Sweet friends, I am so excited about today’s vintage secretary makeover! Before I get right to it, today is also Furniture Fixer Upper day where my friends are also sharing trashy furniture makeovers, so be sure to look for links to their projects at the bottom.
I describe this piece in its before state as ugly, but with beautiful lines:
Am I right?
I do love anything French provincial, but when I first spied this secretary at the thrift store, it was marked at $49. It had some issues and I didn’t feel it was worth the trouble for that price, so I left it behind. Luckily, when I returned a week later, it was marked down to $34.95 and I decided to go for it.
It had a few areas that were water damaged:
Clearly, this piece is not solid wood.
It also had this crack across the front piece:
It ended up being intact, but that maybe someone had put extra weight on the desk at one point that caused that to happen. These problem areas are what made me pass on it on the first trip.
But I came up with a plan to work with those issues!
I started this makeover with a good cleaning:
I used to just reach for the jar of wipes to clean my pieces pre-COVID, but they aren’t so easy to come by these days. I have been using White Lightning and it works so well. I just mix one TBSP of White Lightning with a half a gallon of hot water and then go to town. Look at all the dirt that came off of this piece…
It was pretty gross! I swapped out my water for clean water to rinse, and this secretary was ready for paint.
I gave it three coats of Cotton:
It’s amazing how paint erases that dated look so easily!
Now for the fun part! I found this decoupage paper on Etsy a few weeks ago when I was searching for transfers:
It is a bit thicker and larger than traditional tissue paper, so it is perfect for adding a special touch to any furniture piece.
WHILE IT WAS STILL WET, I carefully positioned the paper where I wanted it and smoothed it in place:
You could also use Mod Podge if you have that on hand.
I used a razor blade to cut off the excess, and then smoothed out any wrinkles as best I could with this scraper:
Don’t worry about any wrinkles that remain after smoothing the best you can as they will practically disappear as the paper dries.
Then I sealed with Clear Coat in Satin:
I sanded and sealed the rest of the secretary as well. You can see more on how I paint furniture, including a video at the end HERE.
New hardware and this sweet piece was complete!
Such a charming piece now, right?
I am so thrilled with how this one turned out!
The decoupage paper camouflaged those troubled areas perfectly!
And what I love about this decoupage paper is that it gives the look and ease of transfers without the hefty price tag! These were only around $6 each. I used two sheets for this piece.
The inside had a couple of blemishes…
(Wow, it really was ugly before, wasn’t it?)
I decided on sleek Caviar for the inside:
I had to replace all the hardware because the original hardware was actually glued in place and not all of it was able to be removed unharmed.
These cup pulls came from Homegoods last year:
And the top drawer is my favorite pull from Hobby Lobby:
To line the drawers, I looked through my fabric stash and found this fun buffalo check that I actually found at the thrift store:
You can see how I line drawers with fabric in this video:
If you have trouble viewing, find it on YouTube HERE.
And that is my trash-to treasure for this month!
It’s not trash anymore!
Don’t go anywhere just yet!
My friends have more furniture makeovers for you today! Visit their projects at the links below!
1. Two Color Furniture Makeover– Petticoat JUNKtion
2. Paint Stripes Dresser– Girl in the Garage
3. Antiquing with Glaze– Salvaged Inspirations
If you’re looking for even MORE Furniture Fixer Upper Flips, you can see all of mine in one place HERE! They go all the way back to 2017!
And if you enjoyed this secretary, you might also enjoy this secretary desk I redid last year:
I’m so excited to cross another project off the list!
If you missed any so far, you can catch up at the links below:
I’ll be back on Tuesday with a round of smalls:
UPDATE: See Painting the Smalls #10 HERE now!
Have a fantastic weekend!
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