pine desk refresh

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Before and Afters, Furniture Makeovers, Master Bedroom, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, My House52 Comments

One thing that has been on my shopping list for a while is a desk for the master bedroom.  Since Jeff has an office at the church, he doesn’t need one at the house.  He occassionally does work at home and requested a desk in our room, since it’s a quiet room, pretty well removed from the rest of the house.  I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, but I knew I would know it when I saw it.  I was thinking it might be along the lines of a simple writing desk, but when I came upon this pine desk in a local antique shop a couple of weeks ago, it caught my eye and I thought it would work in the space…

It had some short-cut repairs, was missing a knob, and it was dirty, but it was solid, had a nice shape, and a pretty patina.  At only $85, I thought it was a good buy and worth trying.  If it didn’t work in the room, I could use it as a sewing desk.

I like how it coordinates with the pine chest we use as a side table…

Now, I wish I took pictures of this process, but Jeff was out of town and I had a yard full of kids and I just worked on it as I had the time.  Here is the process, though…

I sanded it with 180 sandpaper to clean it up and smooth it out.  I didn’t want to sand it so much that I removed the patina, but it felt grimy and sanding was going to be the best way to remove the film.  It also had some paint splatters, something a little greasy (maybe makeup) on one of the drawers, some scotch tape residue, etc.  Once everything was smooth, I cleaned it with a damp rag and then slathered on some MMS Hemp Oil to hydrate it.

One of my Instagram friends had a knob that is an exact match to the others, so she graciously offered it up to me!  So, that will be added soon, but here is how it looks…

I’m using an antique kitchen chair for now, because the scale is right, but I’m hoping to find a sturdy upholstered chair that I can slip or recover in the Aviary toile or a coordinating fabric.

For now, though, I love the warmth of the wood in front of the window.  It’s a little hard to get a good picture of, but it really adds a lot to the room.

And I love all of the dings and scratches and dents in the top.  You can tell many hours have been spent at this desk over the years.

I even love that the paint splatters and ink stains in the interior of the top drawer reveals some budding artist created here.

It’s been slow…finding pieces for this room and there are still some holes to fill, but it’s really coming along.

pine desk refresh

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52 Comments on “pine desk refresh”

  1. Gorgeous. Reminds me of an episode of the Waltons. John boy is sitting by a window at his desk. So far that is two
    If my favourite programmes you have reminded me of. Little House on the Prarie and the Waltons’

  2. Your bedroom is so peaceful. I’m sure it’s a joy to go to sleep in each night and to wake up to each morning. And those curtains are stunning.

  3. Love how this room is coming along! Its beautiful and serene. May I asked where you purchased your chaise lounge? I love the stripe fabric and is it removable.

    1. That drapery rod is from Ballard Designs. I found an even longer one for my living room at Birch Lane.

  4. I just love the wood pieces in your bedroom. I love the way that you incorporated the stained pieces as well as your painted ones. They add so much warmth to the rooms. Thanks for sharing with us!

  5. I love that picture showing the reflections of the room. It’s so serene and comfortable looking….you have amazing taste and commitment to your “look.” As always, I just shake my head and say…”that Marian…” in total admiration!!!

  6. Beautiful, as usual. I was at an antique store yesterday, & I remember a couple of things they have that you have also. You’ve given me more ideas AGAIN!

  7. Sitting on the beach in St Augustine reading your blog. Absolutely love the warmth of the wood. I think what makes it also is the knobs. Precious old knobs. Old furniture is my love language. I love rethinking who had it before. I love the little pleasures the Lord affords is. You are an inspiration.

  8. Looks so nice with the armoire too! You’re so lucky to have come across a lovely bare wood desk that needs no stripping or painting. Great find!

  9. Love, love, love how your dedication to your faith and your family drive your creative decisions. Many believe one has to choose between following one’s talent(s) in order to achieve, OR family. Thank you for being living proof it is possible to choose both . . . you picked the perfect name, Miss Mustard Seed!

  10. Oh my-that looks perfect for your bedroom & adds a little something to the long, empty window area-just enough to break up the emptiness, but not too much to block the light & view. I’m not a matchy/matchy person when it comes to furniture, but I do like that this piece blends well with all your other pieces. I’m sure Jeff is glad to have the space-including drawers.

  11. Love the desk. It reminds me of the one I used for so long that I got from my mother-in-law. The drawer configuration was the same. I needed a place for files, so I bought a frame for hanging folders at the office supply store. Then I hung my folders perpendicular to the back and front of the desk in the bottom drawers. My husband had to “retro-fit” the side bars of the frame with his cutting pliers, but it worked, and I used it for years. I love the way your bedroom is coming together!

  12. When you mentioned your husbands office, it made me wonder how his career is doing? I remember his resume and the job description for THIS church were almost a match and he was so happy to get THIS posting. I hope things are going well for him!

    1. Yes, he is loving his job, the people he works with, the congregation, etc. There are definitely things we miss about the east coast, but we really love it here and it was a good move for our family. Thanks for asking! By the way, he will be done with his degree in just a few days!!

  13. I don’t mean this to be unkind, especially as you just finished this, but you did put it up on a blog with comments. Have you lost your mind? That is a homework desk for a kid! It’s not fitting for your husband or your elegant bedroom. Nor is the bedside table. The 2 styles of “make do” and “fancy” are too far apart to mix. Instead they contrast and make each other look farther apart. Now maybe if you painted the bedside table but the desk has got to go.

    1. Well, to each her own! I see where you’re coming from, but I like the way both pieces look in the room. Now, Jeff will have the final say as to whether the desk works functionally for him or not. If it doesn’t, I have a couple of other spots where I can move it.

