refurbished furniture,  restored,  vintage secretary

Vintage Secretary Given a Second Chance

This old, stained piece of furniture had good bones but years of living with a smoker and a decade stored in a cellar took its toll on this piece. Despite my initial keenness to work on this project, within days into the refurbishment process, I seriously questioned my sanity. The layers of grime and the reek of smoke were difficult to remove. And the carved wood features (which gave it an added charm) refused to give up the original stain. Nevertheless, I try to work with a piece and not against it, and this piece kept speaking to me along the way. As is often the case, I needed to stay flexible and open to its story and quiet revelations.

After, the initial clean, I pulled it apart and dealt with each piece individually. All the hardware pieces were cleaned and in some cases repainted, the old drawer knobs exchanged for shell pulls, old screws replaced, and shellack liberally used to help negate the lingering odours. Repainting was a dream using a Fusion mineral paint called Bayberry. Despite the fact that it is a 3 in 1 paint, I still used wax (by Lignocolor) to add that little extra sheen and protection. Inside the hutch, I used Lignocolor’s Old Green and a gorgeous wallpaper I purchased through Amazon from WallArena. The wooden drawers and hutch lid were treated with a hard wax oil made by Oli Natura. Following a recommendation, I tried Wise Owl Furniture Salve (scent Midsummer Rain) on the inside of the drawers. A wonderful addition.

There is a moment when everything comes together and the vision I had in my head was finally available to see. And it is everything I hoped it would be. I love this piece. The wood tones, cool calm green exterior and the gorgeous wallpapered interior. It’s probably my favourite piece to date. What a great start to 2022.

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