Farmhouse Desk Rescue

I was born on a farm and I live in farm country, so you can best bet I was tickled to see that our Themed Furniture Makeover Day was going to be all about FARMHOUSE. Yee Haw! I have had oodles of things going on that should have kept me from joining up this month, but I didn’t want to miss out because I had the perfect project I had been aching to work on. Meet my farmhouse desk straight from the farm…literally.

Damaged Antique Desk Before | Prodigal Pieces |

I saw this desk listed by a local lady who owned an antique shop and called to inquire. She told me it had some damage with nicks and such, but it was in good structural shape. So, I sent my hubby to pick it up and he said it had been stored in her barn for quite some time. This is what I found…

Antique Desk has Damaged Top | Prodigal Pieces |

Ummm….that’s more than the “little bit of damage” she mentioned. There’s a crack running full-length, big ol’ holes, and major damage overall. The holes and chips could be repaired, but that crack? Yes, I could fill it, but it would crack again over time.

Damaged Antique Desk Top Close-up | Prodigal Pieces |

*Rustic Brands and Junque Milk Paint products were provided for this project, and this post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too!

I was annoyed and felt like giving her a call. That is until I had an idea. hee hee hee. You know I love me some rustic goodness, so I went with it.

First, the chair I found at a local thrift store had damaged caning, so I yanked it out and cut a new seat with my one of my favorite new toys, a cordless jigsaw. eep! Isn’t it amazing how the little things can make life so much easier?

Ryobi Jigsaw Sitting on New Chair Seat | Prodigal Pieces |

This thing is a dream, and even my husband was surprised at how nice it is to use. AND I also bought a cordless circular saw and it is sooo much gentler on my wrists than my hubby’s giant one. My motto: “Tools over jewels”.

Okay…back to the farmhouse desk. ahem. I covered the chair with new padding and batting and topped it off with a feedsack cover. (I’ll show you soon!)

Then it was time for the desk. I decided to let those blemishes take center stage and create the character I was after in this piece. I just sanded down the top with my orbital sander and left the raw wood.

Sanding Antique Desk Top | Prodigal Pieces |

Next, I decided to create a graphic to add to the top, and I used my transfer method to layout the design. Then, I used my woodburner tool to sort of “brand” the desk like a farmer would brand a steer. This is also a fun tool to have and I have used it to make my kids toys as well as their under-bed bins.

Using Woodburner to Add Graphic to Antique Desk | Prodigal Pieces |

I bet I’ve peaked your interest now or you think I’m nuts, right? Stay with me.

Now for the hardware. I love rust and really debated on replacing these old batwing pulls because they’re so cool!

Rusty Batwing Pulls from Antique Desk | Prodigal Pieces |

However, because this set is headed for my shop, I didn’t want to have them breaking on the new owner, so I replaced them with the next best thing – Rustic Brands cast iron pulls. Aren’t they gorgeous? I have used their pulls before on my Rustic Chic bedroom set and my daughter used them on her dresser makeover.

Rustic Brands Cast Iron Pulls | Prodigal Pieces |

To make the switch, I just filled the old drawer pull holes with wood filler and the drilled new holes with my cordless drill.

Next is to paint the cabinet and drawers of the farmhouse desk. There was no hesitation for me in my choice because I wanted rustic and I knew that Junque Milk Paint had a color called Rust Belt Red that would be perfect for the farmhouse look I was after. I used their Jadeite in this dresser makeover and loved the ease of use.

Junque Milk Paint in Rust Belt Red | Prodigal Pieces |

After a couple of coats of paint, some chippy distressing, and a topcoat of wax, my new creation is complete.

Rustic Red Farmhouse Desk with Woodburned Top by Prodigal Pieces |

With feedsack upholstery…

Vintage Chair Upholstered with Feedsack by Prodigal Pieces |

…and woodburned saying, “Life is better on the Farm”.

Life is Better on the Farm Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

Rustic Farmhouse Desk with Woodburned Top by Prodigal Pieces |

I let that rustic flavor roll and I LOVE IT! The red just makes it and those pulls are the perfect accent, don’t you think?

Corner of Rustic Red Farmhouse Desk Set by Prodigal Pieces |

Farmhouse Rustic Red Desk by Prodigal Pieces |

Isn’t it funny how sometimes those imperfections we find can actually be ways to draw out the true nature of a piece.

