I get to paint and refinish a lot of desks. This latest one was a real bargain because it wasn’t expensive and it is very well made. I bought it from a woman who was downsizing from a large old house here in Ottawa and it had belonged to her father-in-law. She threw in the matching chair for free because the cane seat is starting to sag. She actually asked me not to tell her husband that I was going to paint it, if that was my intention, because he would be upset. It is made with walnut veneer that had been bookmatched on the the top to create a mirror-image grain. It also has bun feet-something I have not seen on a desk. Even the back is finished on the desk.
I refinished the top with an English Chestnut stain that looks very much like the original colour. It has a few top coats of Circa 1850 Antique Paste Varnish which is my favourite poly since it gives a hand-rubbed look. Then I painted the body in Annie Sloan Coco covered with a white wash. The handles are brass but I painted them with white paint and then added copper gilding which I rubbed off. Coco is a warm taupe that is a classic neutral and is suitable for both contemporary and antique looks. It is actually my first time using it and I am in love with the richness of the tone. It’s a very sophisticated colour and it would compliment many rooms. I love bright colours but this may be my new favourite.
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