Good Questions: Desk Redo

Good Questions: Desk Redo

Janel Laban
May 4, 2007

YanYan scored this super desk but is looking for some answers...

"I just recently purchased this desk which I love but am interested in possibly replacing the white laminate top with either a solid wood (walnut) top or maybe trying my hands with walnut veneer. I haven't the slightest clue where to start in this process as I have never tried to really customize furniture beyond changing some hardware.

Are there any good resources out there for a project like this or are there any places in Chicago that I could take my desk to? I think I am most concerned about trying to remove the current white laminate and replacing it with a walnut veneer. I also have to switch out the lock as the key for the current is lost. Can I just go to any hardware store to pick this up? Thanks! YanYan"

The desk is great! Such a good find. We like the idea of warming up the lime green metal with a wooden top.

You may want to just apply the wood veneer over the white laminate, as long as it is not loose or damaged. You would just need to clean it well and sand it down to create a rough surface for the veneer to adhere to.

If you do need to remove the old laminate, we found a source on the same exact project (!), which has lots of good info on removing laminate carefully:
How to Remove the Old Laminate

Then, the veneer application. Here is a basic tutorial:
Wood Veneer Basics

This is some serious DIY - we thought that perhaps someone who does cabinet resurfacing (basically the same thing) would be a good choice if you decide to have a pro do the work. One local woodworking/custom/resurfacing source is Best Cabinets(1500 W. Cortland,773.235.3719). A call to them (or someone like them) might be a good way to gauge the cost of NOT doing it yourself.

We called Amazing Lock Service (3165 N. Halsted,773.935.8900) and they said if you pop out the current lock and bring it in to a locksmith shop, it is very possible that they could find a way to refit a key. If not, a locksmith could order a new lock mechanism to fit.

Good luck and send us a photo of the finished piece!

Any other suggestions/tips/info for YanYan? Please share your ideas in the comments below...

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