Feedsack Chair with Rustic Red Desk by Prodigal Pieces |

I hope you’ve enjoyed my funky farmhouse creation and if you are interested in purchasing it, you can find it in my shop. (SOLD)

And…I’d love it if you’d pin and share to inspire others to see the beauty that lies beneath the worn and tattered too. ♥

Farmhouse Desk Rescue with Woodburned Top by Prodigal Pieces |

Up  next, I’m giving a kitchen update. Woot! Then, I’ll show you what I do with this one-legged wonder I found lying on the curb. I’m a sucker for a makeover, eh? See the after HERE.

Curbside Vintage Footstool Gets Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

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WAIT! Before you head off, check out my blogger friends FARMHOUSE makeovers. I know you’ll be inspired!

Themed Furniture Makeover | Prodigal Pieces |

More of my furniture makeovers like my farmhouse desk:

Rustic Chic Finish by Prodigal Pieces - You can create this look with paint and stain |

1800's Rocking Chair Makeover with Grain Sack Seat by Prodigal Pieces |

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  • Debrashoppeno5

    The desk turned out nice. Someone will snap that right up.

    March 24, 2016 at 7:05 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It was a brain teaser for sure, but I had fun! Thanks, Debra.

      March 24, 2016 at 7:09 am Reply
  • Jamie K

    Absolutely One of My Favorites! Love Love the way you did the Top of this desk! Totally made it perfect! And the Red is Gorgeous!!! Sigh..heart be still!!!

    March 24, 2016 at 7:06 am Reply
    • Larissa

      hee hee hee…you made me giggle!! Thank so much for the love, Jamie. 😀

      March 24, 2016 at 7:10 am Reply
  • Lindsay Eidahl

    Gorgeous red color! It is perfect! I have been looking for a certain green color that I can’t find and this shade of red reminds me of that color. I want to try a wood burning tool. It looks like it could be a lot of fun! Love this makeover!

    March 24, 2016 at 7:37 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You will have a blast woodburning, Lindsay. It’s therapeutic and fun for kids too! Thanks for the love. 🙂

      March 24, 2016 at 8:45 am Reply
  • Carol

    I’ve seen a lot of desk makeovers but this is my absolute favorite!! I love the graphic on top!

    March 24, 2016 at 7:38 am Reply
    • Larissa

      How exciting to hear!! Thank you so much, Carol.

      March 24, 2016 at 8:45 am Reply
  • Susan

    Those beat up neglected pieces are my favorite to rehab and give new life to. This turned out beautiful…I love the red!

    March 24, 2016 at 7:38 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Same here! I was just taken aback by her lingo. She obviously wanted a sale. I’ll take it! 😉

      March 24, 2016 at 8:45 am Reply
  • [email protected]

    Love this color!! I need to try this paint. Love the new pulls!! You chose wisely! Love the woodburned message!! You are so correct….farm living is the best!! Another great makeover. Pinning and sharing…. XO From another FarmGirl

    March 24, 2016 at 7:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Woot! Thank ya, kindly sweet girl. It was fun!

      March 24, 2016 at 8:46 am Reply
  • Karin Chudy (ART IS BEAUTY)

    I love this Larissa! You know how much I love color and I just adore the orange red on this and that HARDWARE just pulled it all together!

    March 24, 2016 at 7:53 am Reply
  • Cecilia

    It’s just perfect! I love the red with the wood top. Truly love it!
    And yes, tools over jewels…my husband thinks he’s pretty lucky to have a wife that prefers tools! 😀

    March 24, 2016 at 8:05 am Reply
  • Crystal

    I love the way it turned out! I just did something similar with a table that was headed straight for the furnace. Sometimes the imperfections can make a piece that much more special.

    March 24, 2016 at 8:16 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Good for you and I couldn’t agree more, Crystal. For me this was fun, but was annoyed at the price I paid for the damage. It all worked out. Yay!

      March 26, 2016 at 10:02 am Reply
  • Wendi @ H2OBungalow

    This is amazing! Love the rustic let it roll feeling you created. This desk won’t last in your shop…at all!

    March 24, 2016 at 8:45 am Reply
  • Kimm at Reinvented & Roadkill Rescue

    Wow wow wow. I am certain that I would have passed up that desk, but you turn it in to a masterpiece! Love the red.

    March 24, 2016 at 9:04 am Reply
  • tonia conner

    Your desk turned out really sweet. Perfect for a small nook.

