roadside mid-century desk!

A few weeks ago I was heading to pick up Lily from school. It was -16 and I didn't have gloves (because it was supposed to be a quick pick up), when I saw this beauty. Or at least, I knew it could be a beauty with a little (a lot) of sanding and a couple coats of paint.

I love mid-century style furniture but it usually it comes with a hefty price tag, but this solid wood desk was totally free though very heavy and I knew if I waited to come back and get it, it would be gone. I frantically texted Brad to come help me. His job has a lot of challenges but one huge perk is that he more or less works flexible hours, so in an emergency roadside find situation, he can be there, with gloves, to do the heavy lifting.

I've been known to pick things up from the side of the road but it's been a couple years since I've done a makeover on a piece of furniture. Our dining table and Lily's baby dresser were the last big projects. This time around, we live in a tiny apartment with three active kids, so I knew it had to be a weekender and no more. We don't have a garage or a yard or any extra rooms to store a project like this for what it's convenient.


I washed it with lysol wipes as well as a water-vinegar mixture with some essential oils in hopes of getting rid of the awful smell. Then I put baking soda in the drawers which was an awesome suggestion by my friend Audrey and totally worked. I sanded the whole desk three times with varying strengths of sand paper and finally, two coats of white paint that we had leftover from painting our bathroom.

The largest challenge was the beautiful hardware which was impossible to remove, so I had to use the kid's tiny paint brushes to free hand around the handles for the two coats of paint. It's now in our kid's room and I just love it!! Lily's "desk" was our vacant microwave stand in the kitchen and it was fine, but now she can have the option of closing her door to drown out the kid's noises while she and I tackle her homework.


I alllllmost kept this desk for myself and put my IKEA desk in the kid's room, but in the end it's the perfect size for a kid's room and would have been too boxy and short for my work space in our bedroom. So everybody wins! Thanks to my elderly Portuguese neighbours who are always leaving the coolest things on the sidewalk!


  1. That desk is beautiful! It looks like something out of a Pixar film.

  2. Love love love!

    Such a great piece! I really like the hardware on it and the colour makes it look fresh. Nice job!

    1. yes! the hardware killed me, right away. Thanks!

  3. Love the desk! Side of the road finds really are the best :D