Restoring a pine desk is a labour of love that can really create something magical from a tired old antique. You have to make sure you go carefully and slowly though. You can always sand the wood a little bit more; you can’t re-apply wood that has been removed. That’s why we recommend doing all of the sanding and painting by hand. Once you’ve removed the original finish with a fine grit sandpaper and then sanded the desk with a slightly coarser grit, it’s time to finish it.
Do You Want It Painted?
Some people like their wood to be painted; others do not. The choice is really up to you. A coat of thick latex paint can protect your desk from damage and weathering for years to come; however, it might ruin the antique look of the furniture. Many people opt for thinning their paint with an alcohol. The thinner paint will go over the wood in a thin layer which allows the natural grain to shine through. Others forego paint altogether.
It’s Time to Finish and Be Done
Finish comes in many different varieties. There are clear coats that are simply varnish. The varnish or lacquer will create a clear coat over the wood that seals the wood against moisture and damage. You can sand varnish if it becomes damaged; this will remove scuffs and stains. You can remove it and re-varnish if you don’t like the look.
Stain, on the other hand, tends to have a colour. This is one of the most popular options. The stain allows the wood to continue to shine through, but imparts a rich colour to the surface. Many people choose a warm natural wood tone. They’ll then cover the whole thing in a coat of lacquer that preserves its natural beauty.
There. That’s all there is to it.