    March 24, 2016 at 9:43 am Reply
  • [email protected]

    Love the red paint combined with the stained top. Adding the wood burning to the top is a great touch that really adds to the appeal of this piece. You are so imaginative and I love seeing what you do to pieces of furniture that you acquire.

    March 24, 2016 at 12:03 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s awesome to hear. Thank you, Paula!

      March 24, 2016 at 1:02 pm Reply
  • Marie, The Interior Frugalista

    Oh my gosh Larissa, you’ve done it again! I LOVE everything about this makeover. The rusty paint color, the time-worn stained top, the feed sack upholstery on the chair, and don’t get me started on that fabulous wood burned graphic! Swooning, drooling, wishing it was mine – red is my favorite color after all.

    March 24, 2016 at 12:47 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Go red, go red…!! It is such a fun color, isn’t it, Marie? Thank you so much for making me smile, girl. 😀

      March 24, 2016 at 1:03 pm Reply
  • Gwen Turner

    I love that you left the crack and i love the ‘red’ you chose!

    March 24, 2016 at 12:58 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks for the love, Gwen! 🙂

      March 26, 2016 at 10:01 am Reply
  • Tracy H

    I love what you do. That desk is amazing. Have a Happy Easter.

    March 24, 2016 at 1:16 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks and you too!

      March 26, 2016 at 10:00 am Reply
  • Mary-the boondocks blog

    Very cool Larissa! You had me in suspense there for a while. I absolutely love what you did with the top and the red certainly adds a nice pop of color.

    March 24, 2016 at 1:17 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      hahaha….thanks Mary! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

      March 26, 2016 at 10:00 am Reply
  • Karen Marie Kedzuch

    You did a terrific job with this desk. I love the wood burning in the top. I an definitely a see the beauty in what’s different girl too.
    Happy Creating,
    Karen Marie

    March 24, 2016 at 1:52 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Karen!

      March 26, 2016 at 10:00 am Reply
  • Patty

    I love this desk so much, what beautiful job you did and the chair is perfect too. I’m so glad you didn’t try to make a silk purse out of a sows ear, instead you brought out the true beauty of that old desk. I love what you did to the top of it and that red color, Oh my goodness, it is just gorgeous. You do such beautiful work.

    March 24, 2016 at 2:41 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I love how you phrased it! Thanks so much for encouraging me in my work. 😀

      March 26, 2016 at 9:59 am Reply
  • Lucy @ Patina Paradise

    I think this is one of my favourites of your furniture makeovers. Everything is just perfect for the farmhouse look! I hope you have a chance to share it this weekend at Friday’s Furniture Fix! ;o)

    March 24, 2016 at 3:52 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s wonderful to hear – thank you!

      March 26, 2016 at 9:59 am Reply
  • Amy @ Highstyle Restyle

    Ravishing now in RED for sure. I’m a sucker for red and this desk with the dark stain top combo is all me! What a beauty now.

    March 24, 2016 at 4:18 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Love me some red! Thanks, Amy!

      March 26, 2016 at 9:59 am Reply
  • Jeanette Chaney

    Larissa, you stun me every time! Wow. And that chair!!! Pinning and sharing.

    March 24, 2016 at 5:29 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Wahoo!! Thanks, Jeanette!

      March 26, 2016 at 9:58 am Reply
  • Sherry Fram

    Love the red on the desk & the top is awesome! The red goes perfect with the feed sack chair seat. Another awesome redo!

    March 24, 2016 at 5:53 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Sherry! I had fun for sure. 🙂

      March 26, 2016 at 9:51 am Reply
  • cheryl bonner

    turned out so pretty.where do you get the buring tool used to make the brand on top of the desk? and you always have fabulous FARM” style in love with but im to far from you to buy at your place where can I findthese ? Thank you

    March 24, 2016 at 9:55 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Cheryl! If you look in the post, the woodburner text is highlighted and will take you to where I got mine on Amazon. 😉 I find the feedsacks at garage sales and flea markets. They’re rare, but I snatch them up when I see them.

      March 26, 2016 at 9:50 am Reply
  • Amy | Canary Street Crafts

    I’m so glad you decided to embrace the imperfections in the desk…it totally worked out for the best! This is a gorgeous piece with so much character. You’re inspiring me to break out my wood burning tool too! I have one and have never really used it but I love how your graphic turned out.

    March 24, 2016 at 10:06 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Go for it, girl! It’s fun to get funky with furniture and create unique pieces. Thanks for the love!

