Sophisticated Secretary Refresh

A client recently contacted me to refinish her secretary desk.  It was a used desk that she had picked up and it was in really good condition.  It was just very “orange” for her decor and had some cosmetic wear and tear.

Secretary desk before

She wanted a combination of paint and a stain with gray-brown undertones that would blend with her existing furnishings.  She requested that the drawer fronts and writing surfaces be stain, and the rest finished in a slightly distressed cream color.

The drawers and drop-down writing surface sanded down beautifully to a gorgeous mahogany.

Sanded mahogany drawers

The inside writing surface, however, turned out to be pine.  Not a problem in and of itself, but I was concerned that the two kinds of woods would look very different next to one another once stained.

Pine writing surface on secretary desk

I stained all of the surfaces and the mahogany brought a red undertone to the stain, while the pine stayed more true to the gray-brown.  Both finishes were beautiful—just not together.

Pine and mahogany stained the same color

I contacted the client and we agreed it would be better to paint the pine and leave all of the stained mahogany.

Once all the finishes were applied, I sealed everything with a topcoat for protection.

Check out all the detail that popped by slightly distressing the paint on the insert!

Secretary desk after

Secretary desk after

The desk now perfectly blends with the rest of her furniture and has a fresh updated look.


Hold My Wine, I’ve Got This…



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