Taking An Old Desk And Making It Like New

If you have found an old desk at an estate sale or yard sale that you believe will look nice with a little fixing up, you may be able to do the job yourself with some household items and a little time. Refinishing is not a difficult task and often the results are striking. Here are some instructions for you to use to refinish your wooden desk to make it look revitalized and like new.

Do An Assessment

Take a look at your desk and see which areas are in need of simple repair. A great way to bring flaws to your attention is to place some mineral spirits on a clean cloth and rub into the surface of your desk. Any area that is in need of repair will stand out after the application. 

Clean Your Desk

After noting the areas you will be repairing, you will want to thoroughly clean your desk to remove the mineral spirits and any embedded dirt. When adding color, you will want not want any debris on the desk as it will hinder the application.

Place a few tablespoons of mild dish detergent into a bucket of warm water and mix. Apply the soapy water to your desk with a non-abrasive sponge, making sure to scrub the parts where dirt is built-up. For corners, use a small paintbrush dipped in the soapy mixture to apply. Rub the desk with another sponge and then a soft, clean cloth. The second sponge will help remove the soap and the cloth will dry the desk.

Make Small Repairs

If you had noticed any white rings on your desk, you can remove them by placing some petroleum jelly on the area that is affected. Leave it in place overnight and rub off with a clean cloth the next day. This should remove or fade the rings completely. 

Dried paint flecks can be removed by using a razor blade. Wrap each side of the blade with painter's tape, giving your fingers a spot to grasp while scraping. The tape will keep the razor blade elevated just enough to keep from scraping down to the wood.

If there are chipped areas, these can be filled in using an epoxy putty. This can be bought at a hardware store. Roll the putty between your fingers to make it pliable and then place into the area where wood is missing. It will harden and you can use sand paper to make the putty uniform with the wood.

Add Some Color

Gel stain can be easily applied to your desk. Place some stain on a clean piece of cloth and rub directly on the wood. If you apply too much, it can be removed with mineral spirits. Use a small paintbrush to get color into small, hard-to-reach areas. After the stain has dried, add some wipe-on finish to your desk. Rub into the wood with a clean cloth using a circular motion and rub off going with the grain of the wood. Finishing your desk will keep the color from fading too quickly. For assistance, talk to a professional like The Strip Joint.