I found this vintage secretary desk at a thrift store on my last road-tripping-for-treasures day and instantly loved the lines and design of this solid wood piece. I loved how unique the style was and how different it was from other pieces I had done so snatched it up and loaded it in the car. When I began working on this piece, I wasn’t really sure what direction I was going to go (which is NOT like me!). I was thinking maybe a pale grey and off white… I had actually bought the paint, but, I still wasn’t terribly excited about it and something just didn’t seem to fit with those colours. Despite that feeling, I decided to go ahead and dive in any way and am so glad I did!I began by sanding the top of the desk. The old finish on it was pretty scratched up and peeling and even though I was going to paint it, I wanted a nice smooth piece of wood to paint.
Once I had sanded the top, I decided to continue with the front since I had the sander out, and what I found underneath was absolutely gorgeous! I found this incredible pattern that looked like it had been burnt into the wood. Now maybe when the piece was new many, many years ago, you were able to see this through the finish but there was only a hint of it being there now and it was a shock to me that this beautiful pattern was covered up.
No wonder the grey and off white colours hadn’t sat well… there was another plan just waiting in the wings. There was no way I was going to cover up this lovely design with paint now that I had found it! Instead of covering it up, I simply gave it a drink and enhanced it’s beauty with Miss Mustard Seed Hemp Oil. You can see above what a difference the Hemp Oil makes. I just rubbed it on and let it revive the wood.For the remainder of the piece I used Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Typewriter. I wanted a colour that would magnify the design on the front and black seemed like the obvious answer. I gave the rest of the piece a coat of Hemp Oil as well once it was painted and distressed in order to enhance the beautiful colour and bring out the details.To finish the piece off, I put the original hardware back on because they matched the piece perfectly and painting the cubbies inside in a contrasting cream colour (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Cream). I am so glad that I let the piece tell me what needed to be done and didn’t stick to my original plan. I absolutely love that I was able to highlight the incredible front and yet do justice to the age and style of the piece with the recreation. Oh, and I found this little gem inside the little drawer when I was prepping it for it’s recreation… I just love little pieces of history like this!