Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Secretary Desk Transformation

This beautiful, little secretary desk was purchased over 20 years ago at a garage sale.  It was purchased by a dear family friend and given to me to use when I moved into a cute flat as a single mom years ago.  The cool feature of a secretary desk is that the cabinet door opens up to lie flat and give the user more desk space when needed.  Because this piece was very old, the cabinet door hinge was coming off and needed repair.  I used this to hold DVDs and small keepsakes and it had endured even more wear and tear in its time with me.  I decided to repair that door, give the desk a bright, new paint job and some pretty hardware. 

Lets take a look!

The Befores...

You can see the drink rings and dents.  She was dying for a makeover.  I removed all hardware, sanded her down and wiped away all of the dust.  I have been experimenting with an amazing chalk paint purchased at a local boutique and I have to say, this paint is fantastic.  It's called Maison Blanche and it is, in my opinion, the creme de la creme of chalk paint.  Thick and rich, with excellent coverage, it provides a gorgeous look and finish.  Distresses perfectly and combines easily with latex paint to create different shades and hues.  I combined Maison Blanche in Magnolia (that's fancy shmancy for white) with a beautiful coral shade by Behr in "Cool Lava".  The results were striking...

The Afters!

I wish I had better "After" pics but this darling desk was quickly sold to a local boutique right after I finished, so these camera phone shots will have to do :)
Let's talk technique.  The interior of the desk including the interior of the drawer as well as underneath were given two coats of Rustoleum Spray Paint in Satin Espresso.  This sealed the wood and gave the desk an even appearance while also providing contrast against the bright coral.  

After two coats of the coral chalk paint mixture to the exterior and liberal distressing with 220 grit sandpaper, I applied a coat of Maison Blanche Varnish, which is a water-based sealant that provides a beautiful, satin sheen to protect the paint against future dirt and stains.  

After allowing that coat to dry for 24 hours, it was time to reassemble the desk.  I mentioned the desk hinge was broken and that repair involved a rubber washer between the new screw and the wood to protect the wood and prevent future stripping.  However, it is important to note that I would consider this item to be an antique, and advised the shop owner who purchased the desk to market it as so.  Constant opening and closing of the cabinet will eventually wear things down and should be kept to a minimum.  The washer will hopefully take some of the strain off of the hinge as the desk is opened as closed.  

The drawer handles were purchased at Hobby Lobby and the desk knob was original to the piece and simply painted white, distressed and given a coat of pearl spray glaze. 

It took a day of work and a little sweat (those hinges and hardware are ancient) but my little desk that could went from worn and tired to bright and pretty in no time.  I love the bright color and hope that she brings new use, and a bit of Happy into her next home. 

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