Do you ever find yourself fascinated with something and you don’t know why? Yeah, I’m like that too. haha. For today’s purpose, I am confessing my addiction to a particular style of furniture – secretaries. One piece of furniture I believe every home should have is a multi-purpose feature like this vintage secretary desk.
Why, you ask? Well, I realize that we are primarily in the digital age where our bills are paid electronically and we lack the paper trail we used to have in days gone by. However, who can deny the functionality of the cubbies, the fold-down desk, and all the drawers below to stash away things that may not have a permanent place.
Besides, it’s still useful for your laptop or tablet to tuck away and keep you organized. Or…better yet…pen a special letter to someone to make their day.
This particular desk is a sweet size because it can fit most anywhere. However, I wanted to give it an updated look and feel. It has a few issues: missing veneer, gouges, and wear here and there. Overall, it’s stout and well-built to last the test of time. Also, it has the original manufacturer stamp by Jasper Cabinet Co. Plus, it has all the original hardware which is a bonus. Don’t you just love this Chippendale style?
First, I make any necessary repairs, like filling holes with wood filler and giving it light sanding with my sander. Once that is done, I use a vinegar/water mixture to wipe it down and remove any residue. While cleaning it up, I found a bit of dough in a secret compartment.
I reached out to the original owner offering to send it to them. Her response was,” Oh my word. Merry Christmas! Thanks for your honestly. May God multiply it for you.” How sweet!
I persisted to offer to send it back, but she also insisted I keep it. Funny thing is that right after I found it I also found this…
Oh how true it is. I had fun tucking the money back in and letting each of my children see if they could find it. They had a blast! In all honesty, what a blessing that God uses people to help us in our need.
As soon as my kids gave the clear that there were no more treasures to be found, I began to continue my makeover. Next, I apply one of my favorite colors to the exterior. It’s the same color as I use in my home called Slate Green by Glidden.
Then, once the exterior is curing, I began the interior. For this I wanted to freshen it up with a soft antique white. However, because this vintage secretary desk is what it is, I knew those cubbies wouldn’t be fun to work on, but doable with the right tools.
At first, I thought I could just paint, but then found that at some point someone must have splattered ink all over because it instantly bled through my first coat. That being the case, I use my stain blocker as the second coat and then added the final third coat. Same stuff I used to block out smoke on this vintage entertainment center.
Last, but not least, I wanted to add a bit of depth and dimension to this ol’ gal. I loved the painted look as-is, but wanted it to have a story. So, I add a brown wax shading to the various points.
After the love and care given to this vintage secretary desk, it’s time to see the reveal.
I’m so please with the outcome. If you notice, I didn’t do anything to the beautiful hardware outside of cleaning it up a bit. The brass suits the the style and look I was after.
Now for a peek at the inside…
And, for fun I had to stage with one of my favorite books – an antique etiquette book. It’s open to a chapter about breakfasts, luncheon and teas.
Notice the line just after the invitation sample. Isn’t that fun? I seriously love pouring over this book. Dare I say we could stand to reinstate some of these in our forlorn society?
Is this inspiring to you? I hope so. My goal is to help you to consider taking those dated pieces that you may already own. Likewise, even update your home with found pieces with your own story written on them.
If you’d like to purchase this vintage secretary desk, you can find it, the silverplate pitcher, and so much more available in my online shop.
Additionally, pin and share my vintage secretary makeover to inspire others. They may have furniture that just needs a refreshing.
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