Tag Archives: repairs

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!

Top Ten Things I Learned This Time Purchasing A Car


10. I LOVED our sales rep at Carmax.

9. Driving 20 miles to look at a car can result in some fun entertainment.

8. Test driving a car is way easier if they take all of the dealership stickers off of the windows so that us short people can see where we are driving.

7. Seriously. Look at every possible things that could be wrong on a used car. Really. Then look again. Little things.

6. Bring spare shoes! Because when you are jumping ditches to look at a car in a lot that has closed for the evening, you might miss, and get a shoe full of mud. But there is no sense in going home when you are 20 miles away… just because of a little mud!

5. Bring a book. I really forgot just how long the car buying process takes. Even when we were already financed through someone else, and didn’t need the dealer to do it for us.

4. Have cooler, will travel. Bring drinks. $1.50 for a soda gets to be expensive. And it is even worse when you don’t carry cash!

3. Eat before you go. We were cranky when we finally got out.

2. Have a full list of all things that need to be repaired when you go in for warranty work.  But be realistic. It is a used car, and you will not achieve perfection.

1. Buy closer to home. After the service department tore off our mirror at the car wash, Hubs is going to have to drive around with a  mirror Zip Tied to the door. Then we will have to drive back to Carmax to get the new mirror put back on. Total miles on our 2 vehicles after the  repairs? Here is the math.

It is a 20.6 mile trip. For the sake of easy math, we are just going to go with 20.

Van to Carmax- 20 miles

Hummer to Carmax- 20 miles

Van home (so I can go to work)- 20 miles

Van to Carmax (to pick up Hummer)- 20 miles

Van home – 20 miles

Hummer home – 20 miles.

120 miles between two vehicles today.  And we are going to have to do it all again when the new mirror comes in.!

240 miles.  Great. I am going to need an oil change before this venture is over!