Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Vintage Maple Desk in Pearl Gray

My home is a study in earth tones, primarily shades of ochre, terra-cotta, and olive, and I love it that way. I've gravitated towards those warm, deeply saturated hues for most of my adult life, and since they're not particularly popular and sell poorly, refinishing furniture for my house is often the only time I'm able to paint with those colors, an opportunity I always treasure.

          That being said, sometimes I end up refinishing a piece of furniture so enchanting and so far outside my own color scheme I want to burn my house to the ground and start from scratch with an entirely new scheme. This desk is just such a temptingly wicked piece. There is no gray in my house, it would stick out like a sore thumb, but ye gods I lust for this desk. Somewhere, somehow, I have some last store of self control, which I now must call upon. I will sell this desk, one of you will own this beauty.

              The piece started as a fairly mundane vintage solid rock maple executive style desk by Pennsylvania House. Though wonderfully built and well preserved, it was dark, dreary, and dare I say, very sticky for some reason. I wanted to breath new life into the piece, fresh and airy and elegant as possible, so I painted it in a new custom mixed shade of the palest gray, Mother of Pearl. To further the iridescent effect I distressed and sanded the painted surface and then sealed it with a custom burnt sienna toned wax. I don't often use wax tones other than my typical dark walnut shade, but I am blown away by how superb the result was on this gray. I'll definitely be using this technique again!
              The ho-hum brass Chippendale pulls were holding the desk back badly, so I removed them, filled the old holes, and replaced them with re-colored salvaged brass pulls, the silver giving the desk a tone on tone sophistication that plays up the ornate detail of the pulls against the soft sheen of the pearl gray paint. I refinished the solid maple top in a pale honey color. It's flawless and beautifully figured. I know I've basically just written a love letter to this desk. Apologies but I'm obsessed with it.

1 comment:

  1. So beautiful! What did you seal the top with? Love the shine.