Secretary Desk Makeover w/ Duck Egg Blue & 3 Colored Waxes (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan)

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You guys… I am SOOOOO excited to share this Duck Egg Blue makeover with y’all today.

It was so much fun to do and right up my creative alley.
The kind of piece and paint job I just totally enjoy doing.
And….sadly haven’t been able to as much lately. I do hope to change that though!

I should warn you, if you are a wood lover….look away.
I painted wood…pretty wood. Well, some of it anyway. I did leave a bit of the natural beauty, however.
You’ll see … if you keep looking, that is.

If you look around my blog here, you will find out pretty quickly that I use AND love Chalk Paint a lot.

I even painted my kitchen cabinets and island with it a few years ago.

But FIRST…..this…..

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - BEFORE - #duckeggblue #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

I should also warn you…this is a photo-heavy post. I couldn’t help it.

You guys might remember I posted this on Instagram the day I got it from a garage sale.
It was $45.

Here is the inside…

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - BEFORE of inside -#duckeggblue #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Are you new to chalk painting?? This post might be helpful to you >>> “How To Chalk Paint Furniture & More (tips & tricks I’ve learned!)

It needed a bit of woodwork…

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - making repairs -#MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Someone had made marks/lines along the top there and also along the bottom.
Not sure what that was all about.
Plus it had the normal wear and tear.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - repairs - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

I gave the whole thing a light sanding. (although you don’t really need to)
But I decided to give it a quick spray of Shellac since this wood tends to want to bleed through.
I had NONE, ZERO trouble with that. Yay!

As a matter of fact, I could have almost gotten away with just one coat of the Duck Egg Blue that I used.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - DUCK EGG BLUE - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Awesome coverage.
But do you see how flat it and the hardware looks?
That’s okay for some pieces but I wanted some depth to this piece….so keep reading.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - Duck Egg Blue Only - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

I went ahead with 2 coats of the Duck Egg.
I love Duck Egg Blue and have used it on many, many things in my home.

(Want to see even more of my favorite furniture makeover supplies??? Take a look at my very own curated shop, here!)

And I used this brush….for the FIRST time!

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - AS paint brush is the bomb - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

It is the bomb, by the way.
I can’t believe I’ve been painting with Chalk Paint for so long and have never used one of Annie’s brushes!
What was I thinking?
I love it.

I had originally intended for the inside of the desk to be French Linen but changed my mind midstream.
(I never do that…ha!)
I wanted to leave behind a bit of the natural wood so decided to leave it unpainted…sort of.
So instead, I embellished it a bit. You’ll see. :)

And I also left the inside of the drawers natural.
I had planned to line them with pretty paper but I liked the look of the natural wood.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - Natural Wood Interior drawers - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Alrighty, so the photos above show the desk with the Duck Egg only.
I painted right over the handles and hardware.
I had a plan….that evolved as I worked.
Really. I didn’t know exactly what I was doing until I was doing it…I love to work that way!

So instead of painting the inside of the desk with French Linen, I decided to make a tinted wax with it to use on the outside.
I started the whole process by applying Clear Wax over the entire piece.
I then applied the French Linen tinted wax in random areas along the entire outside with an old rag.
After that, I applied a bit of Dark Wax (mixed with clear) in the same way (also with an old rag).
Varying the areas I applied it (opposite and alongside the French Linen spots).

You can see below how it looks a bit “spotty” or “dirty”.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - Adding depth with colored wax - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

But it won’t look like that when finished.

Once I had applied a good amount of that, I decided I wanted to add a bit more depth in the “blue” department.
So I mixed up a bit of Aubusson Blue tinted wax using the leftover French Linen wax I made earlier.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - Aubusson Blue tinted wax - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

I used a stiffer bristle brush to wipe the Aubusson tinted wax over parts of the desk.
I did this by dipping the ends of the bristles lightly into the wax and then wiping away most of it.
That is why I shared the photo above…to show how I wiped it away on the extra paper plate.
I’m fancy around here. ;)

Then, with a light hand, I brushed over the whole desk.
I applied extra around the edges.
I had planned to sand and distress but used the dark blue wax to give that look instead.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - adding more depth with Aubusson Blue tinted wax - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Can you see the lighter beige, darker brown, and darker blue in the paint above?
It’s very subtle and SOOO hard to photograph.
But hopefully, you can see all three…and how they are somewhat “blended” now.

