Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Ladies Desk

I just delivered two desks to a client up in Shady Cove. She has the cutest antique store, Shady Kate's, and it's full of everything I want. Really, I could take the whole place home. Especially the silver coffee pot in the kitchen. To be safe, let's just consider that piece mine. Hands off, people! 

Well, okay, if you must. But give it a good home!

The lovely Kate asked me to paint two desks, a feminine ladies desk and a more masculine secretary desk.

 The ladies desk we decided would be, well, lady-like, with antique postal graphics on the front. 
The secretary desk would reflect the local area. Shady Cove offers a wide variety of outdoor activities and we chose to go with fishing.

Ladies first: There was veneer to repair - you can see it bulging in the before photo. And there was a sticky substance covering the entire desk that had to be removed. I later learned it was nicotine! As usual, the mahogany gave me a run for my money.

It took 3 coats of primer and 2 coats of shellac sealer to beat back the pink bleed-through. I considered painting all future mahogany pieces pink to just end the madness, but that was just a weak moment.

Repaired and un-pinked, here is our little lady!

French postmarks and parts of letters on parchment.

I used Annie Sloan Old White and French Linen paint, along with both clear and dark wax.

This and other pieces of Annie Sloan painted furniture are available at:

Shady Kate's
21584 Hwy 62, Shady Cove, Oregon


Shady Kate's is soon to be a stockist for Annie Sloan paints and products! I'll keep you posted. She should have her stock in a couple weeks!

Linking to: nifty thrifty things,  my 1929 charmer, 
 diy show off,
funky junk interiors

under the table and dreaming
the gunny sack
home stories a to z
the shabby creek cottage
miss mustard seed
my repurposed life
french country cottage


  1. I love the desk, and I love-love Shady Kate's! Everytime we go to Oregon I make it a point to go visit her shop! Thanks for showing us some beautiful ideas to recycle an old secretary. I have just started painted with Annie Sloan paints so I will be excited to see what creative ways she uses it.

  2. lovely makeover, and indeed so feminine and sweet, great job!

  3. I read somewhere if you have a piece with a red stain such as mahogany, try putting a coat of dead flat varnish on first, then paint. It seals in the stain & stops the bleed thru. I know it works for me everytime! Love the desk, Dee from My Painted Stuff.

  4. Daena, I love this piece! I love the french postmarks on the top. Did you decoupage them on? It really is the icing on the cake!

  5. Really love the piece, you did a great job. I hate the bleed through, I have run into it so many times. The thing that I use and has stopped the madness for me is oil based primer. Have a great week!

  6. I love how you chose to keep this desk both painted and unpainted- it is done beautfully!

    I too am interested on more detail about the French postmarks...decopage or stamped?

    Great blog...keep it up. (I paint furniture, take photographs and make handmade paper in Michigan.)

    Small House / Big Sky Donna

  7. I always love two toned look furniture. Your desk is fabulous.