Friday, July 29, 2011

"S" is for Secretary

A secretary makeover.

Another Freecycle find, love folks who want to give me their furniture!

You can bet this piece wasn't this pretty before.

Here it is:

Brown, a little beat up, but otherwise solid wood and in good shape.

You can see once upon a time there was a top piece, would've loved to have that!

And after some elbow grease:

Definitely worth the time and effort.

Here's how I did it:

1. Remove hardware and sand with 120 grit:

2. Prime.
3. Paint two coats off white satin finish.
4. Distress 220 grit by hand.

5. For the interior cubbies up top I used two coats BM Harbor Haze matte, one coat satin poly.

6. The knobs are from Target, $4 per knob.
Three kids in tow and I wasn't about to make a special stop at Anthropologie for some 'cool' knobs.

These will do.

PS - They're acrylic, not glass, but you wouldn't know by looking.

6. For the drop down hardware I simply used steel wool to clean it.

Nail the pieces onto scrap wood through the screw holes and using the steel wool scrub, keep scrubbing.

Hardware before:

Lots of years of wear on there:

And after, the steel wool 'sands' off all the gunk:

Total cost for makeover: $32 and lots of sanding!

I lined the little drawers up top with a toile fabric:

One last side by side:

Thanks Jen for your great piece, it has found a perfect spot in our home.

I'm linking up to:

Whatcha Got Weekend @ Lolly Jane
SAS @ Funky Junk, Lovely Crafty Weekend @ Lovely Crafty Home
Weekend Wrap Up @ Tatertots & Jello, Sundae Scoop @ I Heart Naptime
Sister Sunday @ Sisters of the Wild West
Sunday Showcase Party @ Under the Table & Dreaming
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative, DIY Project Parade @ The DIY Showoff
Made by You Mondays @ Skip to My Lou
Making the World Cuter @ Making the World Cuter
Nifty Thrifty @ Coastal Charm
Tuesday Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Tutorials & Tips Tuesday @ Home Stories A to Z
Before & After Party @ Thrifty Decor Chic
Good Life @ A Beach Cottage
POWW @ Primitive & Proper
Delightfully Inspiring @ Delightful Order
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Creek Cottage
Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple
Share Awesomeness Thur @ The 36th Avenue
All Things Furniture @ Perfectly Imperfect
Flaunt it Friday @ Chic on a Shoestring
Tickled Pink @ 504 Main
Remodelaholics Anonymous @ Remodelaholic
Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
SAS @ Just a Girl


  1. the makeover turned out beautiful. love the color in the cubbies and the knobs look terrific!

  2. I just love what you did with this! It's so pretty now!

  3. Wow! Your secratary make over is more then fabulous! The colors are lovely, don't know how you managed to do such a great job painting inside those little cubbies, I sure couldn't! I am in love with your signs, they are better then the ones in the stores or magazines! Amazing job! Found you at good life wed. Am your newest follower and would love for you to visit me,

  4. Love the everything about this!! The knobs and the aqua back is lovely! So pretty. Also impressed that you sanded, I rarely sand anything!

  5. It's fabulous even without the top! I love how you painted the cubbies aqua. Thanks for the steel wool tip~it's amazing what some scrubbing can do!

  6. jaime... love this! it is so pretty! i absolutely love the scalloped apron- t is so cottagey and sweet! and the colors are so pretty and soft!

  7. I'm so jealous. I could never find something that cool on freecycle. I think it turned out great! So pretty.


  8. Oh, my goodness! This turned out so beautifully! I love the color you chose and the contrast on the insides! ;)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  9. Love it, want one just like it!

  10. Holy Smokes! That looks so good! I really like the knobs and your decor!

  11. You did an amazing job! I love the fold down desks. I re-did a desk and did a pop of blue on the inside as well. It's always fun to add bright touches like that! I hope you can join my link party going on now!

  12. You have done an amazing job! That desk look so gorgeous now! All that hard work was really worth it! X

  13. Very nice. You really gave it a fresh look.

  14. You did a wonderful job and those knobs are so dainty and fit perfectly!

  15. What a beautiful piece of furniture! It looks great, I love all the little touches like the lined drawers. Really makes it special.

  16. So cute! I love the colors you chose for this piece!

  17. S is for Sensational!

    I love these colors together.

    gertie @

  18. You have got to be thrilled with how this turned out! Beautiful job. I love the color inside of the cubbies, it really makes the whole piece special.

  19. Wow! It's gorgeous. What a fabulous trash to treasure transformation. I love the colors you used and the knobs are perfect. I think I need this desk!!

  20. Great job on the makeover! She's now beautiful! Visiting from NTT!!

  21. It's just beautiful! I love how you painted the cubies in the aqua blue! How clever!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  22. It is stunning! Love the knobs and you're right, you would never know they aren't glass. You did an awesome job. I'm your newest follower!

  23. What a great happy I stopped by!

  24. I never ever find anything this gorgeous. Lucky you and you did an amazing job with her. Beautiful transformation and great tutorial too! :)


  25. That is one gorgeous piece of furniture. I love vintage secretaries, and the fact that it was free makes it even more perfect. Great job. Take Care, Carrie

  26. You did a fantastic job! I love the cubbies the most. I'm sure it was a lot of work, but super fun!


  27. really beautiful piece of furniture, I think the knobs look perfect!

  28. Thanks so much for your post on this! It's beautiful!! I have an old beater Larkin desk I've been wanting to paint, but have put off doing it becuz of the cubbie section. Now that I see how you did yours, I am gonna start working on it today! Along with the other 5 paint projects I have started.. lol


  29. You did a fabulous job! I love furniture makeovers!

    I would love if you linked up with Blog Stalking Thursday!

  30. This is beautiful, I love the interior color of the cubby's. Thanks so much for sharing.

  31. Jaime this is awesome!! I absolutely love it! It looks so good with the surprise teal on the inside!!

  32. weird, where did my comment go?
    I was saying that we have a drab, brown secretary I have been procrastinating over. Seeing how lovely yours turned out is very motivational.

  33. You did a great job! It looks awesome.

  34. Great job! I love the color in the cubbies!

  35. Great job... love the interior color! Stopping by from TT&J

  36. I absolutely love secretary desks and this one turned out so great!!! Great job!!! You are awesome!

  37. Totally loving this charmer!! How sweet in its new paint and styling! Thanks for linking up to FNF :)