A Spooky Secretary Desk

It’s my favorite time of the year. Fall has come in with the cool northern breeze and the Maryland trees are slowing giving into the season with pops of orange and vibrant reds. The nights and mornings are cooler and I have bright yellow mums and pumpkins on my porch. As a native Texan, there isn’t a fall day that sneaks by without me being fully caught up in the magic of the change of seasons. I’m seriously loving ever colorful leaf that falls from the trees around me.

I felt inspired by the season while photographing this sweet secretary desk that I just finished for a new client. It must be the mix of the old claw feet, smooth black milk paint, and the deep grain of the wood that has me swooning over mystery that this piece holds. I LOVE it and it’s just fitting for the month since the claw feet give it a creepy-factor that’s very Halloween.

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Restored Executive Desk

The last couple of months, since moving to Mississippi, have been full of a ton of new things. New places, foods, laws, jobs, hobbies, and, most importantly, new friends. Moving isn’t easy for me; and I suppose the root of that is saying goodbye to the things I love is a challenge for me. Things like the quirks of an old town, the presence of dear friends around a table, the familiarity of a drive home, and the closeness of family. But, moving has allowed me to embrace the unfamiliar, expand my character, and introduced me to people I would have otherwise never met. People like my friend Kyle, who has forever impacted Dean and me. He makes us laugh, goes on crazy adventures with us, annoys us with his hilarious shenanigans, is the best eater we know, is always up for a friendly competitive game -or, maybe not so friendly- and is so real and down to earth that we can just be ourselves with him on the good and not-so-good days of life. Anyway, without being too mushy let’s just say he’s a real pal. Kyle let me talk him into buying a piece of junk desk and then he even trusted me to dream it into something better.

So here’s to the desk I believe will hold many hours of revelation, invention, creativity, and self exploration in your home for years to come, Kyle.

I hope you guys enjoy the pictures of this creative process. Don’t give up on the things in life that are forgotten, broken, disgusting, and left alone, with a little time and care they just may turn into something worthy again.

I found this monster in the back of a dark and cold used furniture warehouse. It was covered in dust and dirt and was literally an arachnid village -this story has a happy ending, I promise.

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The top had chunks of the finish taken out of it. Cigarette and old coffee stains. I’m no detective, but something tells me someone had spent some time sorting through life here.

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Kyle spent around four hours sanding away the old finish to reveal a really beautiful wood desk top and legs.

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After some TLC, wood glue, a vacuum, wash, stain, paint, and glaze. We have a completely new piece!

The desk journeyed from my garage, 5 miles down the road in the back of a truck, and up 3 flights of narrow apartment stairs to meet its new home!

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The top was stained with General Finishes (GF) Java Gel, and sealed with 4 layers of a top coat. The base is GF Queenstown Gray and the hardware was painted with a primer, bronze spray paint, and a GF topcoat.

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The finish is so beautiful! Ahem… I mean masculine.

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The design makes me swoon. The old and new meet perfectly to create a classic looking finish. I know I’m partial, but dang!

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And don’t worry, I didn’t forget the chair. The seller lumped this old wooden and leather office chair into the purchase of the desk. This chair is INCREDIBLE and probably my favorite piece of furniture I have restored. It’s super comfortable and fits perfectly with the desk, like they were made for each other. Funny thing is, the chair was made in Texas, and the desk in New York. Just like Dean and I are from Texas, and Kyle is from New York. It’s a sign. I just know it!

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The chair was… the only adjective coming to mind… crusty.

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I absolutely loved the back of the chair, the leather was in really good shape. However, the seat of the chair needed some work. The leather on the sides was ripped and showing its wooden base and foam. The material was dusty and, on an exaggerated level, had more animal hair on it than fabric. With the help of gloves and a gas mask, it is now safely in the trash.

 

I stripped the chair to its base and sanded the chipped, scratched, and faded wood…. I was geeking out at this point.

 

We scored this piece of material for $4.00 at Hancock Fabrics. The mix of textures and colors go perfectly with the desk.

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The wood grain in chair is SO stinking pretty. It should never be hidden again. I repeat. Never.

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At this point… I was tempted to hide the chair in one of the zillion closets in our home and tell Kyle someone took it from the garage. But I realized the possibility of someone stealing on a base is pretty slim. So I fought human nature and I let him keep it.

Friends, this is the end of this restoration story. I hope you enjoyed these pictures! I would love for you to share, leave comments, and be inspired by this post! As always, don’t give up on your furniture, it could turn into something beautiful! Follow my blog for more posts about the furniture I’m restoring. Thanks for reading!

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