I’m so excited to share with you my latest project of my Dad’s desk that he game me years ago. It is a glowing gem in our entry way now and I feel if my dad were here today he would be so proud of it.
I have had my Dad’s desk for over 30 years. This was his desk growing up and he hung onto it till he could give it to one of his four daughters. He gave it to me when I got my teaching job and I have always cherished it. It was originally a light oak but it always looked dirty and aged. The handles were loose and kept falling off. I painted the desk a walnut stain after about ten years because at that time it went with the decor in the house . Dad’s old desk has been through several moves since then and hasn’t been updated till now.
I recently was inspired at a local store near my house called Due South, where I buy my chalk paint. They hold chalk paint classes and are a distributor for Annie Sloan chalk paint. They have many transformed furniture pieces they have painted and sell in their store. There was a dresser with a gel stain and outlined in Annie Sloan Napoleon Blue Chalk Paint I was fell in love with. I was truly inspired and motivated to do the same to dad’s desk.
As you can see here the rolltop is very aged and in need of desperate update. I applied a Napoleon Blue to the outside and trim of the desk. I used two coats to cover the dark walnut stain completely.
I used the General Finishes brand in Java Stain over the rolltop, inside of the desk and drawers. My go-to store, Due South, uses this finish on many of their pieces. I applied the stain with a sponge brush to eliminate any brush strokes and they are inexpensive enough to throw away after use. I like throw away as a clean up, don’t you?
I applied two coats of this satin top coat after the Java stain had dried and again I used a sponge brush to apply both coats. This satin coat leaves a smooth-as-butter finish and brings a piece back to a beautiful lustre.
The handles for this desk were impossible to find. I was looking for a brass finish hardware which is not as prevalent as, say, silver or nickel. The other problem was the size of the handles was smaller than the standard hardware sold in stores. I found a few in antique stores but not four of one kind. I finally found these brushed brass handles at McGuckins, one of the largest hardware stores in the next town over. The funny story is as life circles about is when my Dad had come to visit us one time and we took him to this store he turned to us after staring at the immense size and said, “If they don’t have it, you don’t need it”. It’s true. If you need ANYTHING this store has it,-they are not your ordinary hardware store.
When any of us in the family were in the midst of a decision, my dad would always say, “Hey, you only go around this blue ball once…”. It made our decision making slightly quicker when he put it in that perspective. He lived his own life with this philosophy. So imagine my surprise when I spotted this “blue ball” at Hobby Lobby and immediately thought of my dad, who always wanted us to reach for our dreams. I snatched this up knowing exactly the perfect place for it.
The same day I found the blue ball I also discovered this picture frame in the nautical section. My dad had boats his entire life. When we were younger, my parents had a big 52-foot boat on Lake Michigan. We also had a summer cottage on a lake that was home to us growing up and still is today for us, our children, and now, our grandchildren. My dad loved his boats and he never settled for only one, but at least 2 or more at the dock. This picture frame was perfect for his picture that personified his passion for the water and boats. I was pretty excited for the props I found to stage my dad’s desk
I am so happy this project was so easy to restore and even to stage it as an honor to my dad. I can imagine my dad if he saw his desk today nodding his head in amazement and uttering his famous line, “I’ll be damned”. This desk and it’s accessories tell a story of my family that and have perked up a very bland corner of our entryway.
Thanks for stopping by and drop a comment to let me know what you think!