Home Office Furniture Makeover Part 1
How it Started
When we moved into our home seven years ago we had some office furniture that I thought would work but once we got settled the reality was it was too small for the space. Furniture we had used in our loft which was a much smaller are so it didn't work in the larger office. It looked like doll furniture in an actual house.
I got busy looking for something new. We didn't have the funds to purchase something new so I looked at Goodwill, Antique Stores and OfferUp. I got lucky and found a beautiful piece that was well made and a good price on OfferUp. To make it even better it was only a few miles away so a win, win. I was so happy with the purchase. A great quality piece that fit the space perfectly. We had seen this exact piece in a furniture store for thousands of dollars, I felt really lucky to find this beautiful piece.
Wanting Something New
A few months ago I started imagining something different, less traditional and more modern. It would have been easier to purchase something different but way more expensive. Replacing a desk and a hutch is not inexpensive even if I sold what we had for a few hundred dollars. I spent a lot of time thinking, looking and planning what I hoped was possible. There were a lot of unknowns but we have done a lot of DIY projects so I had faith in our abilities and knew or hoped we could figure it out as we went. Also knowing there would be surprises, hopefully nothing we couldn't figure out.
To begin I wanted to create a free standing desk. Then take off all the traditional additions to the hutch and make it more modern and simple. Because it is a mostly solid wood piece the plan was to stain the desk. Then paint the hutch, toying with the idea of staining the top of the base cabinets.
One of my favorite pieces in our office is a gorgeous bookcase we built. The desk and hutch makeover will look amazing with the bookcase. Take a look at the bookcase here.
Taking it Apart
My husband works from home so we couldn't have a non working office for very long. I wasn't sure how we were going to make the desk free standing and look good but I purchased some black iron legs and hoped for the best. Because the desk was attached on one end we had some things to figure out.
I started by taking corbels and trim off the hutch. There were a lot of layers to the demolition. The more I took off the more I wanted to take off. I had a vision and to get it to where I wanted I needed to strip it down to the bare bones.
All the rod iron additions, arches, trim and anything that made it look tradition was taken off. Some came off easier than others. Pieces like the corbels were screwed on so that was easy but a little time consuming because there were so many. The rod iron pieces were also screwed on. Because it was going to be painted I wasn't too worried about screw holes in the wood. It could be filled, sanded and painted.
There were some decorative pieces that were glued on, which was harder to remove. Thankfully my husband gave me a hand, I wouldn't have physically been strong enough to do it. Removing the rope type trim was not easy but thankfully we were able to pull it off without too much damage.
Home Office Makeover Desk
On a long weekend we got busy making the desk free standing. Since it was attached we had to finish off the attached side to make it match the rest of the desk. Thankfully pieces that were pulled off the hutch were used to finish off the trim on the desk. Which was nice because it would sand and stain the same.
We had to step back and process what we had and how we were going to make it work. With some trial and error. For the new metal legs we needed to extend the under pieces just a little. Thankfully we made it work and the end result was amazing.
After it was all put together I got busy sanding it down to the raw wood then cleaning and staining.
Sanding the wood was really fun. I love seeing the raw wood appear it is so pretty when sanded down.
When it was sanded I used the air tank to blow off the saw dust. I then wiped it off with a damp blue shop towel. Brush it with a wire brush to clean out any saw dust in the grain of the wood, then wipe it with another blue shop towel.
The desk is now ready to be stained. Here is the three stain combination that I love to use. Creating a modern, subtle and beautiful finish.
Start with the pre-stain wood conditioner. Applying with a foam brush and wiping off with shop towels. I always wear a latex glove to keep my hands from getting stained. Brush the pre-stain on in sections then wipe off. The wood conditioner helps you get a consistent finish on the piece. Because we were able to use wood from the hutch it made finishing the desk easier.
After it is dry the key to getting a soft smooth finish use an ultra fine sanding sponge to lightly sand off the raised wood fibers. Then apply the antique white stain. It softens the look of the special walnut stain creating a beautiful finish. Once again working in sections so it doesn't dry too long.
After it is dry use the ultra fine sanding sponge again. The final step is adding the special walnut stain. Working in sections and wiping it off quickly.
Trust me the key to getting a beautiful finish is a light sanding between each coat of stain. Whenever you stain or paint wood it brings up small wood fibers. Lightly sanding those off gives you a soft smooth finish. I love these ultra fine sanding sponge.
Adding the New Metal Legs
We were now ready to add the new metal legs to the gorgeous desk top. The black iron legs are a beautiful addition to the gorgeous updated desk.
After we added the extensions to the underside of the desk for the legs we were able to screw them into place. Because a couple of the predrilled holes were too close to the side we drilled a couple new holes for screws. Had we screwed on the edge we risked splitting the wood. Thankfully drilling our own holes wasn't too tough.
It is all starting to take shape. I'm so happy with the way things are looking. The desk is the first step in changing the look in our office.
The next blog post will take you through the steps to makeover the hutch. Taking it from traditional to a beautiful on point modern piece.
To make your DIY projects more fun check out all the adorable t-shirts at Decor to the Door. Perfect for all projects or a trip to Home Depot. You can check out all the diy t-shirts here.
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