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There’s this awesome store on Bayview Avenue in Toronto called Elegant Garage Sale.  From time to time, we’ll visit this store and browse for antiques and treasures.  To be completely honest, we have not purchased many items from this store, and it’s not because we don’t see anything we like; it’s because we simply don’t have enough room in our apartment to house them!

One particular Saturday last year, we took a leisurely stroll through the two floors of the store.  The first floor – right off the street entrance – is quite overwhelming.  It’s packed very tight with china sets, lots of stemware, and larger pieces of furniture.  You’ll most likely always find an old piano or two near the entrance as well.  The cashier’s counter is filled with antique jewelry and bobbles.  In the basement, there’s mostly furniture with the occasional glass decorative piece.  (By the way, the basement is also home to some very interesting lighting options.)  Table and chair sets line the basement floors as well.


My favourite part of the store, though, is on the main floor in the back room.  This is where all of the new pieces are brought in and they are priced at a steal!  This is where we found this desk.  We were so impressed with it that we rented a car the following morning and picked it up!  The best part was that this desk was priced at only $100.


The following weekend, we went to work.  To be completely honest, refinishing this desk in our favourite ivory colour was so easy.  Sanding it down took no time at all.  The goal wasn’t to sand off the original colour completely, but to simply create a rough surface so that the new coat of paint would apply evenly and stick.  Like almost any project of this type, two complete coats of paint was needed.  After the second coat was applied, it was very important to let the paint dry very well.


The next morning, I started to scratch the corners with a putty knife.  This helps to remove the two coats of paint so that the original colour underneath can come through.  Next, I once again reached for the sandpaper and begin to sand at random.  I paid extra attention to the areas of the desk which would have been naturally exposed to more damage or wear and tear.  In other spots, I sanded just lightly to make the paint look antique and worn.  Once the sanding was complete, using the brush attachment on our vacuum, we carefully and thoroughly vacuumed all of the dust and particles created from the process.  The last step was to apply a clear protective coat.  We used Krylon ColorMaster Acrylic Cover Max.  You can find it here.


And that’s it!  This project was completed two years ago.  I still use this desk every day for various reasons.  My laptop is nicely set up there and all of my blogging happens right here!  On occasion, I will remove everything from the desk surface and use it as a tabletop to serve finger foods to our guests.  Overall, the desk was a great find at a great price, and my favourite part is that I can still smell the old, used pencil smell when I open the desk drawer.  (I purposely left the inside of the drawer untouched just to preserve that! – Is that weird?) 🙂

This last photo shows the desk being used as a candy and popcorn bar.


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. This turned out beautifully and it looks great in our home. There was talk of repainting the tabletop because the old finish was seeping through, but I think it adds an extra level of character. You is some talented!

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