      March 26, 2016 at 9:49 am Reply
  • Lis

    This is such a lovely desk makeover – you did a stellar job on it. I don’t even like red but this desk just looks so perfect painted as you did. I have never used milk paint before – what are it’s merits when painting old furniture??

    March 25, 2016 at 5:29 am Reply
    • Larissa

      hahaha…awesome!! Thanks so much! Milk paint is chemical free, easy to use, and can be used to create a glorious chippy finish or solid coat as well with additive. Hope that helps!

      March 26, 2016 at 9:46 am Reply
  • Judy

    I’m a sucker for red and this makeover knocks it out of the park. Love, love, love the drawer pulls. I’m in the middle of replacing a cane chair seat with an upholstered one. Could you tell me how you attached the seat to the chair?

    March 25, 2016 at 6:31 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Nothing like red, right? Thanks! As for the seat, I just used the holes from the caning to screw down the seat. Let me know if you have any additional questions. 😉

      March 26, 2016 at 9:45 am Reply
  • Stacy @ Anastasia Vintage

    Wow wow wow! This might just be up there with my top three favorite makeovers of yours. This is SO cool and perfectly farmhouse! Awesome job! 🙂

    March 25, 2016 at 6:50 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s fantastic to hear, Stacy! Thank you!

      March 26, 2016 at 9:45 am Reply
  • Sarah

    This. Is. Amazing!!!!!! I’m not even a red girl and I LOVE this!!!! Everything! The red, the great top and the wood burning is fantastic. Love your style and that you see the beauty in the broken. ?

    March 25, 2016 at 9:28 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Wahoo!! Thanks so much, Sarah!

      March 26, 2016 at 9:44 am Reply
  • Kim @ Hunt & Host

    you always impress me. amazingly fun and perfect.

    March 25, 2016 at 10:34 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks so much, Kim!

      March 26, 2016 at 9:44 am Reply
  • Tami @ Curb Alert!

    Red is my favorite color. The graphic totally completes it! Well done 🙂

    March 25, 2016 at 9:07 pm Reply
  • Christy @Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

    This is gorgeous, Larissa! I love how the damaged top led you in the direction you went…it’s just perfect! XO

    March 27, 2016 at 3:50 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Woot! Thank you, Christy!

      March 29, 2016 at 5:40 am Reply
  • Jen @ Girl in the Garage

    AWESOME job, Larissa! I totally love the desk and chair makeovers! <3 <3 <3

    March 27, 2016 at 7:54 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Jen! 🙂

      March 29, 2016 at 5:39 am Reply
  • Liz

    First time here, and what a treat! I grew up on a farm in southern Wisconsin… wouldn’t trade that wonderful childhood for anything. Your desk turned out wonderful!

    April 5, 2016 at 11:15 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You sound much like me…wonderful place where I grew up and wish I could give my kids the same. One day! Thanks for stopping over. 🙂

      April 6, 2016 at 10:20 am Reply
  • Jolinda

    You are absolutely amazing. I love the red and what you did on the top.

    April 26, 2016 at 2:09 pm Reply
  • Lauren

    Hi Larissa,
    I love what you did with this desk! I’m working on a similar desk makeover now myself! I wonder if you could elaborate on the wax finish you mentioned? I love the milk paint, but want to give it that same glossy, poppy finish that you did. Is there a certain wax finish product that you use? I assume you would just apply with a rag? Any advice would be really appreciated! Thanks!

    November 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Hi Lauren! Thank you for the kind words, and I love that you’re working on one yourself. I make my own wax and like most waxes, you’ll get soft glow when you polish it after application. I use cheesecloth to apply by putting it into a few layers and letting the wax squeeze out between the fibers of the cloth. This allows for smooth application. Hope that helps! Feel free to email me via the contact button on my page.

      November 27, 2016 at 6:07 am Reply
  • Julia Harting

    Larissa you are so creative and very talented. Love to see your creations and the use of a truly gifted woman! Love the end product.

    February 24, 2018 at 9:16 am Reply
  • Tracie

    Loooove it!! Gorgeous!!! Love the color, and the Beautiful “Farmhouse” wood burning, and those drawer pulls are perfect! You never cease to Amaze us with your AWESOME work!! I love how your children share their talents with us as well!!! Keep up the AWESOME work you guys!!!

    July 3, 2018 at 10:10 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Wahoo!! Thanks so much, Tracie. This was a challenge, but I loved it.

      July 3, 2018 at 11:44 am Reply

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