Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Painted Secretary

It is finished! 
Last week I wrote about how a visit to my blog reader prompted an inspiration for me to finally paint my Craigslist Secretary desk.

We had a very rainy week here in Central Texas and my husband was out of town for most of it. So, that gave me plenty of time while the kids were occupied to get to work painting.

Remember how it started?
The day my hubby left for a 4 day retreat/conference/wedding {three separate things...not a wedding at a retreat! ;) } I asked him to get everything all ready for me to paint.  I wanted to do it inside so I'd be near the kids and keeping tabs on them so he moved it into the entry way for me and disassembled everything.  Good man, Good man.

I had to prime it before painting and our primer is oil-based.  I can't stand oil-based paint.  Not because it stinks - but because I am MESSY with painting and messy with Oil-based means a lovely bath in Paint Thinner when I am ready to clean up.  So, it's not LITERALLY a bath...but really, I can get paint EVERYWHERE on my body.  It's ridiculous.  In an effort to protect my skin I covered up EVERYwhere.  Don't believe me...
And yes, that is a basketball hoop on our front door.  Somehow my boys {old and young} decided to move it here and it gets more use here than it ever did in our son's room so... it stays {for now}. Last night it provided entertainment for our college kids after dinner - competition can be found in anything!

After priming everything I let it sit overnight.

We removed the inner workings of the desk for two reasons. One: I didn't want to hand paint all those nooks, crannies & crevices. Two: I wanted it to be another color.  More on that later...

The front of the drop down desk had a ugly lovely to someone wharf scene. I'm sure someone paid a lot extra to have that etched into the wood.  But this girl wasn't a fan.  So, we used wood filler for the deep etchings and then sanded it somewhat smooth.
I was amazed that after just the primer coat how you really couldn't see the etching anymore. And after two coats of color you would never know it existed.

I bought a chair from TJMaxx that had a bit of sass with the zebra print, but still blends so well with my color scheme that's working in this room right now.  I loved the detail on the legs.
I love looking online to see if I can find where the chair originally came from.  I never found an exact match but I did find very similar chairs at some of the big name home decor places.

We also took the glass out of the doors to paint.  I wanted to remove the "panes" look that was on the front of the doors and to do that we needed to pop the glass out and then the wooden panes just pried right out of the inside of the doors. {It wasn't attached directly to the glass}

We ended up getting a new piece of glass cut & mounted inside the door after we cracked one side trying to secure it.  It only cost us about $15 and it's more professionally secure than what we were trying to do! :)

 I went to Lowe's and picked up new drawer hardware.  I settled on these because they were literally the only in-stock pulls that were the same size as the old ones.  Thankfully, I also liked the look of them.

I'm so happy with how it turned out! It's come a long way since my dad brought it to me from Houston after I spotted it on Craigslist.  I think I paid around $125 for it.  

And here it is today!

Where I happily have a new home to blog from!

And for the details:
Paint color is the same as our kids bathrom redo: Valspar Mountain Smoke
The interior part of the desk is spray painted with Rustoleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover in Ivory {Gloss}
Drawer hardware is from Lowe's
Original hardware was spray painted with Rustoleum Hammered in Dark Bronze

Linked Here:
Fine Craft Guild
Someday Crafts
Southern Lovely


  1. Wonderful. Love the clear glass without the framing. I think I have the same paint outfit!

    1. Thanks Lori! Glad to know I'm not the only gal whose painting attire is like that! haha

  2. I love the final product!! You did a great job and the color looks really good!!

  3. Lindsay !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is a TERRIFIC job you did. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing it at our party http://www.FineCraftGuild.com I love it.

    1. Thanks Rose! I am really loving it too! :) So glad I finally did it! Wish I hadn't waited 2 years!! haha

  4. I'm about to start re-finishing my secretary, and I was searching for ideas when I came across yours. SUCH a beautiful job. Really really stunning. I'm also glad to know that I'm not the only one who refinishes in yucky paint splattered sweats! :) I'm adding you to my blog list!!

  5. Thanks to your painting skills! That thing looks good as new. The chair looks perfect for the desk too with all those grey stripes.

  6. Oh honey! Your work looks as sweet as the dew on my honey-suckle!

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  9. I love this piece! So much so that I've been hunting for a secretary desk to emulate your beautiful creation and this weekend I found the exact piece at a flea market for $85.00! I've been working on it this entire weekend and almost done. Thank you for the pictures and the paint colors and names. It's nice to see this information posted. So many times color paints are never posted. Your secretary desk looks great! Can't wait to finish mine!

  10. I have an old secretary desk that we just brought down from our attic to refinish. I knew that I was going to check out Pinterest for ideas; so glad I did! I love your new look and can't wait to get started refinishing mine! One question, what finish did you use for the Valspar Mt. Smoke paint? Thanks in advance!

  11. I know this post is a few years old, but- HOW did you get the inside of the desk out? That whole thing with the slots? I have a similar secretary desk and I cannot figure out how to get it out to paint it a different color without taking apart the whole desk!


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