After cleaning down the desk, I built up a faded mid brown mahogany colour on it and polished it with oil and spirit varnish.
The handles were fitted to the drawers and, having finally made up my mind on the matter, I also attached lifting handles to the ends of the carcase.
When in business, I used to lay a fair number of leathers, not just for myself, but for other dealers too; however, I disposed of most of my embossing wheels when I closed my shop. I would have preferred to lay a slightly oversize loose hide on the desk top, emboss it and then trim it to size, but in the absence of one particular pattern of embossing wheel, I carefully measured up the desk top and ordered a pre-tooled hide which I checked to ensure a perfect fit.
After trimming and laying the hide, I attacked its glazed finish to reduce the harshness and impart a semblance of natural wear in the appropriate areas. The whole desk was then waxed – leather and all.