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dressed up desk - before & after

We get asked a lot for before pictures - folks just seem to love to see what a piece once was. I admit - I LOVE seeing the before pictures too. The uglier the better....damaged = fine with me!! It is an absolute thrilling challenge to take a piece that is bound for the trash and flip it into a showpiece. We especially love when we are given someone's family piece and asked to make it new again, make it pretty. Nervewracking - yes, but lots of fun and we are always up to the challenge. This desk wasn't always so pretty :-)

This antique was a family piece of our client and it looked like this when it was handed over to us:

Notice all of that damage on the top? The watermarks were sad and basically had ruined this piece as something to "show off". There was so much about this piece we loved - the unique shape, all the beautiful carvings, the gorgeous interior....BUT we felt so excited to get our hands on this one and work some magic. Our client knew that she wanted neutral colors and asked for General Finishes Millstone and Antique White, but told us to do whatever we wanted with it - just love that!!! We decided on a base of Millstone with Antique White on the raised details. We weren't sure yet about that top. Here are some close ups of the details:

We wanted to show off the legs and the beautiful details, so we added some distressing to give that look we love....

After the piece was painted, we decided a stained top would be beautiful. We thought it would look rich and pretty against the lighter millstone color. Our absolute favorite stains to work with are from General Finishes, so we went with a no-fail Java Gel stain and sealed with their High Performance Top Coat in a satin finish. It was definitely a lot of work to take this desk apart and stain all of the individual pieces. It was worth it, check out the gorgeous stain:

Had to show off our new staging piece we picked up - so cool!! I was dying to find an antique fan :-)

Wondering what is inside this antique desk?? The top folds up and reveals a working surface with pull out table - super functional and cute!!

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Here are a few last looks at this antique desk:

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