My Great Grandmother's Sister's Desk

Friday, April 17, 2015
 I'll eventually post a picture of this desk sitting in it's new home...I'm just taking my time finding the perfect items for the innards.  I do a lot of crafts....thus the blog, but this one was really personal.  I loved this desk when it sat in my Mom's room.  It had been her desk when she was a little girl.  At that time it was already 50 years old.'s working on more than 100 years of surviving and thriving in our family.
 Before it was her desk, it was her Mom's, and before that it was her Mom's mother's sister's desk.  Her sister died when she was just 24 years old.  Once upon a time this desk was red.  At some point it was stained white and antiqued.  It's had several hinges, and was down to one hinge....that then broke, and the outside shelf fell off...and split in two.  Age wasn't kind to the coloring.  I found little pieces of tape that petrified to the wood....I have a feeling I was responsible for that.
 I enlisted my brother to fix the desk portion and I then I made my first foray into chalk paint.  I realize, I'm late to the party.  I was told by my friend that I missed the party completely and chalk paint was 'out.'  I don't believe that-I still see chalk painted items-real and fake in every store I visit.  I also found some for sale at JoAnne's.  I used a coupon to make it even cheaper.  I bought some the color of 'sheepskin' and some brown and clear wax.
 The deal is you aren't supposed to have to sand old paint off-it's supposed to cover it up completely.  I'm not so sure if it's this particular paint, but mine did not dry smooth.  It crackled a little.  In the end-that was the look I was going for-so it saved me some sanding etc to make it look more aged.  All that to say-if you want a smooth coat-don't paint over fifty year old paint...if you wanted crackle-use this.
 I then took some of the brown paint and rubbed it along the edges and made some streaks across the white panels.
 I took a wet paper towel and started streaking the paint around so that it looked more 'aged' and uneven.
 Once the brown wax dried I covered the whole thing with a thin coat of clear wax.
 I let is rest for 6 days-per the instructions.
 There were a few things I bought new-one were these little glass handles (from Hobby Lobby-half off-so 4 bucks total).  The original handles were long gone.
 The old hinges were missing pieces...I decided to leave the indention b/c I kind of like the stories they tell.  The priciest part of these projects were these new old hinges I bought on ebay.  I wanted them to be authentic to the time.  I found two antique 'butterfly' hinges.
I decided the arms were just not worth finding antique-since I'm keeping it-I think it's fine.  I had my brother attach these pieces.  I love that it folds out to become a desk you can write on.  My FAVORITE part are the little cubbies at the top.  The little drawer in the middles pull is actually a little nail.  I spent hours messing with these cubbies when I was little....and I have the crayon remnants to prove it on the bottom of the drawer.  
I also repainted the chair.  These have now found a home in my room.

1 comment

Pine Bird Knitter said...

Reading about your desk brought back so many memories for me of my g'ma's desk. Thanks.