Before and After: Secretary's Desk

For those who don't know me well, I love crafting.  And refurnishing furniture.  And reading craft blogs.  However, I am basically a big copy-cat, I look at what other people do and then recreate something similar.  Brett is very creative.  His first major was industrial design, so he can draw very well and is a great problem solver. 

After we got engaged, I was determined for us to have a somewhat furnished home once we were married, but on a very tight budget (which has been a success!  We do have furniture).  So I frequented the Goodwills around town on the 50% off Saturdays.  I scored some good things!  My most favorite was this secretary's desk.  I got it for $6!

I first saw it in the store, and loved it.  But I was with my mom, and I thought she might think I was crazy.  But then she noticed it and thought it had potential.  It was really scratched up and had gunk all over it, but it had such a cute shape and was the perfect size for a small home! So I bought it!  I immediately knew what I wanted to do with it.  I loved the shape, but I felt like the little door covered up some of it's beauty, and I couldn't have the door open all the time.  So, I took the door off of the hinges, wiped off, sanded down, painted, distressed, and glazed.  Brett helped me a lot on this, we had good times laughing on the back porch doing this project. 

One night we were working on it and I was frustrated at how it was looking.  Brett turned to me and said "Tia, it looks like it came right out of Pottery Barn".  Does he know how to make me happy or what?!  I think it looking from Pottery Barn was a stretch, but I am very pleased with how it turned out.  It is one of my favorite pieces in my house. 

Remember how I took the door off?  Well, I couldn't just let it go to waste.  And since chalk-boarding things is all the rage right now, I decided to add a little chalkboard paint and cork to hang on the wall above the desk.  Here are the results!

I use it as a desk/hutch in my kitchen.  It is great keeping pens and tape close and handy near the calendar.  As well as those big beautiful white serving dishes I received for my wedding but do not use very often.  I love that I can use it as storage and decor all at once!  Plus it gives me room for a small lamp and a place for my cookbooks and clean kitchen towels.

It was a great investment at $6, plus the supplies were minimal.  I bought a quart of off-white paint and a quart of glaze, and a sample of brown paint (to tint the glaze).  I have a ton of the paint and glaze left, so they will be used on many more projects. 

Just one of a few refurnishing projects from Goodwill.  Stay tuned for some shutters, a nightstand, and wreaths!


  1. oh my gosh! i love it!!! so creative and cute! you should post pictures of the rest of your house. :)

  2. Love, love, love this...a girl after my own heart! I swear you're a younger version of Martha Stewart!

  3. you are amazing Tia! That seriously looks incredible! :) Clint and I are working on refinishing a coffee table right now!