It's going to need a fair bit of TLC.... starting with a really good clean. I've hoovered all the surface dust and cobwebs *shudder* and am currently getting to know it and working out a plan of attack for the upcycling.
Then, on Sunday morning, a lovely lady came and bought every single one of my 500+ collection of doll's house and minatures magazines from the past 30 years.
They had all been stored on top of the big display unit, so having cleared the top, I advertised the unit on FB Marketplace and someone is coming this afternoon to look at it, with another three people interested., so I'm hopeful it will go today. *fingers crossed*
So, this morning I've cleared out all the boxes and stacked them on the worktop at the far end of the workroom.....
|Blimey.... looks a lot more of them when they're stacked like this!|
...leaving the display unit empty
If the unit goes this afternoon, that will be the point of no return *gulp*
Back to the bureau bookcase, and a wonderful stroke of serendipity....
There are four drawers in the base, in three different sizes. The top drawer is quite shallow, so I'll use that for bits and bobs, as yet unspecified.
The second drawer is deeper and will hold exactly three of my A4 storage boxes with lids. Perfect!
The bottom two drawers are even deeper, and will hold six of these boxes, making a total of 15.
So far so good.
The bookcase section at the top has three adjustable shelves, and will fit 3 of my A5 storage boxes across the width. I've had a play around with various permutations and I can fit 41 A5 boxes in the top. I only have 31 of those, but if I use box bases and lids separately in the cupboard, I'll have enough to fill it completely.
Then the latest bit of serendipity..... my larger stripey storage boxes fit perfectly, two abreast on top of the bookcase section.
Of course I'll need to completely re-organise all of the A4 and A5 boxes to consolidate the contents, but that's a task I have to undertake no matter what happens.
So.... plan of attack..... sell the display unit and use the liberated space to start work on the bookcase bureau. First step will be to clean it thoroughly with sugar soap/wood cleaner....
I've a lot on this week, right through till next Monday so I won't have much time to work on it, aside from cleaning it section by section.
Extensive googling has revealed that painting over mahogany is fraught with issues, because pink stains tend to bleed through almost all paints. So I've decided to seal it with a shellac-based primer, which will act as a stain block and provide a good surface for the subsequent coats of chalk paint. It should also give good coverage so hopefully I won't need repeated coats of paint to cover the dark wood.
I'm in two minds about the drawer handles.... they're not very nice and would need several coats of metal paint, which I'm keen to avoid, so I'm looking for 8 shabby chic drawer handles and 4 small knobs.
I know that the glazed doors will be an absolute pain to paint. From bitter experience, masking tape is unlikely to be 100% successful, especially as the glazing bars pattern is quite complicated, with lots of odd angles. So I'm going to smear the glass with a thin film of Vaseline, then scrape off the paint afterwards with a blade scraper. I've watched several video tutorials using different techniques and it does seem the quickest and easiest with the best finish. Obviously I'll have to try a test sample first.
Inside the desk it's a bit of a mess....
The inset leather writing surface is beyond salvaging, so I'll remove it and fill in the gap with some thin plywood and paint over the whole of the inside.
Every inch of space has to perform, so I'm going to make bespoke storage boxes for those little cubby holes, to hold sewing tools and equipment, glue etc. I'm also thinking about installing a strip of LED lights along the top, hiding the wiring behind the front panel. I definitely need an electric double socket which will have to go in one of the side cubbies.... perhaps fixed onto the back panel or inside the top if possible. Need to do more googling on that one.
I've ordered a gorgeous vintage botanical paper, which will go on the front of the drawers and line the inside of the glazed cabinet doors. Still considering using foamboard inside the doors so that I can pin small lightweight tools etc.
I'm sure that the design will be organic, changing and adapting as I go along, but I'm wildly optimistic that when complete it will have the WOW factor.
Let's hope my enthusiasm and optimism don't suffer too many setbacks.....