DIY Secretary Makeover With Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint & Glaze


This Pennsylvania House secretary had seen better days. The stain was faded and the front had been scratched up. I decided to bring it back to life with Annie Sloan's Napoleonic Blue chalk paint, Rust-Oleum's Java Brown Glaze, and HGTV Home Bespoke Blossoms Gemstone fabric.
A.S. Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint & Java Glaze
A.S. Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint & Java Glaze
1. I prepped the secretary inside and out. I sanded, vacuumed, degreased, and wiped down with a tack cloth.
Before
Before
2. It took 3 coats of Napoleonic Blue to cover the secretary. When I had finished, I knew the color was too bright and I would need to use glaze to make it a deeper blue. You can also use a dark antiquing wax to get the same effect; however, I had glaze on hand so that's what I went with.
Napoleonic Blue (L), Napoleonic Blue/Glaze (R
Napoleonic Blue (L), Napoleonic Blue/Glaze (R
3. I applied Rust-Oleum Java Brown Glaze with a paint brush and then wiped it off with cheese cloth. This is a time consuming process so set plenty of time aside for this step. It took about 3 hours to do the entire piece. Make sure you follow the directions on the can for adequate drying time. This is a product and step that you can't rush. For Rust-Oleum, it said to give at least 8 hours for drying. I set up a small electric heater and it was dry by the end of the 8 hours. The following day, I did the inside of the desk and left it to dry overnight without a heater running and it was still tacky 12 hours later--so out came the heater again to speed up the drying process.
Inside of cabinet was going to be too dark
Inside of cabinet was going to be too dark
4. While I was waiting on the glaze to dry, I decided the inside of the cabinet needed some dressing up and I was going to use fabric to give it that wow factor. So I headed off to Joann's to search for the perfect fabric.
HGTV Home Bespoke Blossoms Gemstone Fabric
HGTV Home Bespoke Blossoms Gemstone Fabric
5. After the glaze had dried, I sealed the secretary with Miss Lillian's Lack Luster Top Coat. This is a VERY fast drying product so you need to work quickly when applying it.
diy secretary makeover with napoleonic blue chalk paint glaze, chalk paint, decoupage, painted furniture
6. I cut the fabric to fit the secretary and then used Krylon Spray Adhesive to adhere it onto the backboard of the secretary. The adhesive should be sprayed onto the wood and NOT the fabric. I worked in small sections, smoothing the material out with my hands. I would start in the center and quickly work my way out to the sides.
diy secretary makeover with napoleonic blue chalk paint glaze, chalk paint, decoupage, painted furniture
For more details see my blog post at
At Home With The Ellingtons

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Faith
    on Dec 21, 2015

    Was additional crown molding added at the top?

    • Faith
      on Dec 23, 2015

      @At Home With The Ellingtons Thanks Lisa. Great job.

  • Edie Goodspeed
    on Dec 22, 2015

    Thank you for posting this! I never used chalk paint because the thought of using the wax did not appeal to me, as well as the flat finish. Did the glaze tend to soak into the paint, making it hard to wipe off? Your end result is simply beautiful!! I will have to experiment to see my results...you have my mind now working overtime LOL

  • Anne
    on Jun 23, 2018

    So beautiful~ Do you wipe the glaze of right away?

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