you can tell by now, I enjoy reviving vanities/desks. So far, the folks in this area seem to
appreciate my interpretation on these pieces, as they are readily adopted. A few months ago, a woman contacted me asking
me to keep her in mind for a Hepplewhite style vanity. She wanted a dark walnut top and Old White
base. When I found this vanity, I
snapped it up with her in mind.
as they say, the best laid plans…blah, blah, blah.
See that nasty black ring in the finish?
must be some way to remove it. So I did
some reading about bleaching it out. I
followed the steps and here is the bleached top!
LOL! (Although you know I really wasn't laughing much at this stage, right?)
am now on Day 3 of this vanity.
Striping, sanding. bleaching, and now…crying. Ok, RPK, get over yourself and move along to Plan B.
A young woman who loved the softness of the all white adopted her.
As for the other woman who wanted this style vanity with a dark walnut top...well it didn't work out this time for her, but stay tuned!
This was a good reminder that when life gives you lemons, look to make lemonade.
On another note, my father was in the furniture business for most of his
life. Whenever we set a glass down on a
wood table without a coaster, he would kindly remind us to place something
under the glass to avoid a watermark ring.
Now I know why. Once the moisture
penetrates the finish, the black mark is created.
If anyone knows of an effective way to remove those rings, I
am all ears!
For now, if I am looking at a piece to relove, I am totally scouring the top for those nasty, black watermarks!
You’re elegant, supportive, there when you’re needed and
stunningly beautiful. That’s what these
lady’s vanities/desk are to me. They can
be amazingly transformed from dark, scratched and neglected.
This vanity had some interesting history to it. During the mid 20th century, many
high end department stores would special order their merchandise from the
This lovely piece was made
by a manufacturer in Lenoir, North Carolina...the home of many manufacturers
over the past century. It was ordered and delivered to a department
store: WG Swartz, in Norfolk. I grew up in this area and vaguely remember
WG Swartz. It was a high end department store and was eventually
purchased by a local chain of stores called Miller and Rhoades. During WG
Swartz's hay day, they catered to a sophisticated retail customer. They
had a tea room where the ladies would gather together, wearing their hats and
white gloves for an afternoon tea. As a matter of fact, as a very young
girl, I remember going to another department store’s tea room with my grandmother,
and I was all gussied up. Hat and white
Here is the before:
A mix of Provence & Old
White, with a light wash of Old White….
The original hardware was gone, so I added some clear knobs and two
painted pulls on the center drawer.
I also applied an applique to the oval detail. I thought it added bit more detail and character
to the piece. Also, the fluting that
rises up from each leg really stands out because of the Old White wash.
There was some paint leftover and I had a gold oval mirror. Yep…a little aqua wash on the mirror, letting
some of the gold peak through….
And here she is….in all her glory, ready for new histories to be
And it just so happens
that one of my most favorite clients adopted her. An elegant piece for a very elegant
lady. Hi Jennifer!