In general, I think of roll top desks as very masculine. But with a coat of pretty French grey, dark and heavy is transformed into light and airy.

After transforming a couple CraigsList finds, I was ready for my next project…something big. When I spied this desk in the free (!) section, I new I’d found the perfect candidate. I have looked and looked for the original “before” photos, but they seem to be lost. Oh well, here’s an example of a similar desk…

Quite a beauty, huh? One drawer was broken, and half of the ceramic drawer pulls were cracked. It was so dirty and dusty from sitting (probably for years) in a garage, that we didn’t even bring it in the house the first night. My husband thought it was a piece of junk and had no idea how I would make this good. After a good cleaning and light sanding, we dragged the beast into the house. I hoped that a coat or two of Kilz would kill the musty odor.

A la the Nester, I put the desk on furniture sliders over a drop cloth and painted it right there in my dining room. Two coats of Light French Gray (Behr) completely transformed this piece as I hoped it would.

Because it was an older desk, I didn’t want an ultra-glossy, “new” finish. On the other hand, I didn’t want to go for a distressed look because I was afraid it would just look like a poor paint job instead of a lovely, worn patina. So, I sealed all the painted surfaces with a few coats of Lundmark clear paste wax (from my local hardware store), and I loved the soft finish of the wax…perfect for this desk.

The finishing touches really made the desk something special. I found simple knobs at Home Depot to coordinate with the original drawer pulls (spray painted to match the knobs). I lined the drawers with some printed kraft paper, too.

Isn’t she lovely? After posting it back on CraigsList, and selling it for a pretty penny, my husband is now convinced that I can do anything.

I am linking to the very first blog I ever read. A dear friend introduced me to The Shabby Nest, and the world of design blogs, a few years ago. Wendy motivated me to rediscover my creativity and make my home beautiful (even with a non-existent decorating budget). Join her and other frugal ladies at Frugal Friday!

The Shabby Nest

I am also excited to link to a blog I have admired from a far for a long time: Miss Mustard Seed. She is another inspiring blogger who is reaping the bounty of following her dream. Drop in to her Furniture Feature Friday and be amazed!