FURNITURE | Where to Buy Vintage Tanker Desks


We’ve reported on these retro tanker desks before, and have found several other companies outside of L.A. offering these popular, rehabbed mid-century originals. All of these shops offer several styles and a dizzying range of custom colors.

First up is Minneapolis-based Past Present Future. PPF offers a range of desks, credenzas, storage and seating, available in restored “as is” finish like this double pedestal tanker in original steel.

Although this single pedestal tanker is quite pretty in pink:

My favorite is this double pedestal in aqua blue:

For a real “steel” try snagging one on Craig’s List and rehab it yourself. You can find step-by-step photo instructions on how to refinish a tanker desk yourself at Twelve Stone.

Bergen Office Furniture
127 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001

Thistle & Crowe
3109 Selwyn Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28209

Espinosa Furniture
2352 Venloe Dr
Poland, OH 44514

7609 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Retro Office, Inc.
9526 Ann Street
Santa Fe Springs, CA. 90670
Tip: There’s an online color customizer tool to design your own.


4 Responses to “FURNITURE | Where to Buy Vintage Tanker Desks

  1. I have looked into sandblasting these, but it can reallt pit the surface. Bead blasting (recycled plastic beads) do it well and leave it smooth. The moment they are done, either powdercoat it or clear-lacquer seal. I got mine at a warehouse in berkeley, CA in 1999 for $80. They had ’em stacked three-high. I bet they are still there. Don’t remember the name, but it was down close to Sur la Table.

  2. 2 Virginia

    Does anyone know how I can just give my newly aquired tanker desk a good cleaing? I don’t want to strip the paint but want to remove scuff marks without scratching the paint. Also, I can remove the metal handles and clean those. What is the best thing to use for cleaning the handles?
    Thanks, Virginia

  3. 3 cchs

    Find a good autobody shop and tell them you wanted it bead blasted and sealed. It may take a few conversations to get them to understand what you want, but I found a place to do it for a couple of hundred bucks.

    You can also try and industrial dry stripping service. They basically do the same thing for around $300–$400.

  4. 4 Gaias Child

    I found mine at Office Exchange in Eugene, Oregon. They have quite a few that are needing work and some that are perfectly clean. Prices are better there, so far, than most places on line.

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