I live in a little town right outside of Austin, Texas. If you’ve never been to this part of the country, you really owe yourself a visit. Austin is not what you think of as Texas. It’s the hippest of the hip and the coolest of the cool. In fact, it’s so hip and cool that it’s hip and cool to act like it’s not hip and cool. Got it? Yes, it’s confusing, but just go with it.
Being as that I live a stone’s throw from Austin, we get to have fun friends come stay with us so they can explore the town. This past October, my sister and three of her girlfriends came to play. We spent the weekend shopping and eating and listening to live music in my favorite parts of this great city. But before we did any of that, we had something else to do.
“Would y’all go with me to pick up a desk I found on CraigsList so I don’t get ax murdered?”
Yep. My guests are forced to go on CraigsList runs with me. It’s sort of like my little fee for them getting to visit – a Lindsay Tax, if you will.
Of course, they were sweethearts and were happy to go with me to pick up the desk I had found. I had been on the search for something with cool mid-century lines, yet still big enough for me to work on. I found a desk from a delightful couple who had used it in their family business for years (and probably wouldn’t have ax murdered me at all). It was in nearly perfect condition, and I tried to contain my excitement as the girls and I loaded it into my pick up truck (I am a Texan after all). The desk was an exact match to a funky rehabbed one I had seen somewhere online, so I knew that my plan for mid-century to meet awesome was going to work out quite well.
It did, right?
After my sister and her friends headed home, I got to work on the desk. The top is a really heavy piece of thick Formica – it would fool you into thinking it was wood if you didn’t know any better. The rest of the desk is solid wood.
This piece was really simple to paint. I first used TSP to really clean the decades of grime off of it. Then, I took out the drawers and painted them with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Flow Blow (more details on that process here.) Notice how the drawers are almost an identical blue to my walls? I matched my wall color (Glidden’s Blue Blazes) to the drawers. Real decorators are now clutching their pearls in horror. I’m such a backwards decorator.
For the body of the desk, I primed it with Zinsser Cover Stain oil-based primer. When it was dry, I used a quart of Benjamin Moore’s Advance in Simply White (satin sheen). Y’all. Y’ALL! That Ben Moore Advance is one amazing paint. It is water-based, but it goes on as smooth as a lacquer. Once it’s cured, it’s as tough as an enamel. I put two coats of Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Wax on the desk once it was dry. I am so happy with the finish of the desk. Cover Stain + Advance + MMS Wax = True Love.
My favorite parts of the desk are the amazing tapered feet and the drawer pulls. I used a fine grade steel wool to buff the metal hardware on both the legs and the pulls. I also used some leftover stain from the herringbone wood paneled wall to give the wood pieces more of a rich color.
I’ve been using the desk for several months now, and it is absolutely perfect for me. Score one for a hip town, CraigsList, sweet friends, and good quality paint.