Decorating
Woman Spends $5 To Turn Beat Up Desk Into Beautiful Piece
I cannot get over the intricate wood inlay hiding on top, what a treasure she found.
Kathleen Shipman
08.05.20

Most of us would love to fill our homes with beautiful furniture pieces. Yet, furniture can also come with really big price tags when you shop in traditional stores – and it’s not in everyone’s budget.

Luckily, there’s another way. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves, you can give new life to old pieces of furniture without breaking the bank. We’re talking DIY, of course!

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The following “Trash to Treasure” project comes from Desert DIY and it’s an incredible desk transformation.

Cory, who’s the creator of Desert DIY, received an old, beat-up desk from a friend. While a lot of people would’ve just set it out by the curb – Cory saw its potential.

According to Save On Energy, the average U.S. citizen throws out 4.4-pounds of garbage a day.

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Below are the steps Cory took to transform her junky desk into “treasure.” You won’t believe the results!

Step 1: Sand the top.

She begins by taking an electric sander and going over the top of the desk. While it may have looked rough at first, it doesn’t take long before its natural beauty starts to shine through.

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Cory even discovers a surprise gem! Hidden underneath the finish is a wood inlay, containing a unique, red-colored wood. Isn’t that neat?

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Step 2: Move on to the drawers.

The next step is removing the hardware from the drawers. When you do your own – just be careful not to misplace any of the screws or pieces.

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Cory then uses the electric sander on her drawers as well. In the video she shares:

“During this time you can kind of figure out when a piece was made by what type of hardware they use inside the drawers.”

Going by the drawers’ flathead screws, Cory believes her desk is from the late 1950s or early 1960s.

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Step 3: Fill in the cracks.

Next, she takes a stainable wood-filler and fills in all of the visible cracks. According to Cory, it’s very important to use a “stainable” filler when you have plans to restain a piece of wood furniture.

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Step 4: It’s hand sanding time.

Cory spends an hour nicely hand sanding the desk top’s edge. Afterwards, she sands the wood-filler off the drawers, then cleans them up.

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Step 5: Paint the drawers and the body of the desk.

For her desk, Cory decided to use black paint for the entire bottom. She starts with the fronts of the drawers (because of them needing multiple coats), then moves on to painting the base.

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Step 6: Paint a second coat.

Cory places the drawers back in the desk, then gives the fronts a second coat of paint. Fortunately, the body of the desk didn’t need an additional coat.

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Step 7: Apply finishing wax to the top.

Here’s where you can really see how gorgeous the top of the desk is. After brushing on finishing wax, the wood really “pops.” Cory uses two coats of wax, then buffs it.

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Step 8: Clean the handles and hardware.

The DIY host begins by cleaning all of the pieces with a wire brush, soap, and water. Next, she shines them up with a metal polish.

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Step 9: Wax the rest of the desk.

Once the black paint is dry, Cory applies a coat of wax to the bottom portion of the desk.

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Step 10: Put all of the hardware back on.

This can sometimes be a little tricky, depending on the type you have. But it’s the final step…

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Overall, it cost her about the same as a cup of fancy coffee.

Cory wrote on YouTube:

“The desk was gifted to me from a friend, the paint was leftover from a project I did for my mom and the other materials I only used a tiny fraction of. If I had to guess a total cost it would be around $5.”

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Check out the stunning results below. You won’t believe this is the same vintage desk that many would have trashed!

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By Kathleen Shipman
[email protected]
Kathleen Shipman is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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