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Flow Blue Spinet Desk - Jennifer Baker Creative

Spinet desk in flow blue milk paint

I’ve got a thing for Spinet Desks. I think they’re fascinating pieces. They’re a true example of form, function and believe it or not, recycling! Work has finished on my latest Spinet Desk, and it’s looking absolutely incredible.

Full length shot of flow blue spinet desk in miss mustard seed's artissimo and flow blue milk paint sealed with antiquing wax and hemp oil

what is a spinet desk?

Let’s start with the basics. A spinet is a type of small piano (40 inches tall or less) similar to a harpsichord. In the late 1800’s, this type of musical instrument was no longer used or desired, so the musical components were gutted and re-outfitted to serve as writing desks.

In the 1920’s through the 1940’s, lots of Spinet Desks were made in Michigan, usually out of mahogany, walnut or maple.

My Spinet Desk is mahogany and was made by the Wilhelm Furniture Company in Sturgis, Michigan. The original label has been damaged, but you can still make out a good portion of the words.

Label, Wilhelm Furniture Company Sturgis, Michigan

flow blue layered over artissimo milk paint

When it came time to paint this piece, I replicated a look that I’ve come to love – Flow Blue layered over Artissimo Milk Paint by Miss Mustard Seed. If you’ve been reading my blog for a little bit, you’ll recognize this combination on pieces like my empire dresser.

empire dresser, miss mustard seeds milk paint, flow blue, artissimo, antiquing wax, hemp oil

If you’d like to read about how to achieve this look exactly, you can read my blog post series here.

I only painted the outside of my desk.

Corner shot of flow blue spinet desk, layers of artissimo and flow blue, hemp oil, antiquing wax, miss mustard seed's milk paint

Layering a darker blue under a more vibrant one creates depth and movement in the finish.

And in true Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint fashion, it distressed beautifully and in an authentically aged manner.

Lock on flow blue spinet desk, artissimo, hemp oil, antiquing wax

the interior

The inside of my Spinet Desk got a healthy sanding to remove the tired and worn finish. I simply hydrated it with Hemp Oil, allowing the natural color and luster of the wood to shine through.

Spinet desk in flow blue and artissimo milk paint by miss mustard seed sealed in hemp oil by eight hundred furniture

There’s actually a decent amount of storage in this little space. Between the cubbies, the sweet little drawer and a super slender drawer underneath, Spinet Desks provide a functional place to work on a laptop, pay bills, or do Bible study in the morning.

Inside of spinet desk sealed with hemp oil by miss mustard seed's milk paint

There’s plenty of room to snug a chair under the desk and sit comfortably.

Spinet desk in flow blue and artissimo milk paint by miss mustard seed sealed in hemp oil with reupholstered chair in antique mattress ticking by eight hundred furniture

And the main writing surface pulls forward, giving you more space if needed.

Inside of spinet desk sealed with hemp oil by miss mustard seed's milk paint
Spinet desk, flow blue milk paint, artissimo, miss mustard seed's milk paint, hemp oil, antiquing wax, antiquing wax, arm r seal

So what do you think? Can you picture yourself happily seated here with a nearby window open and the birds chirping outside?

Aerial shot of spinet desk painted in Flow Blue and Artissimo by Miss Mustard Seed's Milk paint

refinished legs with gel stain and arm-r-seal

The slender legs on this piece needed to stand out. They were too pretty to cover with paint. To refinish them, I turned to General Finishes Gel Stain in the color Antique Walnut.

To begin, I cleaned the legs with a 50/50 mix of Denatured Alcohol and water, and gently sanded them with 400 grit sandpaper. Then, I applied the Antique Walnut Gel Stain with a Jen Poly Brush, wiping away the excess with a lint-free cloth.

To seal the legs, I used a product that I haven’t tried before – oil based Arm-R-Seal.

Arm-R-Seal is made with the highest-quality urethane resin, making it extremely durable and long-lasting. It’s ideal to use on high traffic pieces like kitchen table tops and desk tops. The oil-based finish is formulated to be wiped on with a cloth or applied with a foam brush. It penetrates deeply into the wood, providing deep-down protection for a lovely natural look.

I’ve been intimidated to try it because you have to stir it constantly and not use too much friction when you wipe away the excess. I made sure to read all of the instructions both on the physical can and on General Finishes product page. And then, I just went for it! Turns out, it’s not as bad as I thought.

Refinished legs on flow blue desk, miss mustard seed's milk paint, arm r seal, antique walnut gel stain
Spinet desk in flow blue and artissimo milk paint by miss mustard seed sealed in hemp oil by eight hundred furniture

a multifunctional piece

This Spinet Desk serves multiple functions. You can store it open with the back plate up for displaying your favorite items.

Spinet desk in flow blue and artissimo milk paint by miss mustard seed sealed in hemp oil by eight hundred furniture

Or, if you’d rather keep everything put away, the top folds down completely, giving you a flat surface.

Full length shot of flow blue spinet desk in miss mustard seed's artissimo and flow blue milk paint sealed with antiquing wax and hemp oil

However you wish to use them, Spinet Desks are super cool. They are the result of recycling an otherwise obsolete piece of furniture. They’re multi-functional. They are expandable. They pack a punch in a small modest footprint.

Behold, the mighty Spinet Desk!

Spinet desk in flow blue and artissimo milk paint by miss mustard seed sealed in hemp oil with reupholstered chair in antique mattress ticking by eight hundred furniture

Welcome to my happy place!
I'm Jenn Baker - Milk Paint lover, photographer, blogger, and QVC Guest Host. Click below to learn more about me and my creative business.  LEARN MORE ABOUT JENN

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