Antique Secretary Desk anyone?! We all know the saying right?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder— and lucky for me I’m the most recent beholder of this very unique Antique Secretary Desk!
And YES— I painted it! And YES— If I do say so myself, it turned out beautifully!
Perhaps you’ll agree! Perhaps you won’t! Either way, we are each our own individual beholder of beauty! 😉

Before & After

Antique Secretary Desk

There are some pieces that one needs to pounce on when one sees. This Antique Secretary Desk was of no exception! I’ve only come across a few secretary’s to-date, and this one was most unique! Typically they have 3 shelves, and 4 drawers; and quite often they are in two pieces. This is the first in this style that I’ve come across, and although I stewed what colour(s) to paint it in for several weeks, there was no question that I was going to paint it!

Painted Antique Secretary Desk
Painted Antique Secretary Desk
Painted Antique Secretary Cabinet
Antique Secretary Cabinet
Selectively Salvaged and Loved by me


A most unique Antique Secretary Desk transformed in a timeless shade of blue that coordinates ever-so-perfectly with neutral tones. A colour that oozes depth and intention and shines wonderfully when paired with antique brass decor! A versatile antique that will undoubtedly add a charming touch of modern farmhouse feel to your home, cottage, or even storefront! 3 options for shelving placement, plenty of drawer storage, and if preferred— chicken wire can be replaced with new glass for the door fronts.

Modern Farmhouse Furniture

Secretary Desk Transformation

Below you’ll find all of the photos I took after completing my Antique Secretary Desk transformation. On-screen colours are merely a digital representation, and will vary from screen to screen (device to device). Depending on your screen/device, the colour(s) seen here on my website may seem slightly different in person.

My Step-by-Step Transformation

  • Removed original hardware— with delight that it was all intact
  • Removed glass panes from doors — ever so carefully, for ease of product application
  • Disassembled drop-desk and cubby — for ease of product application
  • Lightly sanded down entire piece— to remove flaking finish, and to prepare for product application
  • Vacuumed and washed— necessary preparation for proper product application
  • Applied 2 coats of Zinsser B-I-N Shellac to interior— to prevent highly anticipated bleed through
  • Applied 2 coats of Fusion Mineral Paint in the colour Chestler to the entire exterior and cubby— a complicated blue green that is boasting with depth and intention; this shade will make you stop and dive into its abyss of colour; brush application
  • Applied 2 coats of Fusion Mineral Paint in the colour Chateau to the interior— a grounding neutral inspired by enchanting castle walls; this shade reflects light beautifully and creates an instant feeling of cozy sophistication; brush application
  • Wet and dry distress sanded select areas— for a farmhouse distressed finish; 80 grit sand paper
  • Wet sanded all areas— for a smooth and buttery finish; 220 grit sand paper
  • Applied 1 coat of Fusion Stain & Finishing Oil (SFO) in the colour Natural ~ a wood conditioner, stain and top coat all in one; applicator pad
  • Was washing glass panes for reinstallation— and CRASH…. Nooooooooo!
  • Sized, cut, antique brass sprayed and installed chicken wire on door fronts— and hey, I actually like this better than the glass!
  • Decoupaged drawer sides with Re-Design with Prima’s Patina Flourish decoupage tissue paper— A pattern that I feel was an absolute perfect match for this furniture flip; sponge application w/ water-based poly
  • Polished original hardware with my go-to Brasso Metal Cleaner— quickly and gently removes tarnish from a range of surfaces, including brass, copper, chrome, stainless steel and pewter
  • Opted to install a knob I had on hand on the right door front— the original key had completely lost its’ brass colour and was very tricky with opening and closing the door… I felt a knob was a better option

Photos from My Workshop

Come Take a Closer Look!

I ain’t no videographer I tell ya! I am however determined to try my very best to share a closer look with YOU. Below you’ll find my best; albeit amateur effort at trying to capture this piece in video format (taken out of my workshop where I do it all— prep, transform, picture and vid). For my Manitoba followers, perhaps you might fancy slipping out to our farm for the closest look— please do get in touch!

This post contains links to products I personally use, trust, and highly recommend, for which some I receive limited discounted use of.

Custom Furniture Painting


I primarily select and purchase pieces on my own, and transform them with colours/techniques of my own choosing— Ready-For-Purchase. I do also carefully consider custom furniture painting for customers within Manitoba. If you’re interested in this service, I’d love to hear from you! Please fill out and submit a form so that we can start an exchange. I truly appreciate all interest and inquiries.

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