Feb 7, 2013

Grey French Provincial Secretary Desk

I showed a sneak peak of this desk a few weeks back. Finally I am getting around to posting about it. 

I purchased it a while back off of Kijiji.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it would look great painted.

I debated all white, then I debated black... but finally I decided to go with this light grey.  I was mostly out of white paint... I actually had just enough to do the inside of the desk, so that helped with the colour decision, too. 

I sanded it down, then I primed the whole thing in white, then I went over it with one coat of grey with a bit of a second coat, here and there.  I left a little white showing here and there to help with the distressed look I was going for. 

The paint gave pretty good coverage, but because I also wanted a bit of a distressed/washed look, I added some white paint in the cracks and crevices, and those pretty little grooves with a smaller craft brush.  Then, pretty much right away I wiped some of the paint away with a wet papertowel.  After everything was all dried, I took some sandpaper and distressed around the edges a bit.  I didn't go overboard, but just enough to highlight the details. 

The bright gold handles just didn't cut it for me, so my very helpful husband spray painted them for me at his work, since it's way too cold to be spray painting outside right now!

Right now I've got a couple dressers in the works, and I have a great chair makeover to share soon, too.  I've also had a few questions about specifics in our kitchen makeover, so I will be doing another post about that soon, too. 

Linking to:
My Repurposed Life
Miss Mustard Seed
The Shabby Nest
Redoux Interiors
Homespun Happenings
Tatertots & Jello
Coastal Charm
Southern Lovely


  1. Beautiful job! I love the surprise of the two-tone look when you open it up and see the white inside. I think gray is a great neutral and a very on-trend color right now. I recently painted our oak claw-foot coffee table about the same shade of gray. I thought white would be too much, and couldn't do black b/c the oriental rug has a navy background, and the gray is just as versatile & neutral as white but gives a little more contrast and color. No wonder gray is so popular right now. Did you put a clear protective top coat on? If so, what did you use? Also curious if you used chalk paint or latex paint?

    1. Gray is a great neutral... I agree! I ended up using latex paint(West Coast Grey 50BG by glidden, but I actually had it colour matched into behr paint. I have had this paint for a while, and it's a great shade). I was actually thinking about a couple different shades of grey chalk paint I had, but the latex seemed to be just the right colour, so that's what I ended up using. I put wax over the work surface to protect it, because that's the area that will likely end up getting the most wear and tear.

  2. This is so beautiful! Great job ;) I'm your newest follower.
    Jamie ~ Better With Age

  3. Lovely makeover of that secretary! The white on the inside is such an unexpected surprise.

  4. Love it!! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Looks great! My daughter could us a desk like that. It would be nice just to close it up so you can't see her projects.

  6. I refinished the exact same secretary desk for my daughters room this past summer. We did white on the outside and a bold pink on the inside, with silver handles. I love your take on it as well!

  7. You find the greatest pieces and make them look so lovely!! Thanks for sharing this at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  8. It's amazing how paint can change the look on the desk. Thanks for sharing your project.
    Reuzeit Emporium Blog
    Reuzeit Emporium

  9. It stunning! The paint color is perfect and really brings out all the details. Thanks for sharing.

  10. This is a gorgeous piece! You do fantastic work. :)

  11. I love this and I am jealous of your kijiji find. Hi from a fellow Canadian!

  12. Love it gray! I'm featuring your desk in the PoPP Spotlight this week. Thanks for joining the party.

  13. You have done a beautiful job and the colour of the handles is perfect.