Free to Farmhouse Fab

When you are always hunting for junk and your friends know you are always hunting for junk, sometimes, they can hook you up. I received a text message with a picture of a desk with a hutch. It wasn't assembled and it was mostly a photo of the side of the desk. It looked like solid wood though so I said yes, I will pick it up. Except I couldn't get both pieces in the back of my Jeep. I typically stay away from pieces I cannot haul myself, well, because I can't haul them myself. Fortunately, I have friends with trucks and they are always will to help me!

This desk is super solid, but really outdated. And it is really heavy. Thankfully, it is in two pieces. We wanted to update it with paint and replace the backing of the hutch with some plank paneling to give it a farmhouse vibe. And of course, new drawer pulls.



The first order of business was to pull the back off of the hutch. It was a thin sheet of plywood and came off really easily.

We painted it with Rustoleum Chalked paint in the Pebble color. Two coats covered it pretty well, but we had to touch it up in a few spots.



I puchased a packet of 8 economy plank panels. They were 8 feet long and the hutch was 43 inches high so I was able to get two pieces out of every 8 foot board. The pack of 8 boards was just enough to cover the back of the hutch.

After the plank panels were cut to size, I painted them with Folk Art French Linen chalk paint. I distressed each piece by sanding with 100 grit sandpaper and then I sealed each piece with Varathane Crystal Clear Polyurethane in the satin finish.



I began working on the base cabinet of the desk. I removed the drawers. It wasn't easy. They were on a track and each drawer was secured to the track with three screws. The desk had to be turned upside down just to access the screws. The drawers were also painted with the Folk Art chalk paint in the French linen color to correspond with the back panels of the hutch.

The base of the desk received two coats of the Rustoleum chalk paint in the Pebble color. I ran out of the Pebble color while applying the second coat and I didn't have enough to finish the desk. A few days later, I hadn't been able to get to the store (while it was open) for more paint and I really wanted to finish the desk, so I used the Rustoleum Chalked Charcoal spray paint on both the base and the hutch. Before I left for the evening, I noticed the charcoal color was a little thin in a couple of spots so I got out the can of the Rustoleum Chalked Charcoal paint in the can (because I had already brought both pieces back inside) and touched up the areas. The next day I noticed they didn't match!



Rant forthcoming: I assumed the Rustoleum Chalked spray paint in the Charcoal and the can of paint in the Charcoal would match exactly. Rustoleum, if you are reading this, I was not that happy about the spray paint not matching the can paint. But I wanted to finish them so I dragged them both back out side and applied another coat of the spray paint. We finished the piece with Varathane Crystal Clear Polyurethane in the satin finish.

I replaced the original drawer pulls with these beautiful dragonfly pulls from Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby is a great place for drawer pulls and they are often on sale for 50% off!


We reattached the drawers to the track and put the drawers back in the base.

We placed the plank panels on the back of the hutch and nailed them in place around the edges of hutch as well as where the back met the shelves. The plank paneling isn't going anywhere!



It turned out so well! This is a great piece that can be used for a desk. It would be perfect for a coffee bar. It is modern now and will fit in today's decor. It is still heavy though! Nothing we could have done about that! And it took two SUVs to get it over to the shop, but you do what you gotta do!

We put it in the shop last Friday night (notice the chair is still in the Pebble color—yikes!—but it is being sold separately anyway). I posted it on my social media sites and received some questions about measurements. I received a call from the shop on Wednesday that it had SOLD! Yippee! On to the next project—we have an empty space to fill!


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Whether my junk is from a garage sale, estate or farm auction, flea market or the side of the road, I love to find it, fix it, clean it, sell it or keep it. So come along the backroads of Indiana with Junk is My Life (me), let's find something vintage and do something cool with it! Formerly Junk Journal.