    2. WOW-WO-WE-WA!! Apparently you don’t subscribe to the rule of if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything. Sheesh…..

  14. Personally I get ithe design choice and I love it. But I guess we all have our own opinion. Perhaps some are better kept to self if the tone is, in fact, unkind.

  15. Lovely choice for the desk, Marian! Everything goes together so nicely! Jeff must be so happy with having this little quiet area in your Master Bedroom. I always love to see all your “special” finds! Blessings!

  16. I love it too. I agree with someone else above who liked the picture of the reflection in the armoire. Such a cozy, peaceful space.

  17. I literally had an identical desk when we first got married in the early 80’s. We bought it at a thrift store in the middle of OKC . It was old and grungy. We cleaned it up and used it for about ten years. I keep trying to figure out if my desk could have made it that far north. Probably not, but it’s a dead ringer, even the drawer looks the same. I probably have a picture somewhere.

  18. I love the juxtaposition of elegant and earthy, and you are handling it with a deft touch. I think the pieces complement each other nicely. I inherited a desk almost identical to it, and it indeed was a desk that my great aunt had used to do her homework on. Silly me, I thought of that as an asset and loved the idea. If Jeff has much work to do, he might find it too small for him, but I know you can find another place for it if so. Who knows, your boys might actually do some homework on it!

    1. Yeah, it would just be for occasional work, since he usually works in his office at the church, but it’ll be a nice place to sit for a little white to journal or work on some take-home work. I would never buy something like this for a desk he worked at all day!

  19. I have a first grade desk (the kind with a flip up seat in front) that my mother bought on 2nd Ave. in NYC years ago. Dad refinished it and now I have it. Makes a perfect end table. It has a definite
    “love mark” which is a carved wish bone done by some child years ago. So glad that he did not
    make it go away. It to is maple and has a lovely patina after 60 years of sitting around after being refinished by him. It too can be moved around and be used in different places.

    Love love love everything that you do and say! Making notes on some of the brands and especially Stonington Gray. If you ever get to Ct. due visit Stonington. It is a point of land next to Mystic, Ct.
    And I plan on using it when we do our remodel.

  20. Hi Marian~
    Don’t you just love the paint spatters, the scratches, and patina! I had a table that I left behind in Minnesota that had two teeth marks from my daughter slipping off the chair and hitting the table. It’s priceless (she was okay 🙂 and many “fine” pieces of furniture where marks of living and love reside. It’s the telling of time, whether my own or someone else’s.
    Thanks again for sharing your love, which inspires me~. Your bedroom is very soothing! I think I’ll go grab a book 🙂
    Have a beautiful Friday!

  21. Hi Marian~
    Don’t you just love the paint spatters, the scratches, and patina! I had a table that I left behind in Minnesota that had two teeth marks from my daughter slipping off the chair and hitting the table. It’s priceless (she was okay 🙂 and many “fine” pieces of furniture where marks of living and love reside. It’s the telling of time, whether my own or someone else’s.
    Thanks again for sharing your love, which inspires me~. Your bedroom is very soothing! I think I’ll go grab a book 🙂
    Have a beautiful Friday!

    1. Oops~ I was just writing you to let you know that when I tried to send you the above post, it told me it was a duplicate on the first post. I’m sure you’d want to know just in case you are not getting all of the posts!

    2. I do love all of the scratches. They don’t work for every piece, but they really work for this one. 🙂

  22. I love the clean, uncluttered look. I need to come to my house and throw out the things I don’t need. My hubby says, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” It’s an ode to his Mom & Dad. They are absolute hoarders. I just feel overwhelmed. HELP!

    1. Oh, that’s a challenge! I wrote a series last year called the “Stuff Series” that might appeal to you. I certainly don’t have all of the answers, because dealing with stuff is such an emotional thing for most people, but it’s a good conversation. There are lots of great comments on that series that I found helpful/encouraging, etc.

  23. I have a similar maple desk that I bought from my youngest son’s sitter when she closed her preschool. I want to leave the top natural (it’s a mess right now) & paint the body but I’m not sure what color. I tho’t black, then white, now maybe dark blue. I also have the matching chair. The set was $35! A steal.

    His sitter has since died so it’s a nice remembrance of that lovely lady…Gramma Joy. Isn’t that a great name?

  24. Love the size and simple structure of this desk, and the hemp oil just makes such a difference. It seems to add a whole new dimension to the look of the wood… the patina goes from waxy to so yummy that you just want to touch it.


  25. I especially like the little tray in the drawer, I think meant for pencils? Boy, that brings back memories! My parents bought a whole set of maple furniture for me when I was about 6…Did not have a desk like this…and all that is left is the little end table that my son has…but I have so many memories with that maple furniture.
    You have a real talent for mixing styles and periods that do well together.

  26. Hi, Marian. Wow, I haven’t found anyone else on pinterest I wanted to follow until seeing this post. First, I’d like to say that your husband will probably love this desk. My grandfather was a minister for over 75 years. He had a desk like this one in his study at home, and a big old roll top one in his office at church. He loved this one so much, that he bought Grandma a Cherrywood one for her writing desk. Your style is exactly what I’ve been striving to attain for over 35 years now. I just know that I’ll love your blog. Keep up the good work!

  27. Please keep the desk if possible. It adds warmth and some rustic heft to the room. It perfectly compliments the light and airy feeling you have going on in there. It makes your room feel like a beautiful home with stories and memories instead of a decorators showroom with no feeling or personality.

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