I picked up this leggy grey desk while driving my sister to her new home in Ohio. I didn’t realize what was wrong with her until the ride home. She smelled so bad (the desk, not my sister), I had a massive headache after about an hour in the car. Thankfully, it was a chemical smell. The only thing to do…strip her with some Citristrip. During the process of stripping her, I realized that this lady had been stripped before and someone had put a couple layers of gel stain on her with out waiting for the previous coats to cure. Bad idea, people. Bad idea! Please don’t do that!!! The previous owners also didn’t remove the top arch to fully strip the piece and they took an orbital sander to her legs….My mind was a whirlwind of bad words when I saw the sanding marks. After stripping, sanding all the curves/crevices, and replacing the underside (because inside, underneath the drawers she was gross), this lady was finally ready for a makeover! Here she is before:
I’m sure you can see why I could resist the potential! She was sturdy, but had just been mistreated. You might think that I sanded out those imperfections in her veneer…I didn’t. Even after all that other work to undo the wrong’s done to this lady…I embraced some of her imperfections. The word that came to mind… “wabi-sabi”…
via my pinterest (because I was too tired to find the original link)
Isn’t that what we want from others… for them to discovery beauty in our imperfections…to love us imperfections and all….I may be getting too deep for furniture, but that is how I love people and that is why I do what I do. Here is a during picture I posted to my facebook page.
And here she is after all that work…
I used a dry brush technique on her with one of my very favorite grey paint colors. After the paint dried, I decided the color was lighter than I wanted, so I did a coat of stain over the paint, and then waited a few days for the stain to cure. It wouldn’t have taken so long for the stain to cure over the paint, if I had remembered to turn my whole house humidifier down. Duh! Finally, I sealed her in three coats of flat polyurethane for a nice subtle sheen.
My son named her “Cassandra,” he said something about her leggy-ness (he’s eleven) and that she looked like a Cassandra. I went with it! I painted her drawers in Salmon milk paint and updated her knobs with these beautiful pink/salmon/grey floral knobs I found a couple years back. “Cassandra” will be for sale in my Etsy shop later today. xo Meg