Stately Secretary Makeover

13 Materials
8 Hours

This petite secretary needed a refresh. It had lost its luster and looked ready for a fun update.

We started by removing all the hardware and cleaning the piece with Dixie Belle White Lightning. We removed the back board and slide in drawers too for an easier reach.
After rinsing and drying we lightly sanded the entire piece with 220 and used a lower grit (100) for the legs to remove the old finish and worked back to 220 for a smooth prep finish. We removed all sanding dust with a tack cloth. We then taped off the areas that we did not want paint on such as the drawers and legs. Next it was time to prime.
We used coverstain to prime in the spray can, lightly sanding between two coats with 220 grit.
Remember those drawers I mentioned not wanting to get paint on? These rolls of painters plastic with painters tape are a huge help. They make it so easy and eliminates the need to go searching for newspaper or craft paper. After priming and removing all the dust with a tack cloth we sprayed our Country Chic paint in Dune Grass with our holiday gift to ourselves, a professional paint sprayer. There are many to choose from on the market that can get the job done, but we used a Fuji Semi-Pro. We sprayed two coats on all sides, lightly sanding between each coat with 500 grit and making sure to remove any dust in between. We lightly distressed the edges for a coastal look making sure the undercoat of white and the original wood color poked through. After finishing all coats, we used Country Chic Tough Coat in Satin to seal (except for the areas where we decided to add a fun accent - and the front two legs we taped up before - more below). Again, two coats, lightly sanding in between each one and removing dust.
We cleaned, lightly sanded, primed and sprayed all the hardware in an oil rubbed bronze by Rustoleum, finished with their top coat spray and changed out the two drawer pulls for something more modern. These card catalog pulls by D. Lawless Hardware worked out perfectly.
We decided on adding a floral accent to the back panel and pull down shelf for a little extra fun detail. We used the decoupage method for the floral accent by painting the area in a light pink called Tea Rose by Dixie Belle, adding a layer of Mod Podge, laying out the paper making sure it was smooth, added another layer of mod podge, smoothing out any bubbles and after letting it dry, sealed again with the top coat and lightly sanded to smooth out the finish.
This video file cannot be played.(Error Code: 102630)
For the front two legs we used Country Chic Paint's Antiquing Wax which is a beautiful dark wax to bring out the natural grain of the wood, removing any excess with a shop towel.
Peek a boo surprises are always fun!
And here it is complete. Thank you for following along!
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
14 Cool Ways To Upholster Chairs That You Can DIY
23 DIY Wall Clocks That'll Transform Your Whole Room
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
20 Easy Concrete Projects You Absolutely CAN Do!
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space

To see more: //

Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Lee Berardi
    2 days ago

    Love the idea thank you!I know you put the link for the shelf paper that you modge podge but I pulled up the link and I couldn't find that exact one. I'm looking for that exact one can you send me the link? Thank you so much

    • Hi Lee, Hometalk takes care of the links, yay makes it a lot easier for me, but I see they listed floral paper but for this one I used floral napkins. Here is the package information. It is by Punch Studio, the design is Floral Bunches

Join the conversation

2 of 69 comments
Your comment...