The raised edges of the handles show the darker blue color in a dry brush technique…

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - Aubusson Blue wax for depth - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Want to see a VIDEO on exactly how to dry brush? All the ins and outs, here >>> “How To Dry Brush – Video

And here you can see a bit of the dark and tinted waxes.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - Duck Egg Blue with 3 different colored waxes for depth - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Curious about chalk paint?? I wrote an entire post devoted to all the pros and cons of using it, here >>> “Pros and Cons of Chalk Paint For Furniture

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - adding more depth with Aubusson Blue tinted wax - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Once I was finished with the Aubusson Wax, I moved on to the handles and hardware.
I used a brassy-colored gilding wax to “hit” the high points.
Then I went over that with this bright gold paint.
Use just a tiny bit and (as if you don’t have much on your finger) rub lightly over the edges.

Want to see some of these projects in “live” time? Hop on over and follow along with me on INSTAGRAM. I’m always sharing in my stories as I’m doing projects, finding new furniture, fun finds….just all the day-to-day behind the scenes. 

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - AFTER showing details - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Doing it in layers really gives it so much dimension.
But again, really hard to see that dimension in the photographs.
These photos are all a bit darker so you can see the effect better.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - #duckeggblue - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - Up Close details 1 - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Hopefully, you get the gist of it though.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - AFTER top - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule
Adding dimension and depth through paint, wax, and dry brushing techniques.

And here she is all done…..

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - AFTER 1 - #duckeggblue #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

All buffed up and pretty. :)

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - AFTER Side - #duckeggblue #sp #chalkpaint

I love her.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - AFTER up close - #duckeggblue #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

I had planned to paint this piece to sell.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - AFTER front - #duckeggblue #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

But I won’t be parting with her.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - AFTER up close - #duckeggblue #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

She’s staying right here. I’ll find a spot for her somewhere!

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - Before and After - #duckeggblue #sp #chalkpaint

Do you want to see that snazzy inside now?
With the glammed-up embellished interior and beautiful wood?

I gave a light sanding, applied a bit of stain, and then a few coats of poly to liven up the interior.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - Lightly sanded - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

And added a bit of gold embellishment with this paint, too.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - After inside 3 - #duckeggblue #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

See the 2 “secret” compartments there on either side of the door in the photo below? (the gold “columns”)
Those slide out and you can hide things in them. Fun.

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - GOLD on the interior details - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - secret compartments - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - GOLD on the interior details 1 - #MadeItMyOwn #sp #chalkpaint artsychicksrule

Okay, and just a side note…these hydrangeas are my very first attempt at drying them!
I cut them off of my own bushes this year. I have several more that look a bit better that are still in the “drying” phase.
But I did manage to end up with pretty blue, teal, and purple dried flowers in these though. (even if they are a tad sad looking!)

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - AFTER Inside 1 - #duckeggblue #sp #chalkpaint

Isn’t it amazing what a little gold paint can do?

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - AFTER INSIDE with GOLD - ##duckeggblue #sp #chalkpaint

Stunning. The perfect touch.
And the perfect accompaniment to that pretty wood interior.
All of those pretty details were lost without the gold paint…..don’t you agree?

Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan) - Before & After - #duckeggblue #sp #chalkpaint

Love paint? Want more tips, ideas & inspiration? Don't miss a thing! Click here now!


PIN it to save it!

3 Colored Waxes Make This Great! Secretary Desk Makeover (Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan) #duckeggblue #chalkpaint #paintedsecretary

UPDATE: If you loved this and the touch of gold…you might want to check out my latest aqua (also with hints of gold) “coffee bar” dresser….

I used a totally different paint technique on this one! Check it out, >>> HERE.

See you next week with a new “Tuesday Trash to Treasure” …. and …. a new decorating post for our decorating group –>bookcases and shelves! (coastal decor, what else?)

Wait till you see how stinking cute this one is now (and what I did to that top!)!!

UPDATE!!! See it now, here!!

Happy weekend friends!


