Amazing friends, welcome back! I’ve pulled out the cutest stenciled secretary desk to share with y’all today while I work on a brand new furniture flip for Thursday!
I spied this secretary at the Salvation Army Thrift Store for $34:
Except when I saw it at the store, it had these tucked inside:
Anyone missing their unmentionables?
There was a guy sitting in a chair right near where this was sitting when I snapped this photo. He said I should probably remove them before taking my photo. I didn’t tell him that I was specifically trying to take a photo of them ha ha!
To transform this pretty lady, I started with a good cleaning.
My go-to prep cleaner is White Lightning. I just add a TBSP to a tub of warm water and give it a good stir…
I use the terrycloth applicator pads to wipe my projects down and then swap out the water for clean water and give them one more good wipe down to rinse any residue.
Once this piece was clean, I used wood filler to fill in some imperfections and then sanded those areas smooth.
I decided to spray paint the organizer inside with Rustoleum black spray paint since those tiny cubbies would be too hard to reach with a brush:
I did this before I painted the rest of the desk and it worked perfectly!
Everything else was painted in Dixie Belle’s Caviar:
Caviar is a perfect, true black with excellent coverage. I gave it two coats to be sure I got everything covered well.
Adding a Stencil
For the front of the secretary, I dug through my stencils and came across a box with four stencils in it that I had ordered but had forgotten all about! Yay!
This stencil was a perfect fit:
You can find it HERE. I bought the large size. (They have a ton of great stencils!) This is clearly made to be a sign, but there’s no reason why you can’t use it on furniture too, right?
It took three coats for full coverage. Craft paint works better than chalk paint since it washes off the stencil much more easily. I just rinse it in the sink and lay it tacky side up on a paper towel to dry. You can remove the sticky spray on the back with mineral spirits if you like, but I rarely do.
And here it is after removing the stencil:
The spray adhesive really helps give it those nice crisp lines. That and the fact that it’s a brand new stencil helps also. I usually fill in the breaks in the stencil, but this time I chose only to fill in the breaks in the bottom row using a liner brush.
When it was completely dry, I sanded the entire piece to smooth it all out, including across the stenciled graphic, with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around an old foam sanding sponge. I also hit up the edges here and there to distress it a bit.
It looked like this:
Terrible! But not to worry! I removed any loose dust with my shop vac and gave it a final wipe down with a clean soft cloth.
You can see it takes care of the chalky look right away:
If you are unhappy with the first coat of sealer, keep going. The second coat will even everything right out.
With darker pieces, you can also add a drop of paint to your sealer to prevent the ‘ghosting’ effect you can sometimes get with dark pieces when you run your finger across the surface.
The drawer got a pretty new fabric liner:
Check out how I line my drawers with fabric in the video below:
If you have trouble viewing, find it on YouTube HERE.
I actually found this gorgeous Waverly fabric at Walmart when I was supposed to be grocery shopping!
The sides got a little surprise with the addition of this furniture transfer in black and white gingham:
The addition of the gingham transfer to the drawer sides meant that I needed to paint them white first. I actually used BOSS in white. The rest was painted in Caviar:
The drawer also got brand new glass knobs:
I found these a while back at HomeGoods.
Here is the inside once again before:
I gave the fronts of those little drawers the transfer treatment as well!
This transfer set comes with two sheets of the gingham and and two sheets of the check with the red in it. You just burnish it onto the surface with the stick provided.
You could easily use fabric, napkins, or regular paper applied with matte Mod Podge here instead.
The insides of the drawer got the same floral fabric as the larger drawer…
How cute are those little drawers now??
I added a little white foam dot to either side to prevent the painted surfaces from sticking when the front was closed:
I really enjoyed working on this one!
My sweet MIL ended up buying it from my shop the day after I dropped it off.
I get to visit it any time I like lol!
Can you tell I had fun with this makeover??
I love secretary desks! If you enjoyed this one, you might like this one too:
See how I worked some magic on this one HERE!
I’ll be back on Thursday with my Furniture Fixer Upper girls and this spindle bed:
I hope to see you there too!
UPDATE: This bed makeover turned out too cute! Go see it right HERE!!
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