It is a well loved 1940's solid white oak school teachers desk. I have big plans for it, in case you missed it click here. Today I spent 5 hours, yes 5 hours sanding it back to bare wood.
Here is what the desk looked like at the start of today:I learned a few valuable things:
1 - Sanding is not for the faint of heart
2 - 80 grit is coarse but you still need a lot of elbow grease
3 - 5 hours is not enough time to sand a desk
4 - It is the messiest job I have ever done. Seriously, my husband offered to hose me off.
5 - I am getting too old for this
6 - Buy those knee pads that tilers use. Take it from me kneeling on the garage floor is not comfortable.
If you are going to do a similar job here is what you need:
A - Palm Sander
B - Sandpaper, coarse 80 grit
C - Sanding blocks, for the tight spaces
D - A mask
E - Shop Vac - the dust is unbelievable so it's worth vacuuming every once and a while.
I had a palm sander to start with, today I bought the Black & Decker Mouse. It is a small hand sander perfect for corners and edges. I had to got to four different places to find it, it was worth the trips. Though small it was easy to handle and quite powerful.
|This is my Ryobi palm sander. It is a super handy tool that any DIY'er should have. No need to spend the world, $30 - $80 is plenty.|
|My new mouse in action.|
I used 80 grit paper all over but in hind sight I could have used 60 grit, particularly on the top.
The top took 2 hours to sand, clearly there were a few coats of varnish on it.
The top is pretty close to bare wood as are the drawers but the sides and legs are going to need a few more hours.
|It's looking pretty bare!|
|I was surprised how white the wood is. It will look beautiful stained white.|
|The drawers need a little bit of work, the tight spots have to be done with sanding blocks and elbow grease.|
|You can tell where I have sanded it back to the wood and where I still need to go back over.|
Once I am done with sanding I will need to thoroughly wipe it down before I stain it. I got my stain at Walls Alive, they are always so helpful. They even found a piece of white oak to test the stain on. We did a few tests, I want the stain very white so it was a delicate game trying to get it white without adding too much pigment. If there is too ugh pigment in the stain it will become to difficult to work with.
I will give the desk another shot, tomorrow. Once my back has had a rest! Stay tuned!