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  1. It is so lovely it glows! I love what you did with the inside. Did you find any hidden spots behind the 3 drawers inside? in some old pieces I am told you can find little hidden niches. The two pieces that slide out beneath the desk are to give the desk part more support when it is opened.

    1. Hey Rose!!
      Thanks so much!! Glows…yes, that is a great word! I think it does, thank you! :)
      No, there weren’t any hidden spots behind the drawers but the two “columns” on either side of the little door do slide out and you can hide things inside them ( I added a photo I meant to put yesterday).
      And yep, the two slide outs underneath the desk, I just painted the ends of those since they are now showing at all times! :)
      Hope you have a great weekend!

  2. So, So, So pretty. The paint technique has inspired me to go back and “layer up” on some pieces that I thought I was finished with!

    1. Thank you Kathy!
      And, oh yes, you sure can go back and add a bit more! I’m feeling like layering a few other things too now!! ;)
      Have a great weekend!!

    2. OH and be sure to add yours to the gallery I linked in the post for the #MadeItYourOwn campaign! Easy way to possibly win a few goodies from Annie Sloan! :)

  3. Wow!! That turned out beautifully. It looks eretheral. I love the different shades you were able to create. You did a wonderful job and I would keep it too!

    1. Thank you Sally! :) Ethereal, I love that description! It really does, especially so in person.
      Thanks so much for the sweet words! :) Have a great day and weekend!!

  4. I love the desk. I just bought an old wooden bookcase for my sewing room in my new house. I’m going to try the chalk paint, maybe in yellow. I will take before and after picks and send them to you.

    1. Thank you, and oh yes do! The yellow (Arles or Cream) are both beautiful colors.
      I’d love to see the photos. And if you like, you can upload your finished one to the gallery I linked in the post. (that will automatically enter you to win 100’s of dollars in Annie Sloan products)
      It runs through the end of this month. Lots of pretty makeovers in there already, take a look!
      Can’t wait to see your bookcase!

  5. So pretty, Nancy! I didn’t know that you could tint wax with paint. That’s a technique that I definitely want to try. I’m so glad that you are keeping this beauty for yourself. I’m at school now but plan to pin and share this over the weekend!

    1. Thank you Paula! Yep, you can. It’s a great way to add a bit of color (or a white wash).
      And yes, I have nowhere for it to go…but I’m going to find a place!! ;)

      1. Hello, the desk looks beautiful! I own the same desk in great condition…except I lost the keys to open it during our move!!! Will you send me a photo of the key(s) so I can find a replacement. I can’t remember what they looked like and have already bought 4 keys that don’t work. If you can help Elon it will be appreciated.

        1. Thank you, Patricia! I don’t actually have the key to this desk. I have one that worked that I found at a thrift shop…but then one day it got stuck locked and I had a heck of a time getting it unlocked. (since it was not the correct key, I am assuming) So I don’t use it anymore. I can send you a photo of it though!

  6. Beautiful! I have a couple of questions though. When I tried tinting wax it all wiped off as I buffed it. I even tried tinting it darker but the color did not stay on the furniture. Also why did you paint over the gilding wax and what brand of gold paint. I thought the gilding wax would be the outer most layer?

    1. Hi Mari,

      Hmm, I’m not sure. One thought that I have is that maybe there was too much clear in the mix and too much was applied. If you use a bit less and leave it to “dry”/cure, it really shouldn’t buff away.
      Maybe only a tiny bit but that is somewhat preferable because it tends to “blend” it a bit as you buff. I also sometimes use a buffing brush instead of a cloth though. (I used both on this piece)
      The gilding wax was Baroque brand. I’m planning on doing a more in depth post later on the layering technique and hardware. It was just way too much for one post! ;)
      I’m not sure what the rules are on the gilding wax but I don’t typically follow them! lol I go with the flow. And for this, I wanted a bit darker shimmer underneath so used the bronze colored paste first with the lighter gold (Martha Stewart) over top. :)
      Be on the lookout for the other post. I hope to do one for this soon!
      Hope that helps!!

  7. beautiful job! i am using chalk paint for the first time. kinda scared but that’s what sanding is for. haha i am going to stencil over the paint with large flowers and leaves and vines. wish me luck…….

