Home Project // Secretary Desk Makeover

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Happy Tuesday you guys and say hello to the first week of April! We had a fun weekend full of sunshine, furniture flips, and enjoying a fun grand opening here in Orlando. More on that later! I want to share with you my most recent furniture makeover with my secretary desk. Many months ago I posted about my Top 5 Vintage Secretary Makeovers. That was when my hunt began to find one of my own.

After several weeks of looking I finally found a secretary desk at an amazing price and it still had the key. This also happened to be over 6 months ago. I remember this because I applied my first coat of paint the night before Oliver arrived. Throw in having a baby, adjusting to this new journey of being a stay at home mom and a work from home mom, and balancing life in general, it took a hot minute to finish this piece! Just take a look at what this secretary desk looked like before: 

I hit the ground running with a beautiful mint color for the outside and a crisp white for the inside. Here’s a confession: I re-painted this after not liking my first color! Was it a pain? Yes! Was it worth the 4 coats of paint? Absolutely!

I went with Frosted Jade by Behr for the exterior of the desk. It’s the perfect touch of mint and brings a fresh feel to the living room. It’s seriously dreamy! The great part is that it only took about two coats along with touch ups here and there.

For the inside I went with Linen White by Rust-Oleum. I ended up painting 3 coats of paint to achieve the vibrant white. It was well worth it!

To help protect the paint, I applied a satin polycrylic to both the inside and outside. This secretary desk was a lot of work but I couldn’t be happier with it. Now I just need to find the perfect chair and the cutest accessories for the shelves. I’m also thinking about adding knobs to make it easier to open the doors. 

Would you tackle making over a secretary desk? It adds so much character to a space and makes me want to send snail mail more often! I’d love to answer any questions you have. It’s time to go enjoy this rainy Tuesday with a little treasure hunting. Have a great day! 

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  1. Kayla says:

    Beautiful! I have a secretary in my garage I’m about to tackle. I’ve been putting it off because painting all the nooks and crannies on the inside is giving me anxiety! Any tips to make it easier?? Thanks for sharing!

    • ElizabethRishel says:

      It was a labor of love! Literally! Went to the hospital to have my little one the day after I painted mine. Ha! A piece of furniture I’ll never forget. I used a flat, wide paintbrush. Not a paintbrush for painting walls but for arts and crafts. One about 1 inch wide. This helped me get the inside of the secretary without it being to hard and messy. Work from the inside of the slits/cubbies out. Less mess! Mine was good to go after two coats. I hope this helps!

      • Kayla says:

        Thank you for the tips! Annmnnd you may have just become my hero painting a piece of furniture the day after having a baby lol! 🙂

  2. Julia says:

    Love this. Did you also redo the glass framing? It looks gold in the original but darker in the final.

    • ElizabethRishel says:

      Thank you Julia! Great question. I didn’t redo the glass. It’s a combination of the secretary becoming lighter overall with the paint choice and giving them a good cleaning.

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