This desk was a Craigslist score and while it is a sturdy, well-made piece, it was also visually heavy and blocky. The top and body were pretty dinged and scratched, but the wood grain on the drawer fronts was too pretty to cover up, making it a great candidate for a two-toned finish. The drawer pulls weren’t doing it any favors either.
First up were the drawers. I removed the drawer pulls and filled the holes on one drawer with a mixture of sawdust and wood glue. As I waited for the mixture to dry, I started to second guess myself as to whether my homemade filler would take the stain (as wood glue does not). So, I filled the holes on a second drawer with wood putty. Once they were dry and set, I hand sanded each drawer to ensure that I didn’t sand through the veneer. It was already worn down on some corners. It didn’t take much to remove the existing finish.
Here is a side-by-side of the application of stain. The sawdust-wood glue filler was the clear winner!
I stained the drawers in a custom blend of Minwax Dark Walnut and Pecan stains, and sealed them with 3 coats of a wipe-on polyurethane.
Meanwhile, I sanded the body of the dresser with a hand sander to rough up the finish and painted in in Behr’s Poseidon Blue, fitting for this nautical inspired desk! After two coats of paint, and two coats of water-based polyurethane, this desk was ready for drawer hardware and liners.
I’ve wanted to use rope cleats as drawer hardware for a while now and the largest size available at my local home improvement store was a good scale for this desk.
The drawers are lined on the bottom with maps.