    1. Thank you and how fun!! Good luck!! :) Don’t be scared! If you don’t like your first attempt, repaint (don’t bother sanding! ;)) I’ve done it many times myself. My “visions” don’t always work out so it’s back to the drawing board.
      Love the idea of the stencil, sounds beautiful. Be sure to share a photo of it in the gallery I linked in the post! It’s an easy way to automatically be entered to win the products. Plus, you can share your pretty creation with others and see theirs too! :)
      Have fun!!

  8. My mother has this exact desk – I used it in my room when I was younger (many years ago!). I loved those secret compartments, even though they were too little to put much in! Her desk is a very dark mahagony and I have thought about painting it, but was very intimidated by all the letter slots and its dark color. Your solution to leave them “as is” makes the process seem doable – even for me.

    1. Hi Barbara!

      Oh how nice! Yes, those secret compartments won’t hold much but they are fun. And absolutely! Leaving the inside unpainted (for the most part) was two fold. Keeping the job a little less complicated AND keeping some of the beauty of the natural wood. :)
      I’d love to see yours if you decide to paint it!
      Have a great weekend!

  9. as usual you made a ho hum piece look stunning love it and no wonder to me that you are keeping it…. it is so nancy xx

    1. Aw thanks Chris!! I always look forward to your nice comments to me!! :) Yours always make me smile!
      Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  10. Oh my gosh Nancy, this is my favorite furniture makeover of yours so far (and you know how I’m a fan of your work). I can totally see why you couldn’t part with it – stunning! I love your idea of tinting clear wax for added dimension. Now girl, adding the gold highlights to the interior just took that beauty right over the top!

    1. Thank you Marie! :) I think it may be at the top of the list for me now too!! lol
      I agree, I am so happy I thought to add a bit of glam fun to those edges inside!!! I knew it needed something but didn’t want to paint it all! This was the perfect compromise. :)
      I hope you area having a wonderful weekend so far!

    1. Thanks Christy! :) I have nowhere in my house for it go, lol, but I can’t let it go!!
      So much for downsizing!! ;)

  11. GOOD JOB Nancy!!! My favorite color from Anne Sloan is the Louis Blue. Almost everything in my dinning room is painted this color along with Old White, clear wax and some distressing. Can I upload a picture of my newest project without having to put a “frame” around it? I’m not too computer savy. Also can you give me the formula for tinting the clear wax? I don’t want to boggle it up because I only have one can of wax right now. The nearest distributor is about 75 miles from me and I don’t go there very often. Can’t wait for the completed tut. on this one.

    1. Thank you Chris!
      Yep, you sure can! Just click the link that says “Then just upload your photo right here (frame is included in that link if you don’t want to go the printed out route ..easy!)”
      When you click that link, it will take you to a page that you can upload your photo and the frame will automatically be included (depending on which option you choose there)…they made it easy to upload!
      For the tinted wax, I didn’t go by a measurement. For adding dimension like I did, you won’t need much at all. Maybe a tablespoon of the clear wax and just add the paint a little at a time until you get the darkness you need.
      I hope that helps!!
      And I look forward to seeing your project!! :)

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Yep, I used about a tablespoon of the clear wax and added a bit of paint, until it was the darkness I was after. Less paint, more subtle effect, more paint, darker.
      Hope that helps!

  12. First off, that’s a great desk! Second, what you did with it was fabulous! I love the gold touches. The inside wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome without that added detail! And I love that you kept the drawers natural. It is just beautiful. I know I say that about every piece you do, but dang, girl, you keep outdoing yourself!

    Do you plan to keep this one? It look gorgeous in your home!

    OK…. I just noticed this…. Great, Fabulous, Awesome, Beautiful, Gorgeous. Did I miss any? :) xo

    1. Thanks Karen!! :) So sweet!! Some I love more than others and this is one! I have no idea where I’m putting it though!! So much for downsizing!! lol
      I almost used the stencil on the front of this one!! But I thought it might be a bit too large so changed my mind.

  13. It’s beautiful. It looks just like my father-in-law’s desk, that had belonged to his father, also. When he died, my husband’s step-mother’s family got it, and we never again saw that family heirloom.

