THIS THRIFT STORE SECRETARY DESK GETS A GORGEOUS NEW LOOK USING SILK ALL-IN-ONE MINERAL PAINT, A LACE TRANSFER, AND WOODUBEND APPLIQUES!
Hi creative friends! Today I’m sharing how I flipped this Thrift Store Secretary’s Desk into a gorgeous Hampton Olive beauty! This vintage secretary desk was selling for $19.99 which is a steal of a deal. As you’ll see there were a few issues but nothing a little paint couldn’t fix!
Here’s the before. A really old and gorgeous well-built piece that needed a little TLC.
What do you think? I’m loving this monochrome vintage vibe!
And check out these details!
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Thrift Secretary Desk – SALVAGED
Husky Paint Sprayer
Sandpaper | Shop Towels | Auto Sponge
Titebond Wood Glue
White Lightning Cleaner
Hampton Olive Silk Paint
Lace Furniture Transfer
WoodUbend Keyhole Cover (similar)
Pale Gold Patina
PAINTED SECRETARY DESK
This little desk was a joy to work on. I can so see this nestled in a little nook in someone’s bedroom!
Here’s the step-by-step on how to get this look.
STEP 1 – CLEAN
I started by giving this piece a super good cleaning with this White Lightning Cleaner. The fastest and simplest way I know how to do this is to use two spray bottles and a large auto sponge. I always have one bottle mixed with TSP+Water or my White Lightning (TSP substitute) and my second bottle filled with clean clear water. I spray the entire piece with the cleaning solution. Wipe it down with my auto sponge. These sponges are time savers! They are large and absorbent and cut down on my cleaning time. I pick them up from a dollar store or you can also find them online here. Then I spray with clean water and repeat the wipedown process until my sponge is 100% clean. Usually takes 2x. I realize not everyone has a designated workspace where they don’t have to worry about wet dirty floors and if that’s the case, doing this outdoors or laying a plastic sheet on your floor work to protect it.
STEP 2 – REPAIR AND SAND
To repair this piece I unscrewed all the hardware that someone had drilled in from the outside.
Then to fill in all the holes I used Bondo. If you’ve never tried Bondo for repairs, I have a few Bondo Tutorials here and here. The benefit of using Bondo for these types of repairs is it dries hard and durable and it’s SUPER FAST. You can have it filled, sanded, and start painting all within 15-20 minutes!
STEP 3 – PAINT
I thought I’d prime and paint all in one step using this ‘Hampton Olive’ Silk All In One Mineral Paint. I picked Hampton Olive because it’s such a stately gorgeous vintage green.
I decided to use my paint gun and spray the finish because if you’ve ever tried painting the inside of these secretary desks with all the cubby holes, it’s not fun and takes forever. To get a nice finish using a brush can be time-consuming and often frustrating if you’re impatient like me..hehe… so I find spraying much easier.
Here’s what it looked like after the first coat was sprayed. You can still see the bleedthrough and the blotchiness from the Bondo repairs. The stain blocker in Silk All-In-One Mineral Paint is really good. Just make sure you do a coat, wait 4+ hours and now that is your stain-blocking coat. Then do the 2nd coat, and wait overnight and then do the last coat. If you don’t have any bleed through, often two coats are plenty. Of course, no topcoat is required because it’s also built-in!
STEP 4 – WOODUBEND
Before painting, I added some vintage hardware and covered the naked keyhole on the drawer with this WoodUbend Keyhole applique. These little keyhole molds are only a couple of dollars and have saved the day numerous times! I always keep some on hand in my inventory.
After I sprayed two coats, I thought the outside needed a little extra something. I tried a few of my WoodUbend Molds but nothing in the center was doing it for me BUT…
…I did like the idea of having a little detail on each corner! I took this round medallion mold and cut it into quarters. These WoodUbend Appliques are super versatile. Just heat them up with a blowdryer or heat gun and you can easily bend them or cut them. I have a full post including a video tutorial here.
Here’s what it looked like when it was glued on and before being painted. You may notice in the pic below there’s a little scratch on the left side. (The blotch is my camera lens.) I scratched the fresh paint with one of the corners of the applique. For this reason, applying WoodUbend after a piece is painted is not ideal. I much rather have them on before I start painting but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it this way. It’s just a little extra work and you have to be careful.
Once the corner appliques dried, I gave the edges a light sanding so there were no sharp corners.
STEP 5 – LACE TRANSFER
To customize this piece even more, I added the NEW Belle’s and Whistles Lace Transfer from Dixie Belle. Their new transfers are gorgeous and this LACE didn’t disappoint! I started by adding it to the inside of the drawer but loved it so much, I decided to add it on the inside of the desk as well! If you’ve never tried furniture transfers, I have a full furniture transfer tutorial here.
STEP 6 – ADDING GOLD HIGHLIGHTS
The last step was highlighting my hardware and appliques. I used this Posh Chalk Patina in Pale Gold which was the perfect ‘vintage gold’ to tie everything together without being too bold or brash. A tiny amount of this product goes a loooong way and it’s easy to apply. I added a little to my fingertip and rubbed it on the high spots of the appliques and hardware.
And here’s the finished look all pulled together…
What do you think of this new Lace transfer?
PAINTED SECRETARY DESK VIDEO
Here’s the step-by-step on Youtube. If you have any problems viewing below, feel free to watch it on my Youtube Channel here… and don’t forget to subscribe! 🙂
Here’s another look at the before and after.
I hope this piece has inspired you to try some of these techniques and flip a piece of your own!
I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU. 🙂
Happy furniture painting my friends!
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