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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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

*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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

With feedsack upholstery…

Vintage Chair Upholstered with Feedsack by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

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

Life is Better on the Farm Desk Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Rustic Farmhouse Desk with Woodburned Top by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

Farmhouse Rustic Red Desk by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

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 | www.prodigalpieces.com

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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 | www.prodigalpieces.com


More of my furniture makeovers like my farmhouse desk:

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

1800's Rocking Chair Makeover with Grain Sack Seat by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

70 replies on “Farmhouse Desk Rescue”

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!

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

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! 😀

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 fabrics.im in love with but im to far from you to buy at your place where can I findthese ? Thank you

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.

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.

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??

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!

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?

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. 😉

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. ?

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!

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!

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.

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!!!

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