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Vintage Rose Beauty

A couple of months ago I saw this little secretary desk at an unusual shop off the side of the road. At the time I didn’t have a plan for it and didn’t really need it but I wanted it. My husband, who always does the haggling, tried to get a better price on it but was unable to make a deal. So I passed on it.

Recently I saw a large secretary on a Facebook page by Jonathon Marc Mendes-Painted Love.  I knew that I had to attempt this!

I knew that he (husband) had to go back and buy the smaller version so that I could paint it for myself. It had never left my mind and now that I saw what was possible for its new personality I had to have it. Bonus. He did get a better price since it had been a couple of months and she was still sitting there.

I knew she didn’t look like much but I liked the fact the she was small and didn’t take up much room. A nice place to drop the mail and write checks for bills. I already had the spot picked out for her in my living room.

She was old and still had her original tag on the back even though it is mostly illegible. But she wasn’t perfect. There was a bad crack on the front where the veneer wanted to peel but that was an easy repair. Since I was painting her, a little patch wouldn’t be noticed. Otherwise she was sound just a very boring shade of brown. She still had a brass key hole and beautiful little handles and knobs that were original on the drawers.

I started by cleaning off the old dirt and wax. Next I applied two coats of Annie Sloan Scandinavian Pink Chalk Paint. The interior was coated with Annie’s Old White.  Chalk paint is very forgiving and has great coverage on a brown piece of furniture.

I thought I had made a mistake. The pink looked far darker and bolder than Jonathan’s. I went back and checked his instructions and found that he had used a wash of another Annie Sloan paint called Versailles. After the quick washing with a very thin Versailles, the color was perfect. A soft medium pink. Not too dark. Not too bright. A simply imperfect vintage look.

Next I did some focal spots with a blend of Olive Green and Versailles. I trimmed out the little mail slots and painted a faux leather pad.

I distressed most of the edges and a few random spots.  I’m not a huge fan of lots of heavy distressing.  I normally try to imagine where a piece might have naturally worn.   I also lightly scuffed the Olive to reveal the Old White underneath. She began to look beautifully used.

Fly specks of a dark brown black mixture where created by using an artist brush and the tip of my finger to lightly flick and splatter the exterior. That process created a depth that didn’t exist before. It might not be everybody’s taste but it added another dimension of interest.

Now on to the thing that I dreaded the most. Jonathon added vines and berries to the interior of his secretary. I was going to skip it because I thought it might be too much for my little lady. Still I thought it would add yet another point of interest so I decided to push through. I drew dots at each end of the vines and free hand painted vines and leaves. The berries are Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk (Red) done with the eraser on the end of a  new pencil. After they were dry I lightly sanded them to age them just a tiny bit.

A full coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax and Dark wax were applied to make the piece more durable and easy to dust. Finger tips coated with Bright Gold Gilding Wax add the final touches.

I must say that I so greatly appreciate that Jonathon encourages people to be inspired by his work. He is quick to answer others who are looking for his advice.  If you have never seen his work, check out his Facebook page.  He is an amazing talent. He has many projects that are unlike anything else I have seen.

Here is the final gallery of Pink is Her Name. Click on an image to enlarge it and view slideshow.

Enjoy. Feel free to comment or ask a question.

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Thanks so much for stopping by.