Tag Archives: good will

Day One of the Desk Remodel


Remember I posted about my secretary desk?

Yesterday I decided that it was time to start transforming my desk. Like I said, I still have no idea about the final plan, or where it will live. But, it is time for me to focus on a project. So, here we go.

I came downstairs at the start of Hubs’ basketball game. I told him that I was going to go dig out the desk, and start sanding it. He said that I needed to strip it instead.

Me: “Can we go find some stripper tomorrow?

Hubs: “Sure, it can be our ‘Spending Time Together’ for the weekend.”

Me: “Will you do the dance?”  (I will have to try to get the dance on video, so you can all appreciate it!)

Hubs:  “Sure.”

Me: “Sweet!”

Fast forward to this morning.

We get into the car to head to Lowe’s.   We bought stripper and mineral spirits. We bought a couple of scrapers and brushes too, so I wouldn’t ruin my existing good stuff. And some protection from the fumes. Awesome gloves, mask, and goggles.


Mask and goggles. Ready to start!

So, I moved the desk out to the driveway.


The Before

I removed all of the hardware.

Drawers and hardware removed.

I emptied the drawers. Then I cleaned the hole punch confetti off of the driveway. Hubs killed the spider and eggs living on the bottom of the bottom drawer. I removed the dust and dirt from the desk.

Then, I made my first test of the stripper on one of the tiny little drawers. I figured they could be removed, and just be more shelves if I screwed them up. The stripper worked fine, but it gunks up my scrapers before I can even get them cleaned off.

So, feeling confident with my plan, I applied stripper to all of the small little spaces inside of the desk.

And then:


The rain came down.

So, I practically threw the desk into the garage, at least as much as one girl can throw a piece of furniture. So, I started scraping the inner bits of the shelves. By flashlight, because our garage does not have enough light.

Flashlight Stripping!

After about 20 minutes of this, I could not decide if I was going to vomit, or pass out. So, I gave up and went inside. This is a project meant to be done in open air. My garage is not that!

Day 2 is next!

My Secretary (Desk)


Over a year ago, I was wandering around my Goodwill, and came out with a couple of purchases. I bought an old school TV cart. It came out of a school, I think.  I paid $6.00 for it. I bought a bookshelf. I am not sure where it came from, but it was clearly not a discount store shelf. It is super heavy. I thought Hubs was going to kill himself trying to help me get it upstairs. I paid $5.00 for the shelf. And, to round out my $30.00 shopping spree, I paid $19.00 for a secretary desk.

I had plans to refinish it, and put it in my art room, so I could turn my desk (2 file cabinets and an 8 foot long piece of wood on top) into a painting table.  Then, Hubs and I traded spaces in the house. My art room is no longer the large bonus room. My art room is now the smallest bedroom in the house.  Just for the sake of showing, here is a picture of it.

Art Room

Isn't it super cute?

I love the new space, but there is not one inch of space left to put another piece of furniture. Literally. Every piece of furniture is strategically placed so that the not even my finger can fit between the door and the furniture. It is full! This means that my plans for my (eventually) cute desk got pushed aside. The desk has been sitting in the garage for over a year.

Well, today, things are changing. Of course, it is still sitting in the garage, but in the middle of the floor!


The Before

I started the process today. I have not decided what color it will be, or where it will live, but I have at least started. Stay tuned for more on my experience refinishing my desk!

Reclaiming the Garage!


There will, of course, be a little bit of back story here. About 8 months after we got married, B was deployed to Saudi Arabia for about 5 months. At a total loss for what to buy him for our anniversary, I decided to have my brother-in-law (quite handy with the furniture building) build a bar for our garage. I designed something that I thought B would like, and called in the troops.  My sister, her husband, and my brother’s son all came down for a weekend. The great build took place in the garage that weekend. I was so excited. B loved the bar. Though, I am sure there would have been some changes had he been the designer… this is what he got. I had it made as mobile as possible, with casters and removable pieces, so that it could be pushed against the wall when not in use, or range anywhere from a 6 foot long straight bar to a 9 foot long L shaped bar.

OK… Fast Forward almost 3 1/2 years. We have used the bar exactly one time. This is mostly due to the fact that when I (yes, me) poured the resin top on the bar, I screwed it up. And frankly, we have been at a loss for what to do with it. So, the bar just sat in the garage collecting dust, and other things that had no other home in our house.

We recently decided that it was time to reclaim the garage, and the bar. So, today, we filled up the Mom Bomb with things to go to the dump or to Good Will. I filled up several large Rubbermaid bins with items for a yard sale. We filled the back of B’s H3 with items to be returned to his cousin when we make our trip to Michigan. There is still a fair-sized pile in the middle of the garage floor, holding most of my show stuff. (We will talk more about my shows later.) That pile is slowly being taken over by some of B’s stuff. He also has about 6 large bins of military gear to sort through, not to mention several that are filled with, what looks like, the contents from random drawers.

Anyway I am planning to do the yard sale in a couple of weeks. I hope before the end of September. I need to figure out how to get him to go through the bulk of that stuff before then.

Once we reclaim the space, we will be able to use the bar. The dart board is up. The bar decorations have come out of hiding, and are ready to be hung. I refuse to decorate before we get all of the crap out though!

If anyone feels the need to commit random acts of neatness on our garage, or anywhere else in our house, please, let me know!

In the mean time, there is at least enough space in the garage now to store the patio furniture, grill, and porch rockers, in the event that one of this years’ hurricanes comes anywhere near Charleston. Go us!

And… so starts another week.