“So I was hoping to ask for a little guidance. I have two desks that my parents gave me that I’d like to get cleaned up and refinished for the boys. They are nothing fancy, but they are on the old side and are both solid wood. I think they could look pretty nice with a little TLC.”
I received this note last week from an old friend about not one, but two, vintage desks! Lucky lady, right?!?!
Anyway, she didn’t know where to start. Ohhhh…. I know this feeling. I used to want to ‘rescue’ old stuff all the time and I had no idea where to start!
Well, those days are over. At some point I got over that fear. I mean really, they were free. They’ve sat in basements and garages for years, how much family value could they have? And she’s not likely to do much harm. Let’s clean them up and put them back to work!
I couldn’t tell what shape they are in much from the above picture, but the drawer fronts look like really pretty wood. So, if the top isn’t in bad condition, I’d consider painting the frame and keeping the top and drawers as is (with a little polishing) to show off the beautiful patterns in the wood. Pretty much the opposite of this two-tone dresser I did:
She is also considering just keeping the wood. If that’s the case, then a good dusting is the first step! After that, if they just need a polish I’d use Howard Feed-n-Wax, non-toxic and easy to use. If it’s cold you might want to put the bottle in a bowl of warm water to melt the wax a bit. Directions are on the bottle, but it’s basically wipe on, wait a bit, then wipe off excess.
If the wood seems dry, I’d go for a wood oil to give the piece back more moisture. I’ve used a lot of Miss Mustard Seed’s Hemp Oil this year and love it, again it’s non-toxic and easy to use. Basically the same steps as the wax. It’s not widely available in stores but you can get it online.
There are lots of other waxes and wood oils available at the hardware store and many I bet are great, I just don’t have experience working with them and would hate to accidentally recommend a bad product!
Alright, let’s see if she sends me an after picture….