Monday, September 3, 2012

School Days! An Antique School Desk

I  don't know if it's that I am a teacher, but there is something about this "back to school" time of year.
I love, love, love vintage inspired school accoutrements.
I have had this darling antique school desk for a while. 
I picked it up at an antique shop for $20.00.
It was very rustic! I think it had been outside for years before I got it. Time and the elements had taken it's toll.

I knew it needed an overhall so when I got my ice cream set we put it in the garage. The black curlicue wrought iron chairs from the ice cream set just looked better with the new front door anyway. 
 I knew that this little sweetie needed all new wood.
It is the small one, for Kindergartners probably.
It was made with thin slats and they were all coming loose.

When Mr. Bill wants to build something, he is like a woodworking Ninja.  
I told you about his coffee table project.
Coffee table on casters.
He cranked that out in a day!
But this little school desk languished in the garage.
When I pulled it aside and told him I wanted to 
fix it up, he said we should wait until it was cooler. 
I reminded him gently and sweetly about how long it had been in the garage and that there had been oodles of cooler days during many other months to fix it. 
I needed it for the blog. 
Okay, it wasn't gently and sweetly. There may have been a little shrieking involved but just a little.
We worked on it for about 2 hours until we both fell over from the heat.
Not really.
He patiently showed me some new skills and 
I got to add some new tools to my repertoire. 
This tool was a little intimidating, but Mr. Bill walked me through it.
Fixing this desk was a bit more complicated than I first thought. Which I am sure is the reason why the poor thing sat for so long.
It required slats that were held together with a pin sticking out of the iron supports and some sort of groove in which said pin then held it together. 
Make sense? 
It didn't to me either.
I assured Bill that is was okay if we didn't live up to an "American Restoration" type of repair. School children would not have to sit at this desk for long hours. A grandchild or two will sit for a photo op someday but first we have to have grandchildren.

We used pine.

We raised the blade of the saw to make the grooves.
We also used this special bit called a spade to drill circles.
All was fine and good until I tried to round the corners.  I ruined the seat and had to start over.
Bill took over and finished all the corners.The rounded corners give it more of an antique feel.

Finally, we used the sander to smooth the finish. 

Do you love my messy garage?
I was going to stain it green to replicate the way it had been painted. It wasn't green originally and at one time it had been country blue. I wasn't wild about that look.

I stained it with a medium walnut stain. 
Bill did a coat of Shellac on top.

It is the same 
finish he used on the table for the man cave.

 Shellac has such a warm and rich finish.  

The globe came from school. I had to repair it after one of my kids  broke it last year. 
E6000 glued a little plastic piece back on so it is ready for another year.

We put the little desk in the garden room.

 It will be such a cute plant stand this winter. I love the warm black and brown tones.

Read about my fabric apples. 
Antique School Desk Refurbished

The French chair was free at a garage sale about 10 years ago. It could use a fix up.
The cane on it needs to be replaced. I have never done that before so I'm working up the nerve to give it a try. 

 The book came from my grandfather.

It is a cozy, sunroom in the evening.

I love it.

Linking with,
Debbie Doos 
Savvy Southern Style 
Feathered Nest Friday 
Funky Junk Interiors


  1. Katie this room is fabulous. I truly love all your vintage treasures too! THanks for sharing at my party.

  2. Katie, what an awesome job on that little desk! Clever thinking on using it as an end table. Of course, now I will be looking for one of those, if I can find one in price range. Sweet up cycle. My daughter has a thing for maps and globes so she's going to adore this as well! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    1. I hope you can find one. My neighbor has one from her old school in Mississippi. How fun would that be?

  3. I love your desk! It's so nice to have a handy hubby! It looks fantastic with the globes on it and your room is so pretty! I'm your newest follower.
    XO Cindy

    1. Thank you, Cindy and thanks for being a new follower. :)

  4. hi Katie - it's a great school desk and looks beautiful in your room. i love the coffee table your husband made also!
    cheers Fiona (lilyfield life)

  5. What a lovely sunroom. You must use this all the time. I totally love your lamp too!

    Small House / Big Donna

    1. Thanks, Donna. We love it a lot. It was a great place to have family meetings when the kids were home.