Before & After: When Life Gives You Lemons, Use Them On Your $12 Thrift Store Desk

Mary found a very handsome but somewhat worn desk outside of a thrift store. After snatching it up for less than it costs to buy Lemonade on iTunes, she took it home and restored it to its former glory.

From Mary: I had been looking for a small desk for my computer for some time, and since I knew it would be in the family room I wanted it to look nice and not look like an office space. I happened to see this desk outside of a thrift store with no price, so I asked how much and the salesperson said $12. I didn’t give it a second thought and bought it. I knew I wanted a desk that was used because of the quality and character of pieces made in the past. You can’t find that now with new pieces, unless you have a lot to spend.

The finish on this desk was very dull and the hardware was dark. I wasn’t sure what the metal was. There were some scratches but nothing too deep. The top opens to hold a sewing machine that was once stored underneath. There was no sewing machine. The size was just what I was looking for.

All in all, the cost was very little, under $6 of material. I was happily surprised I could clean the metal with steel wool and lemon and discovered brass and copper hardware. The whole project took about three hours.

I love the natural shine of the wood, brought back to its original finish. Because I knew this desk would probably placed in the middle of the room, I wanted to make sure that the desk looks beautiful from all sides.

Words of advice: Always try to clean up your piece to the original look/finish. There was a reason it was designed the way it was and reflects on a time period.

Thank you, Mary! You can see more on Mary’s blog, Weafer Design


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