Art Nouveau Secretary Cabinet Makeover

Sarah Trop
by Sarah Trop
Some of my favorite makeover stories, are trash to treasure projects. I hope this one inspires you to keep your eyes out for hidden treasure along the side of the road.
A customer found this secretary cabinet along side the road for free. Holy cow!! Why would anyone chuck this?? I wanted it so badly. Now granted, it needed a lot of work but we can do that. It had no back panel, no front door, and peeling veneer.
It was going in a white hall so I was given creative freedom to design something unique! Boy do I love when that happens!! It needed structural help, too, which made the project much more difficult than we thought. Probably double the time. In the end, I think it paid off?? You tell me.
This was painted with Benjamin Moore’s Dragon’s Breath color. If you’d like to see how we paint furniture, check out our How to Paint Furniture post on
We lightly distressed all of the edges to show some of the wood through the black as well.
For the inside, we used Benjamin Moore Pale Straw. I found the material at Hobby Lobby - it was perfect.

We put new glass in the bookcase door. Call your local glass shop and order a 1/8 inch glass the size of the framed in section. The glass door makes the shelves look like a pretty display case and will keep out the dust. Form and function all wrapped up together!
The moral of this story?? If you find something like this… please don’t throw it away. Give it to me or let me make it beautiful for your home!!
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