Vintage Desk Makeover for the Kitchen

 This is the story of a Facebook Marketplace find. 

If any of you shop on Marketplace, you know how difficult it can be to tie down a sale. If you're selling an item, people say they want it and never show up. Other times, sellers never seem to be available for pick up or don't even answer their messages. 

This sale took forever! I found what I hoped would be the perfect piece on a Wednesday and didn't pick it up for a week and a half later due to a string of miscommunication. 

Normally I would have given up long before but I had super high hopes for this piece. 

Take a look...

desk top with cubbies

This is the photo from the ad on Marketplace. As you can see it is hard to judge what the piece actually looked like. It was taken from a very strange angle. 

desk from facebook ad

The ad said "small secretary" with "missing pieces" and "as is". No measurements, no other details. I had no idea what was actually wrong with it except for what I could see in the one photo. When I tried to ask questions, the answers were slow to come back. 

As you're reading through this post please pay attention to the bold blue links that will take you to more information and the products I used for this project. Also the READ MORE sections will take you to related Homeroad projects. 

affiliate disclaimer

I persevered this time because I really thought this was the perfect piece I had been looking for to put in the corner of my kitchen. 

unfinished wooden desk

Fast forward about a week and my husband and I finally got to go look at the piece. I think I prayed all the way there hoping that it was actually the piece I wanted. It didn't help that my husband didn't have the vision I had for this piece. 

When I saw it.... it was perfect! 😊

It had been meticulously stripped and sanded and the pieces that were missing, the door and the 2 slides on the sides to hold the door, didn't even matter! 

This piece was solid and was coming home with me! 

When I got the piece home I immediately gave it a coat of Butcher's Wax to preserve the raw finish of the wood. The wax darkened the piece just a bit but the wax is great protection for the raw wood. I didn't want anything to stain this natural beauty. 

hutch with wax

The only other "fix" I did was to the piece was to cut 2 small pieces of wood to slide into the holes where the desk slides were missing. I used wood glue to hold them in place. 

replaced wooden pieces

There are 2 dents in the top of the desk from where the hinges for the desk top used to be. I may fill them with wood putty at another time but right now, they just add to the rustic beauty. 

That was it! 

empty unfinished desk

Please pin for later--->> 

desk with overlay

All I had to do now was to fill it up with my Mother-in-laws antique ironstone set. 

unfinished desk with ironstone and overlay

I have extra storage in the drawers for napkins and candles and the piece matches my raw wood Pottery Barn table perfectly! 

stacked ironstone in desk

This was a win from Marketplace after all! 

desk cubbies with ironstone

I knew in my heart that this was not a piece to give up on and I'm so glad I didn't! 

unfinished as is desk


unfinished desk with ironstone


hutch with basket on the wall

desk with cubbies and ironstone

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hutch cubbies filled with ironstone


I am Susan, the author and creator at Homeroad. I am a wife, mother of 4 daughters, and a grandmother of 5 and counting. I am a retired teacher, a DIY blogger and an artist at heart. .