restoring a vintage school desk, and the alphabet- sort of

Over the weekend, I stumbled on a fantastic yard sale.  
I was driving home from restocking the two shops, and pulled a major U-turn when I saw a sign in neon pink that said Hoarders Estate Sale.

Now how could I resist that?

It was nearing the end of the day, and there were still some pretty fantastic items left.  
I couldn't believe it.

It also turned out I kinda knew the homeowner who was holding the sale! 

She made me a great deal on this old school house desk, along with several other items.

The desk was from a now closed, local school house.
The top was pretty beat up, but just surface stuff.

I cleaned the metal legs, and got out the palm sander.

Using a fine grit paper, I removed some paint splatters and surface crud.

After wiping the dust off with a clean cloth, I used Miss Mustard Seed's hemp oil and wiped the surface with a new clean cloth.
It brought out a gorgeous silky smooth finish, while still preserving all the wonderful nuances of a vintage desk top.

I love that John was written on the top.

I showed my Jon, and he said, "yeah that's cool, too bad they spelled it the wrong way."
(that's his typical joke anytime he sees John vs. Jon)

Now this beautiful bit of childhood history is ready to be loved by someone else.  

Speaking of school- or not- monograms aren't exactly school related, but the alphabet is!

I had a day last week where I was feeling very unmotivated, and just couldn't seem to get anything started or finished.

I decided to get out my paints and make some monogram wall art.

I love making these, and it was the perfect project to start and complete on a restless day.
I've sold a few online in the last few months.
I always search out wood plaques that are vintage or at least not new.
It's hard to find consistent backgrounds so I can sell these year round.

I know I could probably make some out of reclaimed wood, but I always like the pieces that are a bit more unusual or have a pretty decorative edge like these.

Anyway, I'll figure it out.  They're fun.
I posted these on my FB page, and someone asked about the process.
I don't free hand these, but they are hand painted.
I use graph paper to transfer the letter on to the surface and then paint the image.

I took all of these items in to Aunt Bee's yesterday, and more fall items are slowly creeping in to my displays.

Ready or not, school is back in session!

Have a great day~ Hannah and I are off for our back to school / fall hair appointments!

xo Denise


  1. Love that school desk. Lucky you that found this beauty.


  2. I love that school desk and really love your alphabet boards! I am attempting to do one--but doubt it will turn out as good as yours :)

  3. Love your old desk - I gave two of them and a chair to my daughter and I still have one here. Love them-love yours. Your letter plaques are really cute! xo Diana

  4. Oh! That desk cleaned up very well. Love that it still has someone's name carved in it!

  5. I love your alphabet. May I ask where you have gotten it? I just love it!!


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