I have this desk here. My Mother gave it to me and told me I can NEVER get rid of it. She said it has sentimental value and belonged to Great Grandma. SO I moved this desk with us when we moved. I stared at it in our garage and thought "well I don't want it in our house looking like that" all scratched up, dirty, with stickers. All the handles were broken as well. So I called my Grandma and asked her if I could fix it up.
She said sure.
So I start sanding it... and about choke on the dust. It was green! I call my Grandma and she tells me that Great Grandma had put a vanish on it. I think "well that was like in the 40's... it is probably toxic and illegal to use now." SO I get out my tough Hello Kitty hankie and cover my face. Eli thought it was hilarious! I had to get someone to come over and watch the kids inside so they wouldn't breath it in.
See the shinny varnish... it took two weeks to sand the whole thing down. Plus side--
my arms are super buff now!
I started off using the sandpaper by hand. But it was taking SO LONG. My Aunt brought over her sander... which made it much easier! After it was sanded, I left it in the backyard so I could paint it the next day. Then we got the crazy summer rain! It poured and the desk got wet.
I let it dry out, and Daniel sanded on it some more.
He then painted it for me! I was going to do it, but he just was a nice guy and did it for me. He used a Espresso Brown spray paint with a gloss finish.
He went to Lowes and picked out some really nice handles and put them on too!
Then he hooked up my laptop and printer :) And took a picture for me!
I emailed my Grandma and told her that I would like to know the story behind the desk. She emailed me back... now when I sit at the desk I think about her, sitting at the very same desk-- looking for her birth certificate, dreaming of the rest of her life. The following is her email to me... I thought it would be really neat to share!
Dear Sarah, I finally figured out how to use this new fangled thing! Here is the story of your desk as best as I can do in writing. I do better talking better then writing. Wish I had your talent.
We moved from Jerome Arizona to San Francisco in 1946 after we pulled up stakes and sold most all of our household furnishings. So when my folks bought the house, two bedroom one bath, we were in need of furnishings. Mom and Daddy bought some real inexpensive furniture and charged it. My Daddy was only earning one dollar an hour working driving public transportation in San Francisco.
That is how we got the desk which we needed for doing homework etc. Mommy kept bills and important papers in there. Which we were all aware of. When Bill and I decided to elope to Reno, this was July 1951. I thought maybe it would be good to have my birth certificate to prove I was 18. The reason we decided to elope for several reasons. One being Bill was expecting to be drafted any day. Plus my folks could not afford a wedding, plus my Mom was pretty sick in those days. Number one reason was that we loved each other and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We had planned on a small wedding in Jan 1952, but because of the draft threat, we decided "why wait"?
We talked about it, Bill and I, on a Sunday night after Church. We went and got the ring Wednesday, and that Friday we took the Greyhound bus to Reno. We got to Reno around 3 or 4am. We went to the Court House when they opened and they issued us a Marriage Certificate. We took a taxi over to the Assembly of God Church and got married by the Pastor there with his wife and an Evangelish as witness.
We then took a Greyhound bus home to San Francisco. We went to my parents home. Oh, before we left we each told our sister's, so that when we were missing they would know where we were. By the way, Joan (Bill's sister), told her Dad before we really left San Francisco. He called my Mom and said "you know what our crazy kids are doing"?. He then told her. Poor Mom and Dad were in shock!
Fourteen months later we started our brood of 5 kids, which has been a real blessing in our lives. Thank God for leading us to do the right thing in our lives even at that tender age when we tied the knot for a lifetime.
Love your Grandma