Vintage Corner Writing Desk & Chair Makeover

Friends don’t let friends drive by junk…am I right? Especially when the curbside #trashure is a beauty like this! My friend, Christy, saw this set out for city clean-up on her neighbor’s lawn. She knew that this vintage corner writing desk was unique and something that would catch my fancy. BINGO!

Vintage Corner Writing Desk Before Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Not only is this have fantastic lines, but plenty of function too. How many of us have a wasted-space corner that this would be perfect for? I’m thankful Christy thought enough of me to haul it to my house. Isn’t that sweet?

Top of Corner Desk Before Makeover |

*post sponsored by Zibra and does contain affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

However, I must admit my spidey junker sense kicks in and begins to ponder…WHY was this at the curb. hmmmm…

Well, at first glance (and sniff) it looks solid enough, but then I found that the drawer wouldn’t shut properly. That meant that the frame had issues because the drawer guides were fine and the drawer was square. On close inspection, I found that the leg had split away from the frame and the previous owner had used too long of screws to hold all the leg plates on. That led the legs to be wobbly and the frame to be offset.

Also, if you look closely, there is a jack on top of the desk that I’m assuming held a lamp. There was also a chunk missing out of one of the legs too. No worries, all are fixable and relatively easy. It all just takes time. Free is never free – I could tell you stories. haha.


First order of business is to make all the necessary repairs. After a few hours of taking apart the frame and legs, gluing, and nailing it all together with my nailer, we are good to go.

Next, my little man helper, Mr. O, knows that it’s important to make any necessary repairs with wood filler. He removed that jack on the top, and then took care of the dings, dents, scratches, and holes he could find. He’s not a newbie to DIY fun. You can see his past projects in these posts HERE.

Son Helping Mama Repair Desk |

Boy Repairing Desk Top with Wood Filler |


While that was curing, I head out to find a chair to pair with this desk. I mean, what’s a desk without a seat, right? I stopped at my normal haunts and thought I was going to come up empty. However, I finally found this gem just waiving at me to pick it up.

Vintage Shield Chair Before |

At first glance I was like oooh…but then, again, my spidey junker sense says hmmm… I sits, I shakes, and jiggle. We are now looking at a whole lotta work. This thing was ready to fall apart. eep! I called the owner over to ask a price because it wasn’t marked. I showed him all the repairs needed and he said $5. Worth a try, right? Mind you, I’ve wrestled with chairs before and they ain’t easy. There are so many things that could go wrong with repairing, especially if you get it out of square.

It’s at this point I was halfway in the tear down of  THIS ENTIRE CHAIR that I was like…can I have my $5 back? haha.

Disassembled Vintage Shield Back Chair Being Repaired by Prodigal Pieces |

Just kidding. Though I did wonder if I’d ever get it to sit right again. After it was completely in pieces and put back together, I can thankfully say I fixed it!! {{happy dance}}


Next, it was time for the upholstery. There were dozens of tiny rusty tacks. I’ve been down this road before many times and never relish the journey.

Original Upholstery on Vintage Shield Chair |

After what seemed like hundreds of these tiny things were removed, I found…another layer with even more tacks. {{eye roll}} I do however, love that as I peel away layers, I get to know more of the story this chair has.  Do note that I save those little rusty tacks. They come in handy when recreating my #trashure creations.

Second Layer of Old Upholstery to be Removed |

Now that the chair is restored, it’s time for me to paint. Why paint? Well, both the desk and chair had damaged that needed repaired with materials that wouldn’t look right restored with stain. Plus, a little paint never hurt anybody.


My fun begins with my Triangle Brush by Zibra. If you know me, you know I adore these brushes. This one in particular makes my efforts of painting all those curves and crannies a breeze. You can see how I’ve used these brushes in my past posts too. My first coat is a stain-blocking primer called Kilz.

Zibra Triangle Brush for Painting Chair Details by Prodigal Pieces |

While the first coat is curing on the chair, I also begin my primer coat on the vintage corner writing desk we started earlier. Since the legs are turned, my Round Brush is the way to go to effectively paint them.

Painting Vintage Corner Writing Desk Leg with Round Zibra Brush by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

When it comes time for the sides and top, I switch to my Stubby Brush. The angled tip and wider brush makes it perfect for these flat surfaces.

Painting Vintage Corner Desk Top with Zibra Paint Brush |


After the coat of primer, I use two coats of antique white, letting cure between. To finish this makeover, I used a coat of white wax on the antique white to create a work effect. My old brushes make for great waxing brushes too.

