Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The Little Secretary Desk

Hi, Friends,
How are you? I hope you are doing well.

Bill and I bought a little secretary desk at auction when we first got married almost 40 years ago. 40 years! Where has the time gone? 
The poor little thing had been refinished by the time we picked it up for $165.00. It would have been darker, originally. It's English, I think. It wasn't a steal of a deal but we were so pleased with our first auction purchase. 
We brought it home to our little rent house. 
It's been moved several times and it's been in almost every room of our different houses. 

I painted it white during my white phase. 

In 2019, we inherited a few pieces of furniture. In 2020, we bought some additional pieces for our new East Texas house. The little secretary didn't make the journey out to our new house. 
I couldn't seem to find the right spot for it. I put it in the shed which is never a good idea.
Our shed is fairly water tight but the temperature and moisture fluctuations had started taking their toll on the little thing. The slides were sticking. The stretchers along the legs were coming unglued. 
Last September, it was slated for a makeover. "Use it or lose it." was my thought. I would find room for it or it would be donated. Bill was a little shocked. Usually, I have more sentimentality but if it doesn't fit in either house, it has to go. 
I stripped the paint last September. 

The sun moved in the sky and it began bleaching in the sun.

 I liked it until the wax finish was applied. The wax darkened the desk only just a smidge but it was enough. It wasn't the look I wanted. It looked old and dowdy. instead of bleached and trendy. The wax, highlighted the remaining traces of white paint. You'd think that would be fine but it was not for me. 

A few weeks ago, I decided to paint it black. 

I know what you are thinking, "She has lost her mind." Believe me, that is what I told myself. 

Applying paint after painstakingly stripping it was madness. 

It's in the little desk nook under the staircase. This spot had a built in desk when we bought the house. 
I took it out about 15 years ago which was one of my better ideas. This is where we had our landline. 
Back in the day, I spent hours sitting here on the phone.

The black desk echos the legs of the breakfast room table. 

Soaking the brass hardware took off the old white paint. 

Stripping the interior of the desk was tedious. It remains unpainted. I'm not doing that again. 

The hinges were replaced before we got the desk. They don't fit and they are wonky but they are part of the story. 

The pulls got a smidge of gold to brighten them up and offer contrast. 

Fresh cut flowers in the summer is such a joy! 

The Hitchcock chair looks so good with the black desk. 

It is love. I'm so pleased. When and if we downsize, this will make the cut. 
I hope this inspires you to give something another chance. It was worth all the effort. 
That is all for now. Have a wonderful day. 

Linking with All About Home. 


  1. I love the little secretary desk. That corner by the stairs is so cute now. Just perfect.

  2. The black is perfect Katie! I really like the cubbies left natural wood. so glad you decided to keep it; it's a really special piece.

  3. I love the black best of all. It really adds a lot to the desk.

  4. Love it! I have a gallon on flat black paint that I've painted many pieces of prized "wood" furniture. And I feel your pain; we spent days stripping a nice oak cabinet of white paint in 1976; used it until 2018; gave to my daughter and she painted it Orange. Her dad was horrified; but I reminded him it was painted when we bought it (people of 60's loved to paint furniture); and it was loved for many years before and after our acquisition. I'm really wanting your life with 2 houses, can't convince my spouse of my plan...

  5. Oh I love it! I am sitting here looking at all the shabby whites from my white phase that I still haven't gotten around to updating. Your makeover has inspired me! I am happy to feature you at tonight's AAH party!