The Secretary Desk, unveiled at last.


Here’s how she started out, but just look at her now!

Here she is at last and looking so pretty! I’m extremely happy with the result.65 After I got this piece, my first thought was to just go over the original finish, which you can see in the previous post. But then I was inspired by these white lovelies!

You can read the saga of this piece here and how I learned a lesson I will never forget! Don’t leave your projects outside even if you think they’re protected from the elements.

In the above picture, lower right side, there is still some rippling of the veneer, but it’s not rippled veneer, it’s  character! Sort of like wrinkles.
Shopping at home to find accessories for the shelves was fun. All this STUFF I already had.
These red beauties are some of the last blooms from our double knock out rose. 
The interior back is painted the same color as the living room walls, Whole Wheat by Sherwin Williams. The dining room wall color is similar to Antique White which is on the same color strip. The desk sits between the living and dining rooms.
I was considering painting the interior back red, but I think I like it like this. I may some day cover it with scrap book paper or change the color. But for now it stays like this.

The original drawer pulls were wooden and I replaced them with these I found  in my stash. They were taken from an old dresser and I think they look better than the wooden ones.

To finish up, I gave the whole desk a good coat of Butcher’s wax. I used this before after seeing it on Martha Stewart. It protects the wood and gives some depth to the finish but it smells, so if you use it, open the windows!

Project complete….it only took 8 or 9 months. The chair is my next project… long will that take……

I’m participating in Met Monday at Between Naps on the porch. 

 AND while you’re over there be sure to check out the daily giveaways this week. 

The Knockoff Knockout party at It’s So Very Cheri.

Thrifty Decor Chick,Before and After Party

Progress Report Monday at Addicted to Decor

D I Y day at A Soft Place to Land


2nd time around at A picture is Worth 1,000 Words


  1. laurie @ bargain hunting says:

    I'm having "comment troubles". Hope this doesn't show up twice. That is absolutely gorgeous! Your hard work really paid off. Now I want to paint something white. You've also accessorized it beautifully. laurie

  2. Love the Decor! says:

    I love the decorating in the black and white theme. It turned out so nice!!

  3. Its spectacular wow !!!
    Good job!!!

  4. Leigh of Bloggeritaville says:

    It is gorgeous! I love it white! And I also love the interior paint!
    Be sure to read my friday post" parties, peg pincushions…." I know you will relate.

  5. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    It turned out beautifully, Debra! You did a great job! I love your accessories for it and the detail on the glass doors.

  6. Alison Gibbs says:

    What a great makeover. It looks sensational
    Rippled veneer definitely adds character – just as you said wrinkles do to faces!!LOL

  7. It's beautiful. Worth the wait.

  8. Hi Mom. I absolutely love this. It looks great. I also see a pic of me and Tay. Lol!This would make a great house warming gift! :)

  9. What a great secretary!

    Beautiful! Love the chair!

  10. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says:

    Debra!! It's beautiful, now I want to paint something else white. You did a great job, it looks fabulous, wrinkles and all. So glad you saved it & didn't give up. Love, love it!

  11. Just gorgeous! Love how you accesorized it! Great job!

  12. Oh I am in love! It turned out just beautiful and the little place on your wall looks like it was made for the secretary. Perfect.

  13. Its So Very Cheri says:

    Debra–it came out gorgeous even if there are ripples. I love the contrast of the plates–those are gorgeous too.

    Thanks for posting this. Now you need to make a coordinating tassel to go on it.


  14. Sandy aka Doris the Great says:

    What a fantastic makeover. I wish I had a piece like that to redo; and a room to do it in; and that I didn't work so I had the time to do it. Ahhhh! I must live vicariously through the lives of other bloggers!

    PS — Don't paint the back. The scrapbooking paper is a much better idea.

  15. Wow! I have been keeping up with this process and the finished product is Fabulous!!! You did a great job and yes, I think "she" has earned her character lines :) Love the way you have accessorized and replaced the pulls!

  16. Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe says:

    Fabulous! Fabulous!
    The black and white shnick-shnacks really make it work!

  17. You must smile every time you walk by that piece. It is gorgeous and you should be so proud that you got it done despite bumps in the road. It has such beautiful curvy lines and I love the drop pulls. Kudos on a great job!

  18. The Decorated House says:

    Hi Debra~
    What a beautiful creation you accomplished!

    (If you decide you would like to change out the back, just cut some foam core board to size and paint it red or wallpaper or whatever.
    Red would be fun for the holidays.
    I did get very tired of red when I had it in the back of my bookcases. But you might not tire of like I did.)

    Another wonderful makeover!

  19. Michelle@Sweet Something says:

    It looks wonderful! I'm so glad you didn't scrap it after the element damage! It looks made for that spot! great job and I love how you accesorized it too!

  20. Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating says:

    That is AMAZING!! I just saw the "before", and I never would have guessed that it could have turned out so nice. But WOW! I'm continually amazed at the drastic difference a coat of white paint makes on a piece of furniture. It really looks like something you paid a small fortune for.

    Thanks for linking to my Progress Report Monday!

  21. It looks amazing! I love the black and white plates you have in it and the chair just makes it pop!

  22. Beautiful job and wonderful black and white accessories. The glimpse of your living room was not enough! Please show us some pictures of that room.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Just came here from your link on Addicted 2 Decorating. Love your blog and this piece of furniture is beautiful! You did a great job. Glad I found your link. I'll be checking back.

