Angie's Roost Logo

Roll With It: Vintage Rolltop Desk Find & Repair

After the last couple of weeks of oh-my-goodness-all-I-have-done-for-my-one-room-challenge-project-is-paint woes, I finally feel like I’m making a little bit of progress.  Last week we finished painting…two coats on two windows, seven doors, entry walls, staircase walls, landing walls, hallway walls, and all the trim and ceilings in those spaces.  If I don’t lift a paintbrush over the next month (or two), I’m cool with that.  So this week…this week has been glorious in the progress department.  There is now a fully functioning desk situation in the landing.

Small Vintage Rolltop Desk In Hallway Nook

The vintage rolltop desk was a steal at only $15.  Yes, just $15.  You know there’s a story to this and because I love telling stories, here’s the background info on our desk.  The place I work has its own closed Facebook group that’s a buy/swap/sell kind of site for our community.  It’s like a mini Craigslist except without the creepy stranger-danger factor.  There’s not always a ton on there but me being me I stalk it like a tween to Bieber.  Just a few days into my stalking session, I came across this baby and pounced.  The old owner had moved it here from Wisconsin but realized it didn’t fit in her house.  However, it was the perfect size, the perfect style, and was just what I was looking for for my house.  That never happens.  I never find the perfect thing when I’m actively looking for the perfect thing.  Especially at such an affordable price!  I almost almost felt guilty just paying fifteen dollars.  Just a few days later I was heading home with this in the back of the truck.

Rolltop Desk Picked Up For Fifteen Dollars

The one minor flaw in the desk is that it was damaged.  The previous owners wanted to pull computer cords through the back of the desk so they cut a hole in it.  I like the hole in the back.  It makes it convenient to use the desk not only to work but also to store and charge my laptop and camera.  But if you look reeeallllly close, you’ll see below that the hole was cut using a drill.

Rolltop Desk In Need Of Slight Repair

A drill that went just a bit too far and went straight through the rolltop part of the desk.  While it’s not too terribly visible and the likeliness of me ever closing the desktop is slim, I still wanted to fix it up a bit.  Just make it a little less noticeable.

Gouged Rolltop Desk In Need Of Repair

It was an easy fix.  Nothing like a little colored wood putty fixing to get back into the DIY game.  I picked up a tub of oak-tinted wood putty, smushed it into the gouges/holes, and wiped the excess off with a damp cloth.

Tinted Wood Putty For Wood Repair

It worked pretty well.  Except my finger didn’t quite fit underneath the desktop lip to get the hole in the lower left.  I tried…I failed…I gave up because…you know…good enough!

Repaired Rolltop Desk Wood Gouges

And then moved on to relocating my coral collection to the top of the desk.  I’ve since switched out the decor at least a dozen times because…you know…the important things in life.

Coral Collection On Top Of Rolltop Desk

As much fun as switching up all the decor on the top of the desk is, I also took some time to set up the desk functionally.  I do want to use this space and make it work for me as my mini home office space.  I wanted a space to store and charge my laptop and camera.  I keep my extra camera lens behind the piston clock and the cables/chargers are in the trio of drawers.  In the cubbies, I store the index cards from my one-line journal which I still up with four years later, a stapler, and various office supplies like rubber bands in the set of vintage marmalade jars.  Thank you cards and stamps are stashed in the vintage toast rack and stamp holder.


I love the thrifting, hoarding, and flea marketing that’s been going on here in Vermont.  It’s epic!  Although…the hoarding is on the verge of out of control.  I picked up the vintage toast rack for four dollars at an antique shop and the brass stamp holder from an Etsy vintage shop for $9.  They’re the perfect little accessories for the desk.

Vintage Toast Rack For Notecard Storage And Brass Stamp Holder

The main desk drawer holds a few more desk accessories like paper clips, pens, computer mouse, paint chips, and to-do list notebooks.  I love to-do list notebooks.  I hoard cute notebooks alongside cute brass desk accessories and store them here until I need a new one.  Sadly, I fill a to-do list page a day.  Even sadder I only cross off a couple of items a day.  I tend to choose field explorations with the dog or fishing with the husband over the to-do list most days.

Organizing Desk Drawers

And then there’s the family crest art picked up from a flea market for a buck or two and an antique store brass owl hanging out on top of the desk.  Can we talk about the plant for a second?  It’s grown from a clipping from the plants we had hanging at the altar at our wedding.  We planted a bunch of them and they’re all over our house.  I pray we can keep them alive and continue growing them as descendants of our wedding plant decor.  The things that matter.

Vintage Family Crest Art And Brass Owl

And then there’s Salty Pete, the painting I picked up at an antique store near our old home in Maine for $35.  I picked SP up during a shopping excursion on one of our last days as Maine-ahs when I should have been packing the house.  But I loved him anyway, even though he didn’t have a home nor did we, and I’m oh so grateful he’s found a new home above the desk.

Old Sailor Art And Coral Collection

I know this desk nook and the landing, in general, is such a small part of our home, and probably not the most important one for me to be painting and decorating.  But it’s been bringing so much joy!  It’s small, it’s easily tackle-able, and it’s not blowing the bank which we’re grateful for since we still have a water softener, pellet stove, and snowblower on our short list of must-buy-soon items.

So now I have about two weeks left to finish up this space for the One Room Challenge grand reveal finale and I’m oh so close.  We ended up ordering some Ikea shelves for the main landing space so let the Ikea furniture assembling games begin!  If you don’t hear from us in the next few days…send help…

Pssst…Don’t forget to check out all the One Room Challenge Week 4 action.

Psssssst…I did a little updating of the blog the other day with an updated “About Us” page.  It hadn’t been updated since we started the blog, eeeek!  It’s a little more descriptive of how I want the blog to be.  Not just DIY and how-to but also incorporating some stories about how we remodel and decorate our home with the things that matter, very Nate Berkus style.  I devoured Nate’s The Things That Matter book a couple of years ago and it resonated with me.  I think about it almost daily.  Since moving to the Vermont countryside, we’ve been enjoying a slower pace and cherishing our everyday life.  We want our home to reflect that so be prepared for some fun posts about country life, giving your home meaning, and living life with intention.

Add A Comment

We're glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our privacy policy, and all links are nofollow. Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.

Angie's Roost Campbell Family in front of home in 2021

Hi there! We're the Campbells. We traded in Maine city living for the country life in Vermont. You'll find us here fixing up a circa 1781 historic home, growing our own food, and filling this home with the memories and things that matter. Read more about us...

Follow us

Want a behind the scenes look?

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter where we share real-time updates, confessions, life lately, and a recap of the week's posts.

Unsubscribe anytime. More info in our Privacy Policy.

Copyright ©Angie's Roost 2023