Cedar Chests and More

Tia Marie Has a Secretary

Painting and glazing highly carved wood antique secretary desk – see the step-by-step transformation.

Tia Marie is the owner of an outstanding carved and highly detailed secretary desk in search of a makeover. It is especially fun to post progress of commissioned work in real time to enable the owner to view progress and share with friends.

The Plan

Tia Marie and I both adore Sherwin Williams colors. The names they give colors combine words that have nothing to do with color. The one selected for this project is Accessible Beige. Um OK. It is a cool color, slightly lighter than what the end piece will end up.

A Case for Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige 7036 | A Lovely Living

Next comes an application of black antiquing glaze over top of the paint to highlight these carved details . It’s a brush on wipe off technique that gives depth and dimension.

Final embellishment is gold gilding wax over the peacock. Do you even see the peacock on the front panel in the before picture? I’ll sweat bullets applying the gold. One wrong move and the project is toast.

Prime and Paint – That’s the Easy Part

Ready or not, here it comes . . . .except this is what I call a ‘brush burner’ project. It takes swirling clockwise and counterclockwise to get into the carvings. It’s a slower process for sure. Loading up the brush with too much paint is risking drips and runs. There are none. I passed that test.

Glaze Effects

Want to see a transformation into something dramatic? Just glaze it. BUT FIRST, before any glaze is applied the freshly painted surface must be prepped to take glaze. Glaze is a brush on wipe off technique so, there is nothing is worse than brushing on glaze and not being able to wipe it off, which is what happens without a barrier application of topcoat.

There’s a double the risk for runs and drips. Topcoat is thinner plus it foams up with too much brush movement. A chip brush is smaller width and bristle wise. It allows me to get into the carvings without the need to swirl so much. Yeah it was tedious but on a cold winter day with nothing on the calendar, it’s a perfect slow-me-down project.

I am trying something different this time. Instead of the flat sheen top coat I have on-hand (always) I tried semi-gloss (which I never have on-hand). My hunch is it would provide more slippery surface and longer workable period for manipulating glaze. So, me and my golden-doodle Dash took a walk to the neighborhood ACE about 1.5 miles from home. It was good to get out of the house.

Yeah, I’m happy with the process and results. Careful application of semi-gloss topcoat with the chip brush was helpful. General Finishes Pitch Black glaze acts like a stain and takes a good rubbing to wipe it off for the desired effect.

How to Highlight the Peacock on the Front Door?

Tia wants the Peacock highlighted the carved Peacock. Checkout the progression of first adding gold gilding wax (Rub N Buff). It’s nice but not very dramatic. After careful consideration blue guilding wax is added in search of some wow factor. I think we found the wow. It’s a conservative wow, very tasteful.

Makeover Complete

Though the base coat is Accessible Beige, it looks white in it’s home environment. Lighting is everything!

1 thought on “Tia Marie Has a Secretary

  1. I’m so excited, I can’t hardly stand it! It’s so neat to see the secretary desk in a blog! So cool! I have no doubts it’s going to turn out perfect! Thank you, Kelly.

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