  24. Janis@White Alder [Home] says:

    I LOVE it!!! It looks soooo good, great job!!!

  25. Lou Cinda says:

    STUNNING! Absolutely Stunning! I have a piece very similar to this and I keep saying I want to paint it and my girlfriend keeps saying NO!

    What does she know anyway? Right? This piece is so beautiful!

    Lou Cinda :)

  26. Gary and Elizabeth~ says:

    Wow! Just perfectly lovely and a labor of love..
    Every time you go pass your desk you should smile and say to yourself, "I did that" and it looks "Beautiful".
    Enjoy your day and keep creating,

  27. Anonymous says:


    This was worth the wait…it is stunning….I love all the accessories and it's as if that spot where you placed it was made for it !!!

    What does hubby think now ??? lol

    Kathy :)

  28. You did an AMAZING job!! I love the new drawer pulls too. I gave up a piece like this and now I wish I had kept it!

  29. Gina Sisco says:

    Gorgeous piece with all of your accessories!!

  30. wow wow wow! it's looks awesome! amazing and beautiful! great job :)

  31. Debra~Looks outstanding…great job you did here!
    I just looove the black and white look you have with all the little goodies…hope you have a great day!


  32. What a lovely piece! It add so much to your space! I'll have to read back to see the before! Thanks for sharing…. Dee Dee

  33. Love this! It turned out so pretty…I don't think you need to add anything to the back. Looks great with all of your accessories. The chair looks good, too, even though you want to redo it.
    Great piece!


  34. Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking says:

    What a beautiful piece and what a beautiful job you did!

  35. It is gorgeous–wrinkles and all. Just like all of us!! It looks like it was made for that space.

  36. Kim @ Starshine Chic says:

    It turned out fabulous!!! You did a terrific job. You should be proud! Love the knobs. And I wouldn't paint the inside, I'd leave as is and use scrapbook paper instead if you want a change of color. That way you can change it out with the seasons or whenever you get a whim.

  37. The desk is beautifully refinished and the black and white diplay is so chic!

  38. Wow, is that gorgeous or what!

  39. Oh, this secretary turned our more than gorgeous! I love it! I really like how you've dressed it. Your black and white objects really make your piece pop! I know you're proud of it.
    Be a sweetie,
    shelia :)

  40. Tammy of Yarborough House says:

    It is beautiful and even though it took so long- it goes to say- beauty comes to those who wait and that is gorgeous.


  41. ~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ says:

    Beautiful Showpiece! You did a great job. I'm a sucker for white furniture.

  42. Marti @ The Next Fifty Years says:

    I think it turned out great! Did you use a canned spray paint on it or something else?

  43. Debra, you did a beautiful job…it's gorgeous!

  44. Simply beautiful. I love all the pretty accessories you added too.

  45. Three words




  46. Angie @ Free Rein says:

    Gorgeous look. You are right on to leave the interior white. It's perfect.

  47. It is so gorgeous! All I can say is "Wow!"
    Hugs, Susan

  48. Cynthia @An Accomplished Woman says:

    What a gorgeous piece… who would have thought from your previous posts. I have one here, that I have been thinking about painting.

  49. tales from an oc cottage says:


    m ^..^

  50. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I have been on the hunt for a piece to redo just like this! Great job!

  51. That desk is to die for! It's so beautiful!!! And you've done such a lovely job decorating it… just gorgeous!

  52. WOW! I just love it! I'm so glad you had the perfect place for it, too!

  53. Diane@A Picture is Worth.... says:

    I'm so impressed with the results, and your patience!

    I just read your posts about this project, and have to say that you are one creative, talented, and determined lady!

    Love your sense of style and your taste!

    Thanks so much for linking to 2nd Time Around!!

  54. Hi sweet friend! Life is gradually getting back to "normal" for me so I'm hoping to be able to visit everyone more often.

    You go girl! Great job. It really looks wonderful.


  55. Diann @ The Thrifty Groove says:

    Wow! that looks absolutely beautiful! Wonderful redo!

  56. Laurel @ Ducks in a Row says:

    It looks amazing – I love the honesty of it taking so long. Many times, in the blog world, it seems that others do it so fast.

  57. Katherine @ Grass Stains says:

    It looks WONDERFUL! I had seen a couple of your inspiration photos elsewhere online, and I thought it looked like a lot of work but would be totally worth it. I'm so glad you tried it! It helps that you certainly have a gift for styling, too. Your accessories are GORGEOUS!

  58. Pat@Back Porch Musings says:

    I'm late getting here, Debra! I absolutely love the makeover and the way you've photographed it. Now, even though we have two secretaries, I will be looking here and there for another one.


  59. It looks fantastic!

  60. Nancy @ Live love laugh says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! What a treasure!

  61. sara@augustfields says:

    i. love. it. you did a wonderful job on this! :)

  62. Oh my…this is just gorgeous! I LOVE IT! It looks so fresh and clean…you gave it new life ~ a fantastic new life!

  63. Anna Lindsey Sailer O'Reilly says:

    It's gorgeous!

  64. I was clueless about blogging in 2009 so this is new to me but I'm drooling over this piece!!
    So beautiful, gorgeous, fabulous – I want it!!!

  65. Beautiful job. I love it–even better than the inspiration pieces!

  66. I love this secretary desk! I've been wanting one for awhile (although hubby already has a huge desk he can't part with), since they are so space saving (and hide all the papers). I have a teapot/teacup collection that would look great in it just like yours !!

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