  14. She is so lovely! Definitely has feminine lines. I love the way you added so much depth by layering waxes with color! The inside looks fabulous too. Yes, she is too pretty to part with! Here is a tip for drying hydrangeas successfully. Buy some alum in the spice section of your grocery store. Cut hydrangea at an angle dip in water then dip the bottom of the stem in the alum powder then put into water. It works like a charm!

    1. Thank you Sandy!
      And THANK YOU for the tip on the hydrangeas!! I will definitely try that next year. (all of my blooms are gone, I don’t get too many yet!)
      Writing it down now, so I won’t forget. I love my hydrangeas!
      Happy weekend to you!

    1. Hi Crystal!

      Thank you! :) Yes, I just couldn’t part with it! Now, where it’s going to “live” in my home…I have no idea yet! ;)

  15. Nancy, This piece is gorgeous, and your ideas are amazing. You teach us so much with your projects. I am fairly new to Annie Sloan painting. I started about a month ago, after watching different techniques for several months. I have been using small pieces to practice on before I take on the cabinets in my baths and kitchen. I have a question about sanding. Did you lightly sand this piece after you painted it and before you waxed it? It looks so smooth that it looks like you did a little lightly sanding before you waxed it. I tried that and I wound up taking a layer of paint off. What grade of sand paper is best to use if you choose that technique? Also, I have seen different ideas on waxing. One being using a large brush and applying her wax using a circular motion. The other using a cloth to put the wax on in small sections, and then buff it off immediately. I cannot wait to see what you come up with next. You are so talented.

    1. Hi Marsha,
      Thank you so much! :)
      Great idea to start on the small items before tackling something bigger.
      No, I didn’t really sand this one after painting. Sometimes I will depending on the how well the paint lays. This one ended up pretty smooth.
      You certainly can however! It does help to smooth out the paint. I would use the finest you can find. (probably around 400 or so) You don’t need to apply much pressure, just lightly go over it all.
      Another thing you can do is apply your final coat a little thinly. What I mean is, add a bit of water to thin it a bit. This will help with leveling and smoothing out the paint.
      I apply wax both ways, sometimes with the brush as you mention, and sometimes with an old rag. I like using the rag/cloth more because I feel I can control what I apply a bit better.
      You can buff right away or wait a few hours and then come back and buff. I think it’s best to wait a few hours.
      Hope that helps and thanks so much for the thoughtful words!! xoxo

      1. Thanks Nancy for your response to my questions.

        I saw two end tables at the shop where I purchase my AS supplies.. I asked the lady what color paint did she use because they were really beautiful. She said she mixed equal parts of Coco and Old Ochre, She did two coats and then she mixed two equal parts of clear and dark wax and waxed the entire piece. It really looked smooth and shiny and almost glowed (similar to your secretary). I was just in the shop last Thursday and she was bringing them in to sell. I went back Wednesday and they were already gone. The other sales girl told me they only lasted two days on the floor and they were sold Saturday. I think the mixing of the two wax colors helped make the color stand out. My problem is I am planning this on my cabinets and I know you said that we should use that Varathane Floor Sealer because of water coming in contact with them and that we should not wax it before you paint them with it because it will not adhere to the cabinet. I started with the cabinet in my bathroom since it is not seen as much as the ones in the kitchen. I put the two coats of paint but stopped until I heard from you yesterday, The color just looks okay but nothing like the pieces at the shop that were beautiful, My cabinet looks so drab and I know the wax must have brought the color to life. I would appreciate any suggestions that could help the problem, Thanks so much for your time.


        1. You are very welcome!
          Yes, I often mix the dark and clear. That is a lovely look and keeps the dark from taking over. (I’ve actually never used the dark by itself, I don’t believe…it’s powerful!)
          Well, this is just my opinion and preference.(no wax in the kitchen) It’s not because of water contact, I think it will hold up well against that. (and no, you can’t apply wax and then Varathane, it won’t stick and you’d have a mess)
          As far as wax in the kitchen, I just think the nature of wax and grease, food, etc, that it would be prohibitive. I have a bread box that I painted with Milk Paint but finished and sealed in wax. I have to wax and buff it every once in awhile. Which is not really a problem except it’s continued maintenance. I can’t imagine having to do that with my cabinets.
          BUT with all that said, there are MANY who’ve used wax in their kitchens and are perfectly happy. So, if that is the look you are after, maybe you should go that route. There really is no “one way”. Just personal preferences. :)
          There are other ways to achieve a similar look, however. You can apply the Varathane or Poly and then apply a glaze over that. It would give a similar look but might take a bit of practice to get where you want to be.
          And also, the Chalk Paint will tend to look a bit drab-ish until you apply a finish coat, whether it is wax or poly.
          I hope this helps! :)

