Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Poppies, An Excellent Solution

I bought this desk two weekends ago at the flea market. It's a fabulous c.1940 mahogany piece by Berkey and Gay, one of the very best furniture manufacturers of the early 20th century. I adore how leggy and over-designed it is, so many turnings and applied moldings. I've been swamped with custom work, but I managed to sneak this cutie in for a bit of fun this week. I was hoping that light water stain on the top would sand out, but it didn't. So I went ahead and stained it, because sometimes light watermarks nicely blend in with a dark stain, but it didn't. And then I stood and stared at that damn mahogany desk top for about an hour. The rest of the veneer was in flawless condition, and from every angle but one you could no longer see the ring. But from a certain light, you could see it perfectly, and that just wouldn't do.

          I bit the bullet and sanded it again and decided to add a bit of flare to the top, to strategically cover the offending mark. Yes there are products I could have used that would have likely still removed the ring, but once I had it in my mind to paint some flowers on this desk, I simply couldn't resist.
          I have a method for painting decorative elements on furniture. I fish pinterest for ideas. I search term after term until something catches my eye. I've found searching a specific term with "stencil" after helps me hone in on fairly doable artwork to integrate. Once I've found an image I can work with I just eyeball it as best I can from my computer screen to a pencil drawing on the wood. Then I grab my detail brushes and acrylic paints and set to work filling it in. It actually works pretty well, and I was damn pleased with how these poppies turned out!
          After hand painting the image I stained and sealed the top. I painted the case in a black oil based gloss which I liberally distressed. I had spotted the perfect complimentary antique Art Deco chair last week at the local indoor flea market, so I snagged it, knocked the arms off so it would fit nicely under the desk, and then painted it and upholstered it to match!