Refinished Roll-Top Desk

A customer sent me a message a while back saying that she was interested in the roll-top desk that Natalie refurbished. However, that desk was already sold.

Roll top desk

(This was the desk Natalie beautified).

Luckily for her, I was down for the challenge of finding a roll-top desk that fits her needs and refurbish it to her liking.

I was able to find a beautiful antique roll-top desk that was bigger than the one Natalie did and it came with a chair! Also, it was extremely HEAVY!

roll top desk 2

My customer said that she wanted the whole desk painted white with a nice dark stain for the top part. She also wanted to incorporate some roses on the piece but couldn’t figure out what she wanted. I told her not to worry because I would be able to figure out a way to incorporate it.

First, I had give the whole piece a nice sanding. After all the sanding was done, I wiped all the dust off.

Now it was time to prime the entire piece. Since the desk was stained a dark walnut color I needed to make sure that I primed it nice and well.

roll top desk in progress 2

roll top desk in progress

Once all the priming was done it was time for my favorite part, PAINTING!

It took around 3 layers of white paint to get it completely covered.

roll top desk in progress 3

roll top desk in progress 4

While the paint was drying, it was time for me to make some rose stencils.

I drew around 6 different kinds of roses onto stencil paper and cut them out. I tested them out of a spare piece of plywood I had laying around. Let me just tell you that I was obsessed with the result!

This took a lot longer than I imagined so the paint on the desk was well and dried. Now I was ready to stain the top using my favorite, American Walnut.

roll top desk stained

chair stained

Staining is so much fun because you can see it transform right before your eyes! I also wanted to stain the sides of the drawers so I went ahead and did that.

Now back to incorporating the roses on this desk. My customer originally had an idea of putting roses on the top part of the desk but ended up changing her mind about it. I knew that the roses would add a beautiful touch of elegance so I put my thinking skills into overdrive. Quickly I figured out a solution by putting the rose stencils on the sides of the drawers that I just stained! My customer was in love with the idea so that is exactly what I did.

Here is the progress of the stencils going onto the drawers.

roses stenciled

A few hours later, the stenciling was complete! I put a few layers of polyurethane on the entire desk to seal it off. Next step is delivery!

I was more than happy to drive to my customer’s house and get the newly refurbished desk setup in her newly renovated home office.

roll top desk 4

roll top desk 5

roll top desk after 2

roll top desk after 3

roll top desk after

I would redo a roll-top desk again in a heartbeat!

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