Kids Art Desk

This project took me way to long to get done, I started on it when we moved into our new house in July of 2011 and put it on hold to due to my job and house repairs that needed to get done. The kids continue to get older and older and all three of my girls enjoy doing crafts and drawing, they had no place to store their supplies so they would end up scattered across our house. We decided, or I should say the wife decided it was time to finish the Art Desk and give it to the girls for Christmas. The art desk boasts a large work surface, a 19” roll of paper that mounts under the desk and shelves to store their coloring books and supplies. The top shelf is a 2” deep shelf to store those things that have a tendency to roll.

I had just finished up the cradle project and now had free time to work on the art desk. I already had a portion of this built, but decided that I wanted to change the design…this was the biggest mistake I have ever made. The new design was not as sturdy and when I went to attach the top to the shelves it literally fell to pieces. I was pissed and disheartened, I went storming into the house slewing curse words under my breath, all that work and the hours I spent were all just undone in 15 seconds. Some of the boards split where they were joined together and now I was going to have to start completely over. Luckily after I cooled off I decided that I could just go back to the original design I came up with, I already had most of the pieces cut and ready to be put back together. I salvaged what I could from the destruction and only ended up having to purchase a couple items to replace what broke.

Got the base of the desk back together in a day and was back on track, then the weather decided to get nice and cold as it tends to do in Nebraska in December. Luckily I have a butane heater so it didn’t stop me completely just slowed me down a bit. I continued to work on this when I had time at night after the kids went to bed, of course Christmas day was getting closer and closer and I wasn’t even close to having all the pieces done for final assembly. Now it was Christmas Eve, the desk was assembled but I didn’t have it stained. I was tying to decided if I had time to get the stain on and still have it ready for the kids in the morning. I decided to hell with it if I have to be up all night I will get it done, this is when I figured out wow shellac is really easy to work with, albeit a little on the sticky side when you are wiping on and the cloth I was using fell to pieces after a couple applications. I was pleasantly surprised on how easy it wiped on and how forgiving it was to work with. This was the first time I had ever used shellac for the finish. When I was completed I wasn’t sure if the color was what I wanted it was not the amber color that i was expecting; I ended up only doing one coat just in case I wanted to give it a quick sand and put a different finish on after Christmas. After a few hours of drying the desk color darkened and grew on me. I finished it off with a 0000 steel wool.

I completed the desk around 8 pm on Christmas Eve, I had to skip the Christmas Church service to make sure I got it done. The next day when the girls came down an saw their new art desk was worth all the work I put into getting this project done…someday I may learn to procrastinate less and get these done before the day I need to deliver it.

The desk is constructed using 3/4” pine boards that were glued up at the manufacturer, I really didn’t want to use pine for the project but it was what I could afford at the time. I definitely learned a lot during this project.

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