?

    February 22, 2015 at 7:43 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Debbie! The color was a self-mixed combination of colors I had on hand, so I really don’t know. I have a tiny amount left and am planning on taking it to the store to have them match it and make me more. 😉

      February 23, 2015 at 5:35 am Reply
  • Mary

    It would be so perfect as a vanity. Who wouldn’t love to sit there and put cold cream on?

    February 23, 2015 at 12:01 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes, I believe there is a vanity that was made to go with this desk in the original bedroom set. Wouldn’t it been a gorgeous thing to see?

      February 23, 2015 at 5:36 am Reply
  • Wendy

    I would love to see the dresser turned entertainment stand! The desk and chair are so gorgeous!

    February 23, 2015 at 8:04 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Wendy! I’ll put a picture of the dresser in the post, so you can see it. Come by whenever. 😉

      February 24, 2015 at 5:21 am Reply
  • Candy Walsh

    wow! I can’t believe it’s the same desk and chair! You did an amazing job~I would be thrilled to have that in my home!

    March 4, 2015 at 10:02 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Funny how things can change with some TLC. Thank you for your sweet words, Candy! 😉

      March 5, 2015 at 5:27 am Reply
  • Susan

    Beautiful! What kind of paint do you use? Do you prime first?

    August 23, 2015 at 8:41 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Susan! I used a flat paint found in the seconds rack and no, didn’t prime first. 🙂

      August 26, 2015 at 10:06 am Reply
  • ApRil

    Do you have any idea what color and type paint you used on the top? This is absolutely beautiful.

    August 28, 2015 at 8:36 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Hi April, For the top I used my favorite Early American stain by Varathane and a seconds paint for the cabinet.

      August 30, 2015 at 6:33 pm Reply
  • Terry

    Larissa! This is a beautiful desk! You did an amazing job on it what a stunning pair they are! I think I would have sellers remorse for sure! You must have an amazing stash of furniture in your garage… Lucky girl! I hope you have an amazing day 🙂
    Smiles!
    Terry

    May 13, 2016 at 8:56 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Terry. Yes, I used to have quite a stash, but have resolved to only keeping what I can work on. Less mess, less stress! 😀

      May 14, 2016 at 7:39 am Reply
  • Anna

    Your little desk is beautiful and would look great in so many styles of home. I love mixed finishes on furniture. That chair is beautiful! Just love the way the stained areas pop against the paint and the fabric is the perfect choice for this piece.

    July 24, 2016 at 9:07 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Anna. It really is fun to make furniture take on a different light by making bits and pieces pop out. 🙂

      July 24, 2016 at 6:52 pm Reply
  • Helen Boltin

    The buffet is beautiful. I especially love the desk and chair though. I would love to do something like this for my daughter’s new apartment. She would freak out!

    July 24, 2016 at 2:26 pm Reply
  • Sharon

    Love, love, love this! So hard to let it go I am sure!!

    January 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      It was, but I have found a replacement that better meets my needs for my work. Thank you!

      January 12, 2017 at 9:07 am Reply
  • Bonnie Cullen

    Larissa, you have such a ‘good eye’ for coordinating odd pieces to look like sets. And your choice of color and fabric design are spot on!
    Kudos!

    January 11, 2017 at 10:36 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s wonderful to hear, Bonnie. Thank you!

      January 12, 2017 at 9:06 am Reply
  • Janette Deans

    You always do the most FABULOUS make-overs ever…beautiful turn around on both of the pieces you show here, love your work.x

    January 25, 2018 at 10:29 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are so sweet, Janette. Thank you!

      January 25, 2018 at 12:12 pm Reply
  • Yvonne

    I just bought this same desk at a garage sale and was struggling about painting it. It’s in almost perfect condition. My plan is to use it as a vanity. I may just paint it now! Yours came out beautifully.

    May 7, 2018 at 9:55 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      tee hee hee. That’s the way it always works. Yay! 😀

      May 8, 2018 at 6:03 am Reply
  • karine

    How beautiful, I love seeing these renovations, I would like to find these treasures where I live, from the depths of my heart one day I want to do something like this
    , thank you for inspiring me, it makes me happy to see that some things that some people consider lost can become treasures. Thank you
    Que bonito , me encanta ver estas renovaciones , quisiera encontrar estos tesoros por donde vivo , desde lo mas profundo de mi corazón un día deseo hacer algo como esto , gracias por inspirarme , me hace feliz ver que algunas cosas que algunos dan por perdidos se pueden convertir en tesoros . gracias .

    June 12, 2018 at 8:58 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Your words mean so much and I love that you are inspired. Hope you find that perfect piece!

      June 12, 2018 at 9:02 am Reply
  • Sara

    Gorgeous; it couldn’t be more beautiful! And what a coincidence with the fabric! What brand of flat paint did you use? Was it a chalk paint? What colour stain from Varathane?

    August 19, 2018 at 12:52 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you! It was a seconds paint and the stain was Early American. One of my favorites.

      August 19, 2018 at 9:36 pm Reply

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