Outdated / updated art deco desk

I had mentioned to Michael that I saw ‘somewhere’ (maybe on HGTV???) that they took an old desk with drawers on BOTH sides and cut it apart to male two bedside tables.  Told him if he ever came across such a desk REALLY CHEAP, that I’d like to try that.  I SWEAR, all I have to do is mention something and he finds it!  Here is what he brought home per that request:

Very dated green paint!  But wonderful shape and art deco detail.  I just could not bear to cut away that pretty curved and routered center piece!  Decided this piece was worthy of just a face lift and not a full body makeover.


Because the paint on it was SHINY, I was going to have to sand or primer it.  Decided upon sanding ‘just in case’ there were some interesting layers of paint that might be revealed.

The edges easily sanded off, but bigger surface areas, not so much!  I decided that was good enough!

Sanding away the paint really enhanced the routered detail and I decided that those details were worth enhancing in the refinishing process.

I had decided upon painting it Sophie’s favorite Robin’s egg blue, and to try and reuse the original black ‘forged iron looking’ knobs.  So, I thought I would paint the routered details BLACK to match the knobs.

I got out my trusty flat black spray paint and gave the edged and detail areas a quick spray.

That was easy enough.  My thought was that it would be easier to paint AROUND the routered details that to try and use a small brush to paint them in after.  But first I had to paint the ‘chair cubby’ part of the desk.  And I HATE that part!  In fact, I usually avoid doing desks for that very reason!

Because half of my spine has been surgically fused, I don’t do the ‘bend and reach’ thing too well.  And crouching down to paint the inside of the cubby is impossible for me.  So that means I have to maneuver the desk to where I CAN get in there and paint.  So I have to set it on it’s end.

And in doing so, I can only paint half the chair cubby and one side of the desk at a time.  So it takes me a LOT longer to complete the painting.  I have to do one coat, let it dry, second coat, let that dry; before I can flip the desk and do the other side!  But this was such a unique desk, I thought it was worth the extra work!  Can you guess how many times I bumped my head reaching in to paint inside there?!?!?

So once both sides and the cubby were done I could turn it upright and paint the top and front.  The tricky part was to not get paint inside the painted black routered detail parts.  For that, I kept my brush as FLAT as possible, so the brushes would fling their way into the routered places.

As you can see, that technique was only SEMI successful!  So to clean up the blue paint boo-boos, I used black craft paint and q-tips.

That worked ‘pretty well’, but i was going to have to touch up some of the blue paint in a few spots on the edges.  Left it overnight before tackling that.

When I looked at it with fresh eyes the next morning, I didn’t like the black paint!  It actually DE-emphasized the routering and made it just look painted on.  sigh.  So I just went ahead and painted over it all with the blue! 

Of course, now the original black knobs would not work, so I bought home some of these pretty ceramic rose knobs from the store.

And the routered part shows up nicely with it all painted blue!

This beauty is still just sitting in the workshop at home for now.  Waiting to see where there will be room for it, either at the store or in our space at Stars Antique mall.

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