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topic 8247

Restoring Old School Desk


Just purchased an old school desk - wood top with metal frame. The metal frame is brown rusty - what should I do to restore this.

Gene Williams
- Wilmington, Delaware


I have a large version of yours, I believe. First I am going to disassemble it, then I am going to strip (paint remover)the old paint from the metal frame and wet sand the rust off with WD-40 [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]. I will then remove the wd-40 residue and paint the frame with a rust inhibiting primer, then a couple of coats of a good black enamel (spray paint). I will strip the varnish, if any, and sand the wooden top. Next comes the stain of choice, oak, cherry or walnut with sanding between each coat. The finishing 2 coats of a good polyurethane with sanding between each coat. Finishing with a couple of coats of paste wax.

- Winter Park, Florida, USA


That "wooden" top you have may actually be a formica type surface and if you sand it down (as my wife did) you will mess it up.

P. L.
- Dallas, Texas

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