Waxing Corner Desk with Zibra Round Brush |

While all of the paint layers and wax were curing, I took on another small makeover. I found this lamp at the thrift store while hunting for chairs. I loved the sort of Fleur de Lis design it had. The best part it accents the back of the chair I found too.

Thrifted Lamp Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |


I thought it would pair well with my desk, so I gave it a couple coats of paint too. For added fun I decided to add a few faux dahlias to the lampshade by cutting the bottoms of pinecones off and painting them.

DIY Pinecone Dahlias for Crafty Home Decor |

They look pretty white, but I wanted a bit of color added too so it would accent my finish look I’m after.

Here is my vintage corner desk with thrifted chair and lamp all ready to go.

Shabby Chic Style Corner Writing Desk with Coordinating Upholstered Chair by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #furniture #diy #home #homedecor #vintage

Vintage White Corner Writing Desk with Chair for Shabby Chic Style Decor by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #home #homedecor

I love how the lines of the desk match the chair perfectly. The upholstery I chose is the same as I used on this Lane cedar chest I did a year or so ago. It suits the look I was after and is so pretty too.

Upholstered Vintage Shield Back Chair with Corner Writing Desk by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #furniture #shabbychic #home #homedecor #diy #vintage

Vintage Corner Writing Desk Top Refinished by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #furniture #diy #home #vintage #homedecor


Notice I replaced the bail pull for a faceted glass knob. A little bling always makes me smile. Just for fun, I even painted the drawer a contrasting color and lined it with the same upholstery. A girl loves her pretties, right?

How to Line a Drawer with Fabric by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #vintage #home #homedecor

Vintage Corner Writing Desk and Chair with Peek-a-Boo Drawer by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #home #homedecor #vintage

The lamp I chose to update is happily decorating my little corner. I found that faux cork shade at a local store and felt it needed a pop of color. Aren’t those pinecone dahlias pretty?

DIY Pinecone Dahlia DIY Lamp by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #flowers

Beautiful PInecone Dahlia Lamp DIY Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #home #homedecor

Subscribe to Prodigal Pieces DIY Channel on YouTube |

DIY Pinecone Dahlia Lamp for your Home Decor by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor

What fun I have creating these things and sharing them with you. I so hope you are enjoying all that I’ve shared with you.

White Vintage Corner Desk Set by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #furniture #home #homedecor

Antique Corner Writing Desk & Chair Set by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #home #furniture #homedecor #diy #vintage


One last thing I had to create just for fun and since so many of you have asked…more of these adorable insulated lunch bag totes. eep!

Floral & Polka Dot Insulated Lunch Bag Totes by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #handmade #diy #home #fashion #accessories

Open Floral Insulated Lunch Tote Bag Created and Designed by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #shopping #fashion #accessories #home

Open Rose & Stripe Lunch Tote by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #handmade #fashion #accessories #shopping

A few weeks back I introduced my lunch bags in this post of refashion HERE. So, as promised, I’ve continued in filling your orders as well as creating new designs.

Pink Stripe with Rose Insulated Lunch Bag Tote by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Purchase yours at #prodigalpieces #fashion #accessories #handmade #shopping

Pink Rose with Stripe Insulated Lunch Bag Tote by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Purchase yours at #prodigalpieces #fashion #accessories #handmade #shopping

These new designs are one-and-only kind style because my vintage linens are a limited supply. However, I also still have my other linen, twill, and denim linen options available too. All bags are available in my shop along with my favorite paint brushes, this new desk set (SOLD).

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Beautiful Vintage Writing Desk & Chair Set by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #furniture #diy #vintage #home #homedecor


Time for some fun for YOU! Zibra and I are all about getting you to get out and DIY. We are giving away TWO prizes, both including some of my favorite paint brushes.

Zibra Paint Brush Giveaway via Prodigal Pieces |

Easy entry – just complete as many entries as you like using the widget below (daily even for more entries). Open to U.S. & Canada residents 18 years of age and older. Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to claim their prize. Be sure to check your spam!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do pin and share my vintage corner writing desk makeover to inspire others to grab that curbside #trashure! tee hee.

WOW! This vintage corner writing desk was found curbside and needed some TLC. Larissa of Prodigal Pieces restored it and matched it up with an upholstered chair. See the makeover at #prodigalpieces #furniture #diy #home #homedecor #vintage

Up next, another of my curbside #trashure finds will be getting a new look for our Furniture Fixer Uppers day. See the revival HERE.

