“A Bright Idea!”

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Sometimes it takes me a while to come up with a catchy/clever name for my blog post, but this time around it came to me pretty quickly.  I completed a custom order desk for a young girl in high school.  She reminded me a lot of myself- organized, school oriented, diligent, and above all she knew what she wanted.  I met with her and her mother to see and consult over the desk.  It was the young girls great great great grandfather’s (I’m pretty sure that is correct), and it had been sitting in the basement for 17 years.  The young girls parents had planned on doing it, but life happens, and it never got done!  The desk was in rough shape to say the least.  It has been painted years ago, but the paint had semi peeled off, and the bottom legs were missing chunks of wood:

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The daughter and her mother asked if I could try to fix the missing wood pieces, and I was obviously up for the challenge.  I probably went through two containers of wood filler.  I had to build up the filler, sand it down, shape it, and repeat.  I did the best I could.  These pictures don’t look so hot because its wood filler, but with the finished product you can’t even see the difference!

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Once the piece was sanded and prepped, it was finally ready to be painted.  The girl picked two colors, a nice cream white for the base and a nice bright yellow for the top (hence my “bright idea” blog title…. I know I know, I’m good!).

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The desk was completely transformed, it was nice and smooth and freshly painted.  I ever so slightly distressed the detailing of the desk so that it would highlight the intricate work.  The craftsmanship on this desk is incredible, and the creamy white wasn’t doing those details any justice.  The light distressing truly completed it.

We hit a speed bump when it came to the hardware though.  So strange, usually antique pieces don’t have hardware that is standard hole to hole, it’s usually all weird sizes.  Well we ordered some beautiful hardware, but when I went to put them on, they didn’t fit.  We ordered 2.5″ because that is what I measured, but I was off by .5″… how could that be? I didn’t think to measure other drawers because why would they be different? So the mother and daughter went on hunt and found enough 3″ handles to finish he piece right? Wrong. When I delivered the desk, and I was putting on the hardware some of the 3″ handles were too big, and I was right back a the 2.5″ hole to hole spread.  What the???  Yeah, well it turns out that the bottom drawers are a 3″ spread, and the top drawers are 2.5″  so very strange.  Anyway, the pictures below are of the finished piece, but hardware is missing on the top drawers.  The mother and daughter were going to take the time to find a matching set.

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Official Business

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I sort of branched out a bit on this piece.  I wanted to highlight details, but still keep the piece masculine.  I really don’t think the man wanted a whimsical romantic desk in “French Linen.”  This desk is huge and very executive like, and I wanted to keep that tone.  Thanks to my dear friend Liza, we heard over to Watertown to pick it up.  The lady who had the desk had her handful with two beautiful children, and she tried to give us a hand lifting it and moving.  In the end, Liza and I went beast-mode and loaded it into the truck.  The thing ways a ton!  So here is what I was working with:

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The hardware was in great condition, so I knew I would keep those.  The top had some very deep scratches, and I knew that I didn’t want to paint the surface, I think that would take away from the business look.  I decided to sand it down to the bare wood.  This process always takes forever, especially when the finish on top has a lot of sheen and stain.  So finally once it was done, I  was looking at the front of the desk, and thought “what am I going to do here?” I felt that if I painted the whole base it would like BORING.  There is wooden trim around each drawer, so I thought that I would sand that down to bare wood too to highlight the raised wood.  The surface was small and skinny so I went to one of my favorite tools:

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It’s real an awesome little sander to get into tight grooves, and there are a variety of adapters.  Although it really cuts through quick, and if you aren’t careful it can take a chunk out of the wood…. been there, done that!  So after I sanded the top and the  outlines of the drawer, washed it all down here’s how it looked:

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Ok….. now what.  So far this desk has been a lot of work, and I haven’t even painted it! I decided to stain the top and outlines around the drawers with Minwax “Red Mahogany.”  I knew the stain would soak in the wood grain, and look really nice when finished.  Ok, stain done, check.  I chose Annie Sloan Chalk Paint  in “Coco” because I was just so over sanding and since the desk had a bit of a glossy finish to it, I needed something to cover well.  I chose “Coco” because it has both feminine and masculine undertones (good for both hubby and wifey in the house), and felt that it would look really good along side wood stain.  After two coats of chalk paint, and polyacrylic sealant… and days later, I finished.  I absolutely LOVE LOVE the way it came out.  Highlighting the trim was definitely the way to go!

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The sides also had raised wooden outlines, and I kept it consistent with the rest of the desk! I think it added that little extra “POP” of detail!

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Lastly, here is the finished top.

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And, BAM- there you have it!  Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RenewedReloved

Also check out my website: http://www.renewedreloved.com