Home Decor

A Simple Desk Redo with Big Meaning

I have been working hard on transforming my oldest son’s room from nursery to a “big boy” room. I am so excited to share this desk redo with you and the meaningful story that goes along with it.

Desk Makeover 1

We grew up in a small town in Ohio. During the days when our parents were working and my big sister (Erin) was at school, I spent my time at an in home daycare. Lucky for me, it was also our grandparents’ house.

I have so many fond memories from this period of my life. One of my favorites is the time when my cousin Amy and I discovered where our grandfather kept his secret stash of chewing tobacco. The hiding spot was in the bottom, back of a drawer in his desk. In the exchange for our silence in not telling our grandmother, he gave my cousin and I our very own special drawer in that same desk to keep our drawings and art work in. Our Grandpa was definitely not someone who was afraid of conflict, but he always said “Grandma is the boss and don’t want to make Boss Nanny mad.” So we kept our silence and our drawer.

It has now been 25 years since then and our grandpa has passed away. The desk remains in pretty good shape and I am now the proud owner.

Desk Makeover 2

When I first inherited the desk, I opened each of the drawers and was hit with a very familiar smell. Tobacco. Ah, Grandpa. As I opened our special drawer, I saw crayon marks all along the walls of the it. The memories just kept coming back to me.

As much as I loved this desk as it was, it did need a little work. When trying to decided what to do with it, I thought about my grandpa and how back in 2010 he was in the nursing home, not doing too well. I was pregnant with my first son and he kept saying he wanted to see that baby before he died. He did end up getting his wish and I hope our grandfather would be pleased that my oldest son will be getting this desk in his room.

To spruce this baby up, I first sanded down the entire exterior.

Desk Makeover 4

Next, it was time for the stain. Using a natural brush I applied a coat of Minwax Special Walnut to the desk and drawer fronts. I made sure to wipe off any excess stain that did not soak into the wood with a rag.

Then, I used a synthetic brush and swept on three coats of Minwax Polycrylic. I love this stuff because it is water based and does not leave the surface looking yellow.

Dining Table 6

Finally, I added some new hardware, stood back, and admired my work.

I just love how it turned out and my little guy is pretty excited too. His one and only request was that we display a few pictures of our family on top of it. Do most four year old boys request pictures of their parents to have in their bedroom? I think it is so sweet. I found these fun art frames at Tiny Prints and they work perfectly for our needs.

Desk Makeover

It’s so wonderful to have this meaningful piece of furniture in my home. And someday, when my son gets older I will have the pleasure of explaining to him why his desk smells so weird. Haha.


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