Office Face Lift

I love bargains! However, I got more work than I’d bargained for. New deskMy husband bought this beautiful mahogany and poplar desk at our local Goodwill store for a great price. I’d have room for storage and a better work surface.

Living in a 1900 era house has its charm but also some drawbacks–narrow doors plus oddly angled dormers and roof lines. Moving the desk into my office nook would take some creative maneuvers and the muscles of two men. We had to leave the desk outside during its first night at our home until someone could help carry it. The next day I discovered several white water stains where the tarp allowed moisture through. I couldn’t work on those outside or risk more damage from rain!

Did I mention both the desk and the top weigh a ton and have a bazillion screws? I seriously considered moving my office to another location in our home. My husband removed the 3 ft. x 6 ft. top. A friend helped carry the files and drawers up the stairs, through four doors, and around several corners. After all of that effort, the top was an inch too long for the window nook!  According to measurements, the desk should perfectly fit in the dormer. Instead, we found a marked bow in the old wall. Why hadn’t I seen that before? Yes, I knew the floor wasn’t level but I didn’t realize the wall was crooked too!

While we considered how to trim the top so it would fit, I needed to remove the water stain. A friend suggested I iron the white marks with a thin cloth and a steam iron. It greatly improved the marks but didn’t remove all the water damage. Pinterest pins said to use mayonnaise. It helped but some white areas remained. Plain toothpaste and a baking soda mixture finally removed all the white marks and restored the top to a beautiful shine. Finally, something was going right.

Reattaching the top of the desk became the grand adventure. We carried the top back down the stairs and hauled it to the local cabinet shop. They trimmed an inch from each side. That should work! So we proudly took it home and carried it back up those stairs. Of course Murphy and his law were in charge now. The crazy top needed another ¼ inch trim on the side where the wall bowed. We hauled it back down the stairs so the cabinet man could shave it once again. Finally, the monster desktop would accommodate the quirky curve we’d never noticed in the wall.

While I was out of town babysitting  grandchildren, my dear husband painted my office/extra bedroom a lighter shade of blue. He placed fresh flowers on the lovely new desk to welcome me home. He’s a keeper. As for the desk, well, it stays with the house if we ever move.