Old Secretary Desk - Furniture Flip

9 Materials
2 Hours

Being off work over these past months, I really needed to find something to occupy my time. I'm an avid DIYer with a fair amount of tools and paints on hand, so I thought maybe I could try doing furniture flips to keep me busy and hopefully make a few bucks in the process. I found a cute little wood secretary desk online for only $25 (including delivery!) and I thought this would be a good piece to start with.


The first thing I did was remove the knobs and give it a light sanding with my orbital sander. 

Light sanding

The applique had a little piece missing on the left side and my first thought was to create a mold and fix it, but I’m pretty sure it would have actually been backwards, due to the shape. So instead I simply pried off the one on the opposite side. I used a little putty knife and tapped it with a hammer and the piece popped off very easily. Then I sanded the remaining glue with a sanding block.

I had a little mirror in my garage that I’ve had forever and decided to paint this to match the cabinet.

I cleaned everything with TSP degreaser and it was ready for paint!


I painted everything with a light blue, two coats.  

Base coat

Then I mixed 1 tbsp of the same blue with 2 tbsp of white to create a lighter shade of the original blue.  

Mixing a lighter shade of blue

I dry brushed this onto the cabinet. For anyone who may not be familiar, dry brushing is when you barely use any paint on the brush and lightly brush over the piece so it doesn’t get full coverage.

Dry brushed with light blue

Then I dry brushed again with a light grey. I used the same brush and didn’t wash it between colours.  

Dry brushed with grey

My final colour was white - I dry brushed this on as well. To ensure it blended nicely and didn’t look too streaky I lightly misted water on any spots where the edges needed to be softened to blend better.

I spray painted the knobs flat white.

Painted knobs

The inside of the cabinet was in good shape so I left it original.

Original wood inside

The final step was to protect the paint with wipe on poly. This is easy to use – simply apply it with a damp cloth.

And this is how it looked once it was all dry. I think it has a nice soft look to it and has a little depth to give it some visual interest.  

The moment of truth: I posted it for sale online...and it sold within 48 hours! I spent $25 on the cabinet and used supplies I had on hand (roughly $10 worth of paint was used) and sold it for $100. So I didn’t make a lot, but a few dollars is better than no dollars. LOL  I definitely won't make a career out of flipping furniture, but if I find great deals online I'd be willing to try it again. :)

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