Thursday, March 31, 2011

$25 Desk becomes "Shabby Wonderful"

This quite old desk was bought at a yard sale and has kicked around the family for years. Originally mine, I gave it to one daughter when I moved to Alaska. She gave it to another daughter when she changed direction and eventually the desk came back to me when I came back to Florida. Perhaps it was a little worse for the wear, but who could tell. It was dark with age, scratched and dented already. I had tiled the top with 10 cent white wall tiles ages ago to cover the peeling veneer. But it was serviceable and usually confined to a studio or work room.

Eventually, I needed to use it in a more noticeable location and decided to paint it white to go with the tile top. The really outstanding "shabby chic" finish was a complete accident. I forgot to prime the old wood first and it began to bleed unevenly into the white paint as it dried. At first I was downhearted, staring at the need for a much more time consuming job. Then I thought to take some sandpaper to it. The result was classic aging but the crowning touch was realizing that a tin panel piece of my wall art (a $1 yard sale purchase) was the perfect size to provide a privacy panel for the desk. Again, paint on, rub it off, scrub it off, scrape it off. Instant "old". The use of E-6000 glue, and tape to hold the panel in place while it cured, and I was in business. This was one of the easiest furniture projects I've ever done and the result is that an antique dealer recently offered me $300 for it. No sale. It may have started out as a make-do project that went awry but it ended up being one of my favorite pieces.

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