In it's natural environment:
The process took a lot longer than I expected. Because I worked full time over the summer and I wanted to finish the desk before moving, I ended up hiring my youngest brother to finish the sanding and my oldest brother was kind enough to drill new holes for the hardware. Everything else I did myself, from choosing the handles (that in and of itself was quite an ordeal because the curved drawer fronts would not accomodate most handles!), to staining the desk. Here's the cost breakdown:
Stain, sandpaper, woodfiller, hardware - ~ $40.00
Hiring brother to sand - $20.00
Total cost - ~$60.00
Oh, and the staining was messy! Even though I wore latex gloves, my fingers, especially my thumbs, still got stain on them. Cleaning the stain out from under my nails was a pain, but it was so worth it to end up with this beautiful desk! There are minor imperfections with the stain job that only I will ever know about, but considering that this is my first DIY job, I'm more than happy with the results. I can't wait to get the opportunity to stain another piece of furniture - now that I know exactly how much labor is involved in the process, I should be able to budget enough time to do it all on my own. In the meantime, I'll have to content myself with more minor, crafty DIY projects.