Upcycling a Vintage Roll Top Desk

desk closedDesk beforeI love looking at the Before and After photos of upcycled and refurbished projects.  When I first saw this vintage roll top desk, it was covered in years of dust and neglect.  There were forgotten pens and pencils, mismatched buttons and an old penny in the drawers.  The wood itself, was in excellent condition.  The wood was very raw and dry, but it cleaned very well.

Normally, I don’t like to cover Oak with paint.  I enjoy the beauty of the wood and feel almost sinful in covering it with anything other than wax.  But this particular piece begged to be updated.  It was boring otherwise.

I did find a compromise that allowed me to keep some of the natural Oak color.  The interior compartments provided a prettier finish to the Oak wood.    As you can see, the Provence color used in this project, made the natural Oak “Pop”.desk open drawerdesk side view

To provide additional life to this project, I decided to use one of my favorite colors; Paris Gray.  This color provided the necessary depth for the roll top and at the same time, soften the curves.


desk drawer close upWith any Vintage project, I decided to utilize a distressing method using sandpaper and a dry brush using Paris Gray over the Provence color.  I also used a very small amount of dark wax to bring out the details on the drawers and legs.  A clear wax was used as the final coat for the project.

This has turned out to be one of my favorite pieces.  It has a French flair as well as an accent piece that will brighten any office.  Simply gorgeous!

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