Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mid-Century Tortoise Shell Secretary

About a month ago I was online scoring ads for upcoming local auctions when I found this secretary. 

I wanted it SO bad and thankfully no one else did.

Awesome possum. 

It came home with ME. 

When I bid on it, I didn't realize it had a leather inlay, so I had grand plans to paint it old Hollywood style with black lacquer and gold details. 

But the leather was too beautiful to paint so I turned to plan B.

Watco Danish Oil in Light Maple. 

It worked it's magic beautifully. 

I'm so glad I didn't paint it. 

The tortoise shell in the wood grain is killer.

The original hardware is some of my favorite I've ever seen.

I spent a lot of time obsessing over some of the scratches and little dings I couldn't refinish with the oil and a stain pen. 

I tried all my tricks and then decided to let the little dings be. 

They add character and who says it has to be perfect to be beautiful.

For more info on this piece, including dimensions and price, click on The Shop tab at the top of the page.

Also, how about these brass candle sticks my mom thrifted for me?!

 I'll show you how to clean up old brass later this week. :)

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  1. Beautiful desk. How weird to see wood as wood (as opposed to painted) out there in bloglandia! Refreshing.

  2. That is beautiful wood! I too try to resist on a "healthy" piece with gorgeous wood. Those little bow ties on the hardware are so stinkin' cute!

  3. I love the wood grain! And the hardware is beautiful! I'm really glad you chose not to paint it. I love that you brought it to life. Good job girl!

  4. You find the best stuff! This one is another beauty Julia! I really need some Danish Oil!

  5. The desk turned out so lovely!

  6. I love it, and I'm so glad you didn't cover up that wood grain! It's gorgeous!

  7. What a find! I can see why you were desparate, and you've weaved your usual magic. LOVE it!

  8. Julia!! This is soooo beautiful!!!! I wish I lived closer and I would buy this desk in a heart beat!

  9. Beautiful piece and gorgeous hardware!

  10. to D.I.E. for! the nicks and scrapes give her a wise and experienced that you kept her in her natural state!

  11. This is beautiful! You really did a great job:)

  12. I have never heard of this product, so glad you showed it! I do come across leather topped things sometimes and I never know what to do with them, other than paint. Love it!

  13. It looks beautiful all oiled up. I can see why you decided not to paint it.

  14. What a beautiful piece! It has great classic lines..Stopping by from Tip Junkie.

  15. That is such an absolute stunning piece!! It looks beautiful on it's own and without even needing to be painted!! I love old pieces like this!

    Stopping by from the blog hop :) Happy to be your newest follower!

    Hope you get a chance to check out my blog :)

    xo, Jersey Girl

  16. Who says it has to be perfect to be beautiful? You said a mouthful there, sister! Thank you for not painting it! I am all for painting damaged furniture but I kinda cringe when I see vintage pieces painted just because. You rock!!!

  17. I just love how you classed this piece up with the Danish Oil! Nicely done! I think you made the right decision not painting this piece...and that is coming from a girl who paints just about everything!

    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  18. Lovely job Julia! Great decision not to paint, it is a beauty!

  19. That desk is gorge. When I first saw the thumbnail I thought you would probably paint it. It would have looked great painted but when I saw the pretty burl effect in the wood, I was pleased you didn't. What a great piece. Really. Good for you for scoring it. I have a wardrobe that I have been debating painting and I probably will still do it but your desk reminds us all of how pretty these pieces can be in their originally intentioned state and with a bit of TLC how beautifully they can be restored. Thanks for sharing this week on BeColorful

  20. I'm definitely a fan of painted furniture, but I'm so glad you left her in all of her original glory. Unlike so many celebs these days, she's aged gracefully! Nice job! Stopping by from Stuff and Nonsense & newly following. Have an awesome holiday weekend!

  21. Dings and scratches lend character. ;-) It's a beautiful piece. Great job!

  22. What a stunning piece Julia! I agree the knicks and dings give it character and I am a fan of imperfection. Love what you did. She is a stately beauty! Thanks for linking up!
    Stacey :o)

  23. Some furniture should never, ever be painted. This is one such piece. Gorgeous!

  24. What a gorgeous piece! The oil worked wonders. Thanks for linking up to STL Wednesday!

  25. wow, this turned out fabulous! Love that you kept the finish intact. thanks for joining in for Vintage Inspiration!

  26. Oh, Julia....this is so lovely. Really, you did an extraordinary job.
    I featured it today!

  27. To be honest with you, some of the redecorating jobs I´ve seen where people paint beautiful wood furniture just makes me sad. I am happy you did´nt paint this gorgeous piece, too! :)

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