Enjoyed reading each and every reply. . .the project is on hold until we get consistent weather over 60 degrees here. I bought a chemical stripper and will use that. Then, I will strip the rust with some acid. After that a little oil based primer and latex paint and I think I'm safe. Some fabric and additional decorator touches and these antique desks will be ready for the first $1,000 buyer! Thanks again for the humor and good advice.