Old Writers Desk & Chair Remodel

Kate at Weekend Charm found an old writers desk and chair and remodeled it to their own taste.
We snagged this old writer’s desk and chair off of Craigslist for $20!  Of course they didn’t look like this when we got them, but look below for their absolute transformation!

To begin with……

1st step, remove drawers
2nd, remove pulls for painting.
3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th….sand, clean, prime, and paint (x3)!
7th, remove ugly tan vinyl cover from beaten up little chair and recover with cute fabric.  (Sorry I forgot to get a before photo of the chair, it was in worse condition than the desk!)
We used Minwax Polyshade Bombay Mahogany stain on the top.  I just LOVE the color and LOVE a stain and poly in one!!!!
Off-white on the rest including the chair, original hardware back into place, and finished!!!
The top coat is such a beautiful rich color, I can’t stop staring at it!!!
This will probably come in handy while I try to keep up with my continuing education in Physical Therapy!!


I was supposed to refinish her and give her up….I just don’t see that happening now!
I love the white desk with the wood top!  
What do like about it?
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Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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  1. >What a beautiful finished product. I have a very similar desk that we found near an apartment dumpster. It's a great solid piece but definately needs to be refinished. I was going to paint it all white, but after seeing this one I think I'm going to go with the stained wood on top too. It's fabulous!

  2. >Beautiful! I love these old desks, they are so "easy" to update and make beautiful again. Thanks for sharing!

  3. >I love that look and the make over from this old piece of furniture is just great, and will last a lot longer than its modern version

  4. >WOW! I absolutely love it!! Perfect combination with the stained top. The chair is so cute, love the fabric. So great to see it saved from landfill and given a new lease of life.

  5. >I found your blog last week and now I am hooked! I love all the transformations and your tutorials are beyond great due to the detail of them! I like you even more now that I know you are a Physical Therapist. I am too! Here's to paying off loans and frugally decorating our homes nicely 🙂

  6. >I am mid-desk project too. Your desk turned out fabulous! I love the dark wood top with the white wood. Nice!

  7. >Hi , I am desperate! I LOVE the color you used for the top- an am trying to use it on cabinets- but my contractor is really struggling with the polyshade- it just isnt going on right. Do you think I could color match it somewhere where it doesnt have the poly mixed in- and then top coat it with poly???

  8. Hi. I have an old wooden desk, very similar to this one. I was going to buy a new one and then decided to just redecorate the one I have. Your post inspired me even more.

    How nice will it be to have a new piece of furniture which is designed by you, costs very little and looks original… 🙂

  9. This is beautiful! I have a desk just like it….I’d like to do something like yours, but trying to find how to also convert into a computer desk….(ie pull out keyboard drawer). It seems like I’d have to mess with the structure, since the pencil drawer isn’t wide enough to convert on its own. Have you seen any diy projects that deal with this?

    1. Kathy,

      I haven’t, but if you were willing to replace the top and rebuild the pencil drawer I am sure you could add a few inches down the center of the desk, by cutting it in half and adding some length in that section. (that is of course if the piece isn’t heirloom quality, I do not recommend doing it in that case) It would be a bit involved, so if you haven’t tried something like that it would be worth getting a helper who understands building to think through the project. Sorry i am not more help!