Our good friend Richie recently inherited a huge house filled with old furniture, silver, china, old books and lots of knick-knacks that had belonged to his mother and his older sisters. He lives in Southern California so he had no use for a house in Costa Rica and decided to put it up for sale. He was down here a few weeks ago to organize a garage sale where he sold alot of the furnishings and decorations that were in the house. I wasn’t able to make it to the sale til the second week-end and most of the good stuff and the bargains were long gone by then, but I did manage to buy a few nice things, including a little Louix XV night stand for $50 dollars and a solid wood writing desk for $150.
The writing desk had belonged to his father in the 1960’s and was originally a dark brown and very masculine looking piece of furniture. Then after his father died, his older sister inherited it and she was apparently a huge fan of the “french provincial” look that was so popular in the 70’s. She had it painted white with gold trim on all the edges and had replaced the original knobs with something much more modern (70’s “modern” that is) and had “antiqued” them with with the same white paint that was on the desk. They were smaller than the previous knobs because the holes for the original knobs were still visible in the wood. The paint had begun to peel off the desk and much of the surface was scraped and scratched exposing the original dark stain finish.
I decided to paint the writing desk a buttery yellow to match the two night tables in my bedroom that I had painted a while back. For a few (crazy) moments, I briefly considered using faux chalk paint on the desk like I’d used on the night tables. But I quickly came to my senses and put that idea out of my mind. No more faux chalk paint for me. First thing I had to do was to remove the hardware and sand the surface of the desk down a bit to smooth out the bare spots and get all the loose flakes of old paint off. I don’t mind sanding a little before painting. It’s really not that bad.
After filling in the little holes in the drawers with wood putty and sanding them smooth so they were invisible, it was time to apply the paint. I used the same shade of yellow latex paint that I had used on my two night tables and I applied a total of four coats to get perfect coverage.
I was going to re-use the same brass knobs that I had taken off the desk and figured I’d just clean them up a bit with some detergent and hot water. But I suddenly remembered some round porcelain knobs that I had purchased online some time ago that hadn’t worked out, so I dug them out of the plastic bag they were stored in. I liked them much better than the old brass ones. Those porcelain knobs made me remember that I’d also saved the brass and porcelain handles off my daughter’s old closet doors when we replaced the closets. I found them in an old box and to my surprise there were two of them, just what I needed for the two large drawers! And they matched the round porcelain knobs exactly. What are the odds?? Yipeeee! I love when that happens.
There was a little beveled mirror insert in the very center of the desk’s backboard which showed signs of age and of the humidity that it had been exposed to over the years. I considered changing it and putting in a new mirror insert, but I thought the desk would lose alot of it’s vintage charm if I put in a sparkling new mirror. I guess I really like the look of old mirrors, no matter how stained they are so I decided to keep it. I did however, happen to have a small brass mirror that my mother had brought me from Europe ages ago, so I set it in front of the old mirror to brighten up the space a bit. It allows the old beveled mirror to peak out from the sides.
Joining some great bloggers at :
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage