A couple of years ago I bought an old secretary style desk at an estate sale. And - in my typical style - I put it in the garage to rest a little bit.
Or, a lot bit.
A whole lot bit.
Last spring, when I organized the garage I moved it to the front of the line of projects to be done.
But somehow it still didn't get any attention.
Until a few weeks ago when I decided enough was enough!
So I took it apart and started cleaning it up.
It was a bit of a mess.
Whenever you have a piece of furniture with glass doors there will be strips of molding holding the glass into place. If you gently take this molding out with a tiny screwdriver you can remove the glass and make it a lot easier on yourself. Especially if there is fretwork in front of the glass. You do NOT want to be painting around this stuff with the glass inside the door.
Then take that glass and put it away somewhere safe. Because nothing makes you madder than having to replace glass when you had perfectly good glass to work with.
After I took it all apart I cleaned it with mineral spirits.
My plan was Chalk Paint in Paris Grey on the outside and Chalk Paint in Old White on the inside.
I started on the inside first.
Can you say bleed through? It was definitely the worst on the back panel. I find that sometimes the cheaper woods and "filler" wood panels are the biggest problem when it comes to bleed through.
So I went to the store and got some Zinsser Clear Shellac and shellacked that sucker.
And looking at it shellacked, I could tell why furniture owners of the 50's were so enamored with shellac.
Wow! It looked a lot better with shellac on it.
The shellac did it's job. It stopped the bleed through.
Could I just say that it is NOT fun to paint in those little mail cubicles inside the desk?
If I ever do another desk like this I will remove the wood backing from the piece so that I can access the cubicles from the front and back. I feel sure that it would be A LOT easier that way.
Once I got the inside done, painting the grey was a piece of cake.
Then I used Caramal Colors Antiquing Glaze over the whole piece.
The whole piece was waxed with Annie Sloan Clear Wax.
I distressed it and meant to use a little Annie Sloan Dark Wax, but I couldn't find mine!
I took it to Vera's Daughter to sell and it ended up in the window before I could get my pictures taken!
I just realized that I forgot to mention the best part - that I decided to silver leaf the fretwork from the glass doors.
It was a great decision.
I'm a fan of the painted hardware.
And I love the crackling that I got.
I got a lot of good crackle on the inside as well. I decided to go for a pretty "dirty" distressed look on the inside so there wouldn't be issues with having to keep it clean.
I couldn't find the finial that goes here, but I have since and I need to get it to the store and put it in place.
I think she's beautiful from top of her head to the tips of her toes.
You want her, don't ya?
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The Dedicated House