I bought a secretary desk a while back. I searched for one for months on Facebook Marketplace, and at local antique stores, but I ended up finding it at Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta. It was the first time I had ever visited the once-a-month event (can you believe that?) and it was the very first thing I saw as we pulled into the parking lot that day. It was sitting front and center in the booth closest to the parking lot and “Stars Fell On Alabama” was floating out of the speaker sitting on the ground beside it.
(There she is…just drawing me in!)
My eyes watered up as I moved toward it. I don’t know if it was the song, or the specialness of this secretary, or because I was so happy I had pushed myself to make the trip even though big crowds and new places tend to make me feel panicky….or maybe a combination of it all. Either way, it made it’s way into my heart and, a couple of hours later, into the bed of our pickup truck. (For 250 bucks if you’re curious. Oh, and there’s a video of me walking up to it saved in my Highlights on Instagram- ha!)
The hutch is separate from the base, which made it easier for Kevin and I to carry it into the house.
It didn’t start out as a secretary though. It was assembled from scratch by an Amish man in Pennsylvania out of reclaimed wood from a church in Ohio. The vendor I bought it from explained that he takes old, condemned buildings apart and then hires the Amish man to make fun furniture out of the pieces. So the historic beadboard you see there used to be wainscoting, and the planks of tongue-and-groove pine paneling used to clad the church’s ceiling.
I immediately loved it as-is, but after living with it for a couple of months, I decided that this particular piece would feel more whimsical with a coat of paint. And after all, it’s not an antique (the wood is old, but like I said, the secretary itself is brand “new”!) and painting it one color will help unite all the different wood tones.
That’s paint grade 1/4″ plywood inside the middle section of the secretary. It’s going to be very challenging to paint the insides of some of those smaller cubbies, but I’ll figure something out. 😉
I’ve actually already started painting the outside and I’m loving how it looks. I’m using Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint because I want the wood was painted all along. I mixed 4 parts Mora with 1 part Layla’s Mint to create a very dusty gray that leans mint green. (And, yes, she named the latter color after me…squee!)
Unfortunately, to avoid having a painful, full body flare-up that usually starts in my right wrist, and that requires many days of steroids to go away, I have to be very careful with my joints. (I have an autoimmune disease called palindromic rheumatism if you’re new around here.) So I’ve been painting it very slowly, and because I’m covering up such a dark (stain) color, it’s taking several coats. I’ll be sure to show you how it turned out whenever I do finish though. I think it’s going to be so much fun to style!
Have you dragged home any new (old!) pieces of furniture lately? Tell me all about it! I love this stuff!
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