Vintage Nightstand Found Curbside by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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More furniture makeovers like this vintage corner writing desk:

What a transformation! A Vintage Secretary Desk Radio is transformed into an English Cottage gem by Prodigal Pieces. A must see! | prodigalpieces.comFantastic save!! This old antique had seen better days, but now it has new life as an upcycled desk turned into a pair of nightstands. Full video tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces at #prodigalpieces #diy #home #furniture #handmade #homedecor #farmhouse #vintage #homedecorideas #shopping


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  • Tracey

    Larissa!!! I love getting your emails to see your wonderful transformations!!! Love it all!! And I’m going to be transforming some pine cones!!!!!

    April 23, 2019 at 6:42 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are such a fun gal, Tracey! Yahoo!! Thank you.

      April 23, 2019 at 7:17 am Reply
  • Lori Sawyer

    Its all so beautiful! Trashy friends are the best!!! The lamp was an awesome find as well

    April 23, 2019 at 7:25 am Reply
    • Larissa

      hahaha…love that…”trashy friends”. They sure are! I’m glad you like it all, Lori. Thank you!

      April 23, 2019 at 7:31 am Reply
    • Brenda Crist

      It’s always fun to see how you give things new life. I walk thru our goodwill & look at the wooden stuff, stand there & try to look at it thru your eyes but I can’t see anything but ehat I’m looking at. You are talented my friend!

      April 23, 2019 at 9:17 am Reply
      • Larissa

        You made me giggle, Brenda! I love that you are trying. It will come!

        April 23, 2019 at 12:05 pm Reply
  • Alison S

    I have a couple of dressers I would like to paint.

    April 23, 2019 at 7:57 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Perfect. I hope you like my work today. 🙂

      April 23, 2019 at 8:19 am Reply
  • Dale Cundy

    I have never seen a corner desk like this one….I really like it! The chair is so pretty. I adore the fabric that you chose…lining the desk drawer with the same fabric was brilliant. Great job!🌺

    April 23, 2019 at 8:03 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I like how it fits in most any spot and can be used for vanity, office, and more. Thanks so much, Dale.

      April 23, 2019 at 8:20 am Reply
  • Bonnie Kleindl

    I love your blog and videos always make sure that I watch them. You do a great job and have great ideas.

    April 23, 2019 at 8:07 am Reply
  • Teresa

    You. do such amazing work. Love seeing what you do with tired pieces😃😃

    April 23, 2019 at 8:13 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are so sweet to say so, Teresa. Thank you so much! 😀

      April 23, 2019 at 8:20 am Reply
    • Maria Howard

      Beautiful and looks awesome next to that brick wall!!!

      April 23, 2019 at 9:13 am Reply
      • Larissa

        Thanks so much, Maria. 😀

        April 23, 2019 at 12:04 pm Reply
  • Ginny

    Super cute corner desk! And love the painted pine cones…Will need to try painting some of these! I have lots of small projects that these brushes would work great with – a few picture frames and the legs of the coffee table that my son has been wanting to paint. Keep inspiring me! Thanks for the chance to win this giveaway!

    April 23, 2019 at 8:26 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! They are so easy to do. I definitely had a blast creating. I’m so glad you like it all, Ginny! 😀

      April 23, 2019 at 12:03 pm Reply
    • Dee Thomas

      Enjoyed seeing the transformation and learning the process and what brushes work best. I’m not sure I’d be that brave on things like that, ha ha. I’d love to win and try the brushes on a table or small cabinet I got, that needs a different look for me.

      April 24, 2019 at 4:22 pm Reply
      • Larissa

        You made me giggle, Dee. Thank you so much!

        April 25, 2019 at 5:21 am Reply
  • Julie Squillante

    I love curb shopping too!! Desk looks beautiful!

    April 23, 2019 at 8:39 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are a smart gal. 😀 Thanks!

      April 23, 2019 at 12:03 pm Reply
  • Toia

    I love seeing your helpers! Mine are a huge help with projects! And friends…I’m tickled how people watch out for things for a creative person😊Wonderful makeover!

    April 23, 2019 at 9:04 am Reply
    • Larissa

      They are my all-in-all. I just love it! 😀 Thank you, Toia.

      April 23, 2019 at 12:04 pm Reply
  • Stephanie

    Those pine one flowers make my creative juices flow! Wonderful!

    April 23, 2019 at 9:13 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Aren’t they fun? I love pinecones!

