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Learn How to Convert an Antique Roll-Top Desk into a Unique Bar

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Bars are all the rage for entertaining. It is important to realize that you do not have to buy an item that is designed to be used as a bar. You can convert an antique roll-up desk into a hidden bar with just a little bit of elbow grease, paint, and some mirrors. Use the following guide to learn how to convert a desk into the bar of your dreams quickly and easily.

Prepare the Desk

You will first need to clean the desk so you can easily paint it. If you want to make the bar as unique as possible, you may want to think about painting the inner portion of the desk a different color than the exterior portion of the desk. Seeing a bold pop of color when you roll back the top of the desk will make your bar have even more of a visual impact. Use 80-grit sandpaper to lightly sand all of the surfaces of the desk. The sanding ensures that the spray paint will stick well to the wood.

Paint the Desk

If you plan to paint the inside of the desk a different color than the exterior, you want to be sure to paint the outside of the desk first just in case any paint somehow sprays onto the inner portion of the desk. Use spray paint to paint the desk with an even coat of paint. Allow the paint to dry for three to four hours before rolling back the top of the desk. At this point, you should use enamel paint and a paintbrush to paint the inside of the desk to ensure that you only get paint where you want it to go.

Make the Desk Glamorous

Next, measure the desktop of the desk. Measure a mirror and use a ruler and marker to make a mark that is the exact same size as the desktop. Use a mirror cutter to cut the mirror and carefully fold the mirror back and forth until it splits on the line you cut. Use wood glue to press the mirror against the desktop. Place a few books on top of the mirror to add pressure and allow the wood glue to dry overnight.

Once you have finished transforming the desk into a bar, you will be ready to start preparing the bar for use. You can use the drawers of the desk to store glasses, shakers, and any other bar tools you need. The alcohol bottles can be stored under the roll top so they cannot be seen until you roll back the desktop. This allows you to create a hidden bar that is unique in every way. For help locating a roll top desk, consult professional like Bucks County Estate Traders.


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