Old Secretary Gets a New Chance!

by Cindy
A friend came by one evening with this old secretary in the back of the pick-up. Did I want it?? It was filthy but had no major damage...so of course I wanted it!
This is how she looked when I first saw her. Looks like she passed out in the back of the truck!
She looked a lot better standing up.
This was the major factor in whether or not I kept it. Beautiful and no damage at all.
After a little cleaning, this got really beautiful!!
I used a product that I had heard of but never tried...Restor-a-Finish by Howard. Supposed to restore the finish with no sanding. It did a good job on the top piece as you can see in this 1/2 & 1/2 photo. I tried it on the front of the desk (the piece you see when the desk is closed), hoping that it would hide some scratches but it didn't work there so I had to do some sanding and staining with an Antique Walnut stain.
She really cleaned up nice on the inside. No damage except for a small scuff on the bottom shelf that isn't noticeable. I didn't do anything except clean these places.
The front piece that I sanded came out really well. I can barely see the places that were scratched and husband says no one else would even notice "so let it be". The lock plates cleaned up really well and were put back on. The original drawer pulls were so disgusting and such a sticky mess that I decided to replace them.

Ta-Da...shes' done!! But it's a little dark in there. So.......
I put a fabric covered piece of foam core board in the back of the cabinet. The two shelves hold it in place.
Yeah, I like the lighter background better. And I can take it out or change the fabric whenever the mood strikes me.
I didn't used any products on this piece that I didn't already have except for the Restor-a-Finish and new drawer pulls. Just elbow grease, leftover fabric and leftover stain. And now...Ta-Da she's done.

The big question now is...Do I sell her or do I keep her? Hmmmm....
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  • Michele Michele on Apr 27, 2020

    Hi, I have the bottom portion of this very same desk. I need the left side hinge. Do you know where I can purchase that? Or do you who the manufacturer is?

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