It had been over a year since I got the tanker desk and I did start working on a few pieces. Unfortunately, the project was just too big and too time consuming for me.
In order for this to have been successful, I seriously needed body shop equipment to take out the rust and the dings on this thing. Then when it came time to paint, a simple coat of spray primer and Rustoleum paint wasn’t going to cut it. I was quoted about $500 for powder coating which was one option. The other was to take it to get it painted but the shop never got back to me.
It wasn’t an easy decision to give up on the project because I had already put some time and effort in disassembling. I had even started working on a couple of the drawers. As much as I wanted to continue, I also had to realize how big the desk was for my office and once it was reassembled, it wasn’t going to be moved.
It’s now out in the curb. Sadly, this desk is most likely going to end up as scrap but there is always an off chance that someone will drive by, see it, and decide they want to make this into their pet project.
I managed to work on the tanker desk this holiday week. (I don’t think the name, Lola will stick so she is once again, nameless.)
The first thing I did was remove the drawers.
Instead of working on the entire thing at once, I decided to start with the pencil drawer. I cleaned and took a wire brush to some of the rust spots before priming it.
Next I used a spray paint I found at one of the big box stores – Flat Soft Iron. I had wanted to go the auto paint route but it would have been way too pricey and time consuming for me. If this didn’t work though, I would have.
This is the color after bringing it inside. (Floyd had to inspect the finished product in the first picture.) I did take a small brush and fixed the area around the lock.
The legs were next and they were a little rusty but still in good condition. The chromed legs were dirty but undamaged. I only worked on one so far and after cleaning, grinding, and priming, I got a coat of Brilliant Silver on (to see how it looked before I tackled the other).
The hardest thing so far was removing the pedestals from the table top. The bolts had rusted out and I wasn’t sure I could remove a couple of them without drilling through. It was a no go so I went to see if I could buy replacements for them and luckily, I was able to find them. So I spent a couple hours drilling through the rusted bolts alternating with my little propane torch (the kind used for créme brûlée).
The end result?
A view of the new color next to the old:
I haven’t figured out how to remove the file drawer yet. I also haven’t decided what to do with the linoleum (formica?) top.
I haven’t done much on my tanker desk—aka Lola but I have decided on a new paint color.
Instead of blue, I decided on a silvery lavender color called Evening Orchid (which is a 1965 paint color for Chevys like Impalas and Chevelles).
Sneak peak at the color:
This is during the late afternoon in natural light.
Night time with garage door closed.
I’m hoping to work on it soon. The first step I need to do is take her apart so I can prime and paint. If all goes well, I won’t have to wait too long once I get my flooring done.
I haven’t really worked on Lola yet since I got her months ago.
Of and on I have been looking at different color paints for her and I decided on this one:
It’s a 1969 Chevy factory color for Camaros and Chevelles (Lemans Blue Metallic). Since I would never own one due to the maintenance of these beauties, I decided to use the color on the desk.
This was the touchup paint version but I’ll be buying the spray paint for Lola.
I’m even thinking of getting an emblem with “Lola” written in a similar script font as my fave muscle cars.
I’m now the proud owner of a (slightly beat up) tanker desk!
It was on Craigslist for $60 and at first I was iffy about it because I wasn’t going to be able to haul it anytime soon. They offered to deliver it to me so I decided to look at it and noticed the retro legs. There were a couple dents and some rust on the sides but it hadn’t gone through the metal. The top was dirty but still in good condition. So I didn’t haggle (since they were delivering it) and it arrived yesterday afternoon.
I cleaned out the contents and there were some creepy things (a bug nest?) so that was quickly dumped. The last time it had been used was sometime in 2004.
I didn’t really clean the actual body yet but tried to remove the top and possibly disassemble so I could move into the garage. That didn’t work. I did however manage to remove the modesty panel before I pushed it inside.
It’s a very bland, beige color right now and although I have named her Lola, she needs a makeover. Right now, I’m thinking a retro shade of turquoise or teal would be cool but maybe use a pearl finish (or metallic).
She’s in my garage and I’ll tinker with it over the next few months. Lola won’t be a 1 weekend project. I’m sort of treating her like a vintage car (since she’s heavy like one). My refinish process will be similar in process. I’m iffy on fixing the dents though, right now they don’t look too bad. I hope to clean the rust and further assess the damage in the next few weeks while also continuing to research on paints. 🙂
EDITED: I don’t think a pearlized paint will work since the shimmer occurs mostly outdoors. I’m better off doing metallic or solid color instead.