      April 23, 2019 at 12:04 pm Reply
  • Cheryl Atkinson

    Larissa, i love what you did with the drawer. that little of pop is adorable. I made a wreath one time out of painted pine cone halves. It was so much fun to make.. who would have thought to add them to a lamp shade? Oh, you! 🙂 you are just the sweetest thing and i love how you bring everything to life! Thank you for the chance to win a set of brushes. that fan brush looks fun.

    April 23, 2019 at 9:18 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It needed some fun somewhere. tee hee! Thank you so much! You will love the Zibra brushes.

      April 23, 2019 at 12:05 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Drake

    I love that desk! I have never seen one built that way. Thanks for the giveaway!

    April 23, 2019 at 9:24 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It is a fantastic use of space for makeup, office, sewing, and more. Sweet find! You’re welcome for the giveaway.

      April 23, 2019 at 12:06 pm Reply
  • Bobye Bickel

    Great Job

    April 23, 2019 at 9:33 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks so much. 🙂

      April 23, 2019 at 12:06 pm Reply
  • Patty Soriano

    I definitely need a corner piece like this! I have a corner shelf which was a curb find, and I need bottom piece to set it on. I hope something like this comes into my life. Wish I knew everything you do about drawers and legs! SO many repairs to do! Love the cork lamp with the dahilias. really cute!

    April 23, 2019 at 9:55 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Aren’t they super handy? Sounds like you have the same idea…make do and enjoy. Woot!

      April 23, 2019 at 12:09 pm Reply
  • Frances

    I love the desk! It is so cute!

    April 23, 2019 at 10:08 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Wahoo!! Thank you so much.

      April 23, 2019 at 12:10 pm Reply
  • KImberly

    You did such an amazing job of bringing this set together. I love the little special touches, and the pine cone “dahlias” are adorable! Whoda thunk it??

    April 23, 2019 at 10:09 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I almost couldn’t believe how bad they both were, but glad I stuck to it. Just some woodworking fun on my part. Yay!! Thank you, Kimberly.

      April 23, 2019 at 12:10 pm Reply
  • Linda C Johnston

    Larissa, you are the bright spot in my week! Love you, the kids, handsome hubby, your faith and let us not forget your talents! I would so love to win!

    April 23, 2019 at 10:22 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You seriously made me tear up, Linda. Thank you so much for the HUG!

      April 23, 2019 at 12:11 pm Reply
  • Lori

    Love this makeup. I really also like the way the lamp was redone. I didn’t know you could that with pine cones. Very clever.

    April 23, 2019 at 10:42 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! It all came together as I envisioned and I do a happy dance when that happens. Woot!

      April 23, 2019 at 12:13 pm Reply
  • Kaycee

    Wow Larissa, there is so much eye candy in this post, I am drooling! Wow, desk, chair, lamp and your super pretty lunch totes!!!! I love the elongated shape of this corner desk, there is so much more space than the typical corner desks! The paint colors, fabric, and the embellished lamp shade is beyond gorgeous! Zibra paint brushes certainly do make a huge difference!!! I love it all!!!

    April 23, 2019 at 11:06 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It was funny when Christy showed it to me that she wanted to pull it out of her vehicle to see if I wanted it. I said…stop right there. I’ll take it! 😀 I knew it would be a fun project thought I didn’t want more furniture. haha! You are the best, Kaycee!

      April 23, 2019 at 12:14 pm Reply
  • Jane Clelland

    I too love curb shopping. But the only time I find anything, my hubby is with me and he won’t stop! I love the material that you used, the drawer is a great touch. Keep doing what you do, you’re the best!!

    April 23, 2019 at 12:01 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Oh no!! haha. I have those problems too, but he knows better than to not stop because I will come back if need be… 😀 Thank you!!

      April 23, 2019 at 12:20 pm Reply
  • Teresa Archer

    Love this post, your taking the time to explain why you use each brush is tremendously helpful! First thing I’d paint is an old rocking chair I’ve finally gotten back together. It was kinda like your chair, is this really going to be worth the trouble!

    April 23, 2019 at 12:39 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! If you’re on Instagram, I shared the use of these brushes in my IG TV channel. Seeing them work is key for me too. Sounds like you have DIY fun headed your way! 😀

      April 23, 2019 at 12:56 pm Reply
  • Jana

    Another great project and post! Thank you!

    April 23, 2019 at 1:19 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Sweet to hear, Jana. Thank you!

      April 23, 2019 at 5:23 pm Reply
  • Lisa

    What an unusual corner desk! It came out beautifully! The lunch totes are super cute too.

