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How to Get most Out of your old office desk

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The concept of an Office Desk has been with us since time immemorial. To say that this piece of furniture, and its companion piece the office chair, has symbolized all offices, ancient and modern, is an understatement. People who spend important hours of their life working from an Office Desk, often start with a new and glitzy piece of furniture, but in spite of periodic polishing up and the usual repairs, age begins to catch up with both the worker and his desk. But even when the office staff is retired, the old office desk remains as an eyesore. How to Get Most Out of your old office desk remains an unanswered question, and we try our best to answer it here.

Getting The Most

How to Get Most Out of your old office desk, is the kind of question to which there are no ready answers. A curt response would be simply, “Throw it away”. It is the kind of instant answer that will please many people, particularly if they happen to be Philistines, with no regard for history or fondness for an old servant. It is the kind of soul-less bloodthirsty attitude that characterizes many of the new generations of self-seekers. But then, this Article is not for these classes of robotized humans, on a constant quest for what they call “progress”. The old Office Desk represents our past, our station in a long working life. In saluting this sentiment, there are a growing number of paternal companies who not only gift their retiring workers of long-standing with the usual gold watches but allow these sentinels of their march to affluence to carry away the most significant reminder of their useful career, their old Office Desks. And here lies the catch. What do these old retirees do with their old Office Desks? Or even, in the case where the company opts not to hand out their old furniture to their departing employees, how can they make these relics of a fruitful but hoary past become standard-bearers of the future? So     here are some ways to repurpose an old Office Desk, so that they can rejoin the  society of Useful Artifacts once more:

  • Old Wooden Office Desks: Wood is a primitive but regal material, and is nearly ageless. The woods used for our ancient Office Desks were always of the best available technical quality, the Pines, Willows, Shaal and Sepeles. The best Desks were even made from Royal Woods like Rosewood, Oak, mahogany and teak. When properly treated at birth, this furniture was insect and termite-proof. It took to the natural polishes like a duck to water, and was, in the case of hardwoods, almost scratch-proof as well. The typical finishes are:
  • Paint: The use of Paint has traditionally been one of the easiest ways to update an old Office Desk. Comparatively less heavy on the pocket, it allows good cheer and comfort to the eyes with minimum effort. For the best results, a Primer coat must be applied first, with rough and smooth sanding in between the coats in order to ensure an even finish. For the base paint, a crisp white or deep black is recommended to give a neutral look. Or the piece could be made to look quite unusual with a stunning and unexpected color shade such as bright ruby red or lemon yellow. Highlighting the features and unique details can be done in different color combinations. Distressing the furniture deliberately during the updating process can add character to the Desk, forcing others to view the piece with real interest. Distressing can be done by scuffing the paint with sandpaper or steel wool to reveal the old wood underneath or even denting and scratching with hammer and chain.
  • Stain: The use of stains can retain the nostalgic old-world beauty of the Desk, or it may be used to match the other pieces in the room where it will be placed. Contrast stains are often used, to create an ensemble effect. First, the existing stains must be removed completely with a chemical stripper, or the applied stain must match the underlying older stains perfectly. Restoring old detailed engravings and trimmings of a really old Office Desk are an art in itself, and needs a dense brush, lots of clean rags and immense patience, to create an even finish.
  • Oil Finish: The existing finish must first be stripped off first using a chemical stripper, followed by a thorough sanding with sanding discs and sandpaper. Then comes the hydrating finish, with sufficient resting time allowed, before buffing motion is used to wipe off the excess. The results, in several coats of high shine, luxurious varnish, are a pleasure to see.
  • Hardware: It may not always be mandatory to refinish the old Office Desk in the paint. Replacing the old hardware to introduce modern fittings will make the piece not only a joy to behold, but a pleasure to use. The modern accessories to suit the Digital Age can all be accommodated, as well as some old world charming add-ons, and of course, some indoor greens for fresh oxygen. Powerbanks and sources, Routers, a sliding tabletop for the laptop, inbuilt lighting to focus on study matters, can all be built-in while refurbishing the old office desk. All this must be aesthetically planned before putting a hand to the job. The DIY enthusiast will carefully prepare several versions, and take opinions from his peers, before jumping off.
  • Additions: The scope for Additions is vast, such as hanging a sleek mirror or portrait, which can completely transform the old office desk. Tile, stone or glass can be added for super effect and can create an artistic tabletop. The old interiors can be gutted, to be replaced by modern digital steel lockers, cabinets, sliding table-tops and so on.


The possibilities are truly endless, and only the creative imagination of the owner can be the determinant of the final Office Desk.

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