A recent college grad sold me a desk, a bookshelf with hutch, and an antique (I think) table – I guess you could call it a telephone table. The table was solid wood, even the back. I neglected to take ‘before’ shots, so these crummy images are directly from the craigslist ad.

Desk. It was in good shape. I had to glue the support into the leg, but that was it. Primed with whatever I had in the garage – usually Zinsser or Kilz – paint, new hardware, done.

craigslist desk before


CL desk after


Bookshelf. It was too girly-girl for my taste and I just couldn’t see it that way. I pried off the current appliques with a crowbar. It was attached by pins in the back of the applique which were struck in the surface of the hutch, so I had to use needle nose pliers to pull them out one by one. New applique, hardware, and a coat of Rustoleum’s Heirloom White. Done.

Hutch before

Too girly before

Dresser hutch after

Just right

dresser hutch after, new applique


Table. You can’t see in the picture, but the paint job was heinous. Drips, unfilled dings, the whole thing. It was also on wheels, which bothered me. So I decided to strip it. I sanded a test spot and saw it had multiple layers of paint, one of them an inexplicable shade of what I’d call “dump truck green.” Introducing my first encounter with Citristrip. Boom. I love this stuff. But getting into the grooves was not easy. I did what I could with the Citristrip, then took a piece of 60 grit sandpaper, folded it, and went to town (gently because of the low grit) in the grooves. Once-over sanding, primed with Zinsser’s spray primer, painted in Rustoleum’s Heirloom White, glass knobs. Done.

Antique table before

Before. Cyclops with its missing knob.

Antique table after