Oh School, How I Mistreated You!
When I was in elementary school, I didn’t enjoy school like my daughters do. I dreaded the alarm clock buzzing next to my head every weekday morning and looked forward to the weekend with much anticipation. That specific alarm clock sound still resonates in my head, even decades later. My like for schooling began around 9am every morning when I was finally awake and learning about Social Networking 101. Throughout the day, my like for schooling eventually turned into a love but only during my second favorite course, Advanced Mid-day Caloric Intake Studies. Finally, the most exciting and real reason for going to school every morning was to proudly experience daily graduation and perform the walk-of-shame onto the big cheese (bus) heading home.
I love school now but then I did not. When I talk to the kids about it, I take every opportunity to speak positively about school, their education, and teachers. I’m completely open and honest with them but will only share my past negativity if it can be used as a teaching opportunity and if there is a positive result from doing so. I’m so proud to see them play ‘school’ at home on the weekends. My oldest is always the teacher, it’s just in her personality.
Spoil Them, A Little
When the kids ask if they can have new school supplies or whatever else they “need”; we deliver. I support them in their righteous desire to love school, we want them to keep loving school, so why not spoil them a little?
We scowered Offer Up (my favorite), Craigslist, and other local classifieds for a perfectly used children’s desks. We found several that were cheap, broken and not worth repairing and none we liked. As for these, they were the ones we had a vision for.
Vintage Childrens Desk Redo
We got a smoking deal and bought two of these vintage children’s desks for under $40. The lady we bought them from had hopes to restore them and blog about them on her DIY website and then sell them for a profit. Fortunately, for my girls, the mom-blogger got pregnant and was instructed by her doctor not to do physical labor or huff paint. In addition, these desks were just taking up space in her house. What expecting mother can nest properly with these eyesores around?
Elbow-grease pays off!
These desks had seen better days; surface rust on the legs and in the cubby, warped wood from water damage, and lots of little dents. It is fun and exciting to restore one desk; not two.
I pulled the water-damaged tops off of both desks and kept one to use as a template. Sanding was easy on the pink metal box because I used an electric palm sander and sanded down just enough of the paint to remove rust, dirt, gum, and other questionable things. I didn’t use Bondo to mask the dents, instead I just hammered them gently to smooth them out. The sanding and painting hid the dents perfectly.
I cut the new tops using the old one as guide. After they were cut out I used a router to round and smooth the edges. More and more sanding. This wood isn’t the best quality for the tops but, hey, I wanted something cheap and something that would tolerate the abuse from my children. I stained and clear-coated the tops to add some interesting color and prevent water damage. I think they turned out better than I imagined and the kids love them. Surprisingly, these desks are still in great shape today!
What was the first thing you restored? How well did it turn out?