If you follow Atta Girl Says on Facebook, you may have seen my plea for help on deciding how to paint this adorable child’s desk set I recently picked up a a friend’s yard sale.
Before, after getting a good rinsing in my driveway:
Frankly, I loved all the suggestions you offered on Facebook — lime green, decoupaged all over with maps; sky blue with a map decoupaged on the top; yellow and powder blue with lavender accents; lavender with some gray; and lavender and mint.
Wow, you ladies aren’t afraid of color, and I just love that. My own initial inclination was to go red and blue or red and white with the piece, but I didn’t end up going in that direction.
I was a little limited in my paint selection. No lime green on hand, unfortunately, because that would have popped! And believe it or not, I discovered that I didn’t have any mint or pale aqua paint — a situation I need to remedy, ASAP, as that’s a go-to-color for me. I loved the Mod Podge ideas, but since I planned to sell this desk, I wanted to at least attempt to make it unisex, and I thought the map approach would be too masculine. That meant pink was out, too.
While this desk set has some curves, I think it could be used for a boy or a girl. This would be a perfect set to have in the kitchen or in the den. It would make a perfect spot for schoolwork or coloring while the adults are busy in the kitchen.
So, how did I paint this sweet, sweet set?
I kinda took a friend’s suggestion of lavender and gray. I mixed up some Smoky Mountain Gray and Memphis Blue chalk paint from CeCe Caldwell’s Paints to create a pale, dusky gray. The desk and chair got a first coat of that. Then, I highlighted the chair back and desk apron with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Violet, a Frenchy blue lavender. The mirror got two coats of Old Violet. And I did a second coat of my blue/gray mix on the rest of the chair and desk.
The end result was pretty — maybe a little more feminine than I intended. And I felt like this special set, so unique in its own right, needed a little something special.
So…I taped off a square panel on the desk top and painted it with black chalkboard paint. Now, the desk has a built-in writing surface. Mom can’t say, “Don’t write on the furniture.” Because on this piece, it’s not only allowed, but encouraged.
I have to apologize for the quality of these photos. I literally shot this in a tight corner in my house, in quite a rush. I didn’t want to make any new holes in the wall, so I took down a photo and hunt the mirror there and wedged the desk underneath it. Ideally, I think the mirror should be hung lower.
Here’s a closeup of the desktop.
And here’s another shot of the desk and chair. You can see the Old Violet accents on the chair, the table apron and the back board. Again, my apologies for my not well lit and not well styled photos. I’m going to be paying close attention during the photography session at the upcoming Southern Bloggers Conference, which Atta Girl Says is helping to organize.
FYI, this item is for sale in the Atta Girl Says retail space at Golden Antiques & Treasures in Summerfield, N.C. I’m in Booth #8.