When Shauna first asked me about doing this desk I was extremely excited, I mean the chance to work on an antique executive desk...who wouldn't be excited? I could see so many possibilities in my head. I hadn't seen the desk yet but in my head I was visualizing some sort of Craftsman or Victorian style greatness. When she delivered the desk to me, I loved it immediately. However, two things became quite clear to me: It was Art Deco gorgeousness and it was in a bit of disrepair. I've never before had a project come to me in pieces.
As I got to working on it I had to remove dried mud, spider webs with their inhabitants, and a wasp nest. Once it was clean I began to evaluate how much work actually needed to be done. The drawers were dovetail joints and almost all of them were loose. It was time to take apart, label, and re-glue.
Can I just say this type stuff drives me nuts...don't nail a dovetail please
Unfortunately, the drawer bottoms for the majority of the drawers disintegrated into nothing. So that added cutting new ones to the overall scope of work. So I took all the labeled pieces and went to dad's shop.
I spent over 7 hours in my fathers shop that day alone.
I sanded, glued, cut new bottoms, and clamped every single piece of every drawer. Then I had the desk bases almost completely repaired and assembled. I even had one of the drawer fronts stained as a finish had not been chosen yet.
This piece was missing, so I had to cut a new piece and my father came up with a clever way to install it. It took some chiseling and customizing but I finally got it together.
I had to rough up the new piece a bit...it was too perfectly square. A finish was chosen and I got to work. I new I loved the desk because of the intricate panel work and the carved wood drawer pulls. Those things take a really long time to paint, even for a fast painter. I have literally 35 pictures of all the different steps - I look through them in awe, but I won't bore you guys with all that.
So, after 41 hours of labor (that's right 41!) the desk was finished! This is what Shauna ended up with. I think she loved it ;)
Sweet Shauna is still settling into her new house and has things stacked around the room in these pictures. I promise you her house is incredible and looked fabulous just two days later, but I didn't have my phone with me then!
Couldn't you just swoon for the drawer pulls? This is yet another piece that I am envious of. One day maybe I will have a fabulous desk like this too, le sigh...
I know I know - I need to take better finished photos. But, I'm busy people! Summer has been insane this year. Most of that is due to me taking on too much - that is one thing I am totally consistent with...biting off more than I can chew. But that's how all of us creative people thrive right? Now on to the next project!