    April 23, 2019 at 1:45 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I thought so too. She asked if I wanted to see it before deciding and I was like…nope. Done! 😀

      April 23, 2019 at 5:24 pm Reply
  • Barb

    I have never seen a desk quite like that! All 3 pieces turned out perfectly, as if they always belonged together – terrific eye! There is an old cabinet/file type cupboard I have with small sections, curved dividers and molding that I would love to try the brushes on.

    April 23, 2019 at 3:26 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much. It was such a fun find and piece to work on. I’m glad you like it. Sounds like you have a fun project too.

      April 23, 2019 at 5:24 pm Reply
  • Karen

    You always create so many fun things! I always look forward to seeing what’s next! And the lunch totes…so cute!

    April 23, 2019 at 4:36 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      That delights my heart to no end, Karen. Thank you!

      April 23, 2019 at 5:25 pm Reply
  • Paula McNeely

    Love that unusual shaped desk. You did a terrific job.

    April 23, 2019 at 5:21 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Isn’t it fun? Thank you, Paula.

      April 23, 2019 at 5:40 pm Reply
    • Cindy Downing

      That desk is gorgeous and very unique. I love it. I need to paint the bar in my kitchen so I’m thinking that’s what I’d do with the brushes.

      April 25, 2019 at 9:43 pm Reply
  • Kim

    Once again a beautiful makeover! You did it again!

    April 23, 2019 at 7:17 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay!! So fun for me to share. Thank you, Kim!

      April 23, 2019 at 7:31 pm Reply
  • Kelsey

    Neat desk! Nothing says true friendship like “I saw this trash and thought of you” 😀

    April 23, 2019 at 8:17 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      bwahahahahaha!!! so true!!

      April 23, 2019 at 9:16 pm Reply
  • Amy Giannini

    Charming desk set, and the dahlias are the perfect touch on the lamp!

    April 23, 2019 at 9:48 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for the love, Amy. 🙂

      April 24, 2019 at 5:03 am Reply
  • nadine

    I just recently found your blog and I am enjoying it very much. I love your passion for recycling old throw away items and giving them a new life!!

    April 23, 2019 at 10:33 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      So glad you found me and my crazy adventures, Nadine. I hope you have fun following along. Hugs!

      April 24, 2019 at 5:07 am Reply
  • Sherry Riggs

    Wonderful makeover!

    April 23, 2019 at 11:51 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for the kind words, Sherry.

      April 24, 2019 at 5:07 am Reply
  • Corry Heinricks

    I have a high chair in need of a paint makeover so it’s ready in a few months when my grandsons are old enough to use it.

    April 24, 2019 at 10:13 am Reply
  • Lynn

    Love your transformations! What a nice chair and desk set you created!

    April 24, 2019 at 4:06 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Lynn.

      April 25, 2019 at 5:20 am Reply
  • Debbie

    Loved your post! And what a neat idea with the pine cones! I have a little desk I need to paint.

    April 24, 2019 at 4:13 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay! This was fun for me to do and share. Thank you!

      April 25, 2019 at 5:20 am Reply
  • Debra Wise

    So gorgeous. More great transformations! You always amaze me with your makeovers. I like the pine cone flowers, so cute!

    April 24, 2019 at 5:51 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You know how much that means to me, Debra. Thank you!

      April 25, 2019 at 5:21 am Reply
  • Mary

    You saved all three pieces and gave them new life, what a fine job. You always make the jobs look easy but I know you spent a lot of time rebuilding them, good work.

    April 24, 2019 at 6:07 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      It is work, and sort of my therapy time if you will. Time to focus and work, and then see the fruition of your labor is priceless. Thank you, Mary.

      April 25, 2019 at 5:22 am Reply
  • Phyllis Moynihan

    What a wonderful find. You did a fantastic job restoring and making it new again. I picked up a small table today while coming home from the grocery store today. It was pouring down rain but I still stopped to saved the small table from going to the landfill.

    April 25, 2019 at 6:28 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Score for you!! I’m so glad you did, and glad I did too. Just so much waste on perfectly good things.

      April 25, 2019 at 8:39 am Reply
  • Sam - Raggedy Bits

    What an awesome score your sweet friend found for you to work your magic on! I was screwing my face up when I saw the pass the parcel layering you had going on with the chair pad and removing the old covers. I so felt your pain!! But as always you’ve done an amazing job and the transforamtion is just inspiringly beautiful!!

    April 30, 2019 at 11:41 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      haha…right? My hands get so sore thinking about it. Thanks so much, Sam.

      May 1, 2019 at 5:01 am Reply

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