The Dated (in a bad way) Secretary Desk

Secretary Desk

On Memorial Day our local Goodwill had a 50% sale which meant we had to stop by on our way home from a party. For only $30 I got a pretty good haul which included a mirrored vanity tray, a claw-footed silverplate pitcher, a silverplate butter dish, a little wood sign to re-do in a farmhouse style, a lamp base to spruce up, and a dated secretary desk.

It’s easy to see why this little thing was passed over. There’s nothing special about it. The hardware and light-colored laminate are so grungy but I know I can bring this piece up-to-date. Usually I’m not interested in laminate pieces because they require extra work and don’t hold up over time, but for $14 I couldn’t resist.

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I totally forgot to get a real “before” picture. The original handles were chunky fake brass with a wheat design on them…not my idea of modern or appealing

After giving it a good clean, removing the hardware, filling the holes, drilling for new knobs, and giving it a coat of shellac to help the paint grip the slick laminate, I got to painting. While a navy outside and coral inside would be fun, I decided to go with a more neutral palette. I have some leftover DecoArt Americana Decor “Relic” chalk paint that I used to paint the outside. I was going to paint the inside white but I decided to leave the wood grain for a slightly more masculine look. It’ll be easier for the future owner to care for too.

Just a note so I don’t sound like a hypocrite: I know I’ve mentioned more than once how done I am with DecoArt’s poor quality, but I still have quite a bit of their paints left in my arsenal. I’ll be using them up and buying different brands from now on. 

I just love these new knobs! They’re classic and funky all at the same time. A little paint and new knobs can work wonders. Just like that this dated secretary has a nice refresh! Within an hour of listing it for sale I had a very excited buyer.

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One thought on “The Dated (in a bad way) Secretary Desk

  1. What a world of difference! I like that the inside wasn’t painted, too. Those knobs are very pretty.

    Sent from my iPad

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