Adventures in Restoration

Last year I moved into my fiancé's bachelor pad in San Francisco. We discussed finding a new place that would be 'ours', however, San Francisco rental prices being what they are, we quickly realized it made more sense to stay put. Our slightly outdated 2 bedroom Marina apartment would have to do. After living for about a year with leather and dark faux wood (eeek), I finally decided to get my things out of storage (they'd been there since I had moved aboard 3 years ago) and revamp our humble abode. Since I didn't have a vast amount of money to spend, I knew I'd have to get creative and mix old and new, investment pieces and flea market finds. I originally wanted a mid-century style desk from West Elm, but couldn't justify the $600 price point. I came across this piece while out antique shopping in Redmond, Oregon with my mom. She knew I was looking for mid-century pieces and stumbled on this desk. The colors were even worse than the photo shows, an alternating 70's palette that could have belonged to Carol Brady. After inspecting it and confirming it was real wood, we thought we could give this desk a new life. I negotiated them down from $100 (already a steal) to $80, I was so proud of myself (I've never been one to negotiate)! 


hello lovely 

hello lovely 

why? 

why? 

The next day we got to work stripping the paint and soon discovered there were a lot more than just a few coats, probably around 7-8. We got what we could off, but the paint had seeped into the wood grain and needed to be sanded. Thankfully my dad is a handyman extraordinaire and helped out sanding this thing down. 2 days and about 10 hours worth of labor later, I still wasn't sure if the desk was going to turn out as I hoped. However, after a few coats of stain and shellac, the soul of this mid-century piece came back to life. Even with all the effort it took, seeing the final outcome was so rewarding and a lot more satisfying to use than an overpriced imitation. I can't wait to head back up to Oregon in the fall and get to work on a few other restoration projects.