Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Nautical Aubusson Blue Desk

Do you ever see an old piece of furniture and it’s almost like you can hear it whisper to you what it wants to be?  That’s what happened with this desk.  I found it in an out-building of a local shop, hiding under a lot of other items and a nice coating of dirt.  The masculine weight of the wood was complemented by the feminine lines of the curved side panels – almost like a beautiful flagship – so I knew I wanted to do something nautical on this piece.

Here’s the before, buried in a virtual tomb of oddities…

photo (15)

And here’s the after: the Admiral!

aubosson blue desk

I would have loved a stained wood top on this, but the elements had taken their toll on the wood over time.  It was dry and cracked and in no shape to be showcased.  So, I brought out the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Aubusson Blue.  This is a beautiful deep grey blue color – not quite navy and not quite royal blue, but rather a nice mix of the two.


I did my usual ASCP painting routine, with one good coat of paint, straight from the can, followed by a second, watered-down coat that leaves a nice, smooth finish.  The technique works every time for me – if you’re interested in a detailed how-to, let me know and maybe I’ll whip up my first instructional video!

Because it’s not nautical until there are stripes, I added a blue stripe to the drawers, painted in ASCP in Old White.  The original brass hardware was a perfect complement, like little portholes…


Then I distressed this piece, sanding along edges and in larger areas on the side.  I’m typically a light distresser, but I made myself be brave and distress a little more than I usually do because I wanted a well-worn look to this desk.  I was also more liberal with the AS Dark Wax, applying with a cloth rather than a brush, which I felt gave me a lot more control over the color of the wax and more uniform coverage.

aubosson blue desk 1

I’m so happy with the way this desk turned out – exactly like I envisioned the day I found it!

aubusson blue desk 2

I will be selling this piece, as I’m trying to save enough money to purchase a sleeper sofa for my office area (and finally have a completed room after nearly two years in this house!).  If you’re local to the central Texas area and are interested, email me…

In the meantime, I think I’ll be breaking it in as my new place to blog!

Linking up with these fabulous parties:

Wow Us Wednesdays

Power of Paint Party

Restored It Wednesday

Piece of Work Wednesday

Show Me Extraordinary

Transformation Thursday

Friday Flair

Weekend Wrapup

Show and Tell Saturday


  1. That is absolutely amazing! You should do the video, I need to try the Annie Sloan Paint, and I could use some directions.


  2. Love the striped drawers!! FABULOUS Makeover!!


  4. The stripes are perfect! I've been wanting to do a nautical piece lately and this is great inspiration!

  5. the stripes are just the perfect touch! love the shape of this, too!

  6. Love this piece! What a great find... You did an amazing job - the color choice is perfect and I think you did just the right amount of distressing! I just bought my first cans of ASCP and now every piece of furniture I see feels like a piece waiting to be transformed - pretty exciting! I would love it if you did a video tutorial!!

  7. OMG!!!! The piece is AMAZING!! Love the color and LOVE the white accent. It looks FABULOUS!

    Now, I hope you are planning on sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!! Please!!

  8. This is very nice!! You did a great job and love the detail!

  9. Another fantastic finish! The color is gorgeous. PLEASE do a tutorial!! I'd love to know what brushes you use. Thanks!

  10. This looks great! Love the blue. Visiting from Positively Splendid's party!

  11. love that blue, what a wonderful transformation.


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