  16. Nancy, love the desk. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL and I’m glad that you are keeping it. Any space in your bedroom? Do you by any chance ;subscribe to Romantic Homes magazine. I think you would love it. I will say it again, you are so talented so keep up the beautiful work that you do.

    1. Thank you Mary! :)
      I may actually have some space in my bedroom (and I’m in the middle of makeover in there as well, so good timing too).
      I don’t subscribe to that one. Will have to check it out! It does sound like something I would love.
      Thank you again…and for the sweet words!! So thoughtful AND appreciated!

  17. Seriously Nancy, I get up at 5:30 am, make a cup of coffee and search emails for your posts. It’s my quiet time. This desk is the bomb! This piece has totally got me thinking about changing my plans for a sideboard/buffet I picked up. I love the depth, color and all the little touches you’ve done. My ocean blue/green theme may have jumped ship!

    1. Awe Carol, you just seriously made my day!!! :) Really! Thank you!
      Oh your theme sounds lovely too but I have to tell you, I adore this piece! But I’m a blue lover in general. I just completed another blue piece (darker but with dry brushed colors again over top) and I’m loving that one too! Both blues are lovely. I want to keep this new piece too. (I’m running out of room…so something has to go for me to be able to keep it! ;) )
      Please share when you paint your buffet! I would love to see it!

  18. This desk is called a Govenor Winthrop desk. I owned my grandfathers for years and my son now owns it. Kinda hurts that you painted it as it is mahogany, but it looks good.

  19. Beautiful job! I have the same desk in its natural finish of mahogany and it is an “it”. I’d love to know how you decided your desk is a female. I see this often and it just seems odd to personify a piece of furniture.

    1. Thanks Fern!
      I don’t know, it just seemed “girlish” to me with the paint and paint technique I chose. Just really being playful, not serious!

  20. I have the *exact* same dresser that used to be my grandmothers. I didn’t have the guts to go as bold with colors as you did, but yours turned out beautifully. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh thank you Mary! :) I’m not sure I would have been able to if it was a sentimental piece to me either! :)

  21. I have a nearly identical secretaire, with the same “secret” compartments! I’ve been trying to decide on painting the inside or the outside, so thank you for your awesome photos. Outside paint job it is and I love the gold accents on the inside!

  22. I absolutely adore this secretary! You did such an unbelievably fantastic job on this. I am just beginning to paint and I have an old dresser that belonged to my mother. It is about 60 years old and is mahogany. I’m going to clean and sand and then use Java gel stain on top and AS Chalkpaint in Antique White on the rest. Since this is my first big piece, I’m going in an easier direction (I hope!) My question is: What stain did you use on the secretary? I love the color! And, do you have any tips for me on starting on this project??

    1. Hi Angela!
      Thank you so much! :)
      I think I used Java Gel by General Finishes on this one. I do have a tip for you, if the desk is Mahogany, you may have a bit of trouble with “bleed through”. That is a wood that is known for this. Bleed through is when the red from the wood wants to come to the top. (through the layers of paint— white paint turns pink!) It is notoriously hard to keep from happening. Don’t let that discourage you though! ;) There is a fix. I wouldn’t do too much sanding, if at all possible, on the area you are going to paint white. Keep as much original seal coat on there as you can. Secondly, be sure to seal it with Shellac before you begin painting. Two coats should do it. You can use the spray in the can or they also have liquid that can be applied with a brush. I usually use the spray in the can. My only other tip is to start small on something that doesn’t mean much to you. Go by the thrift store and pick up a small furniture piece like an end table or similar. (unless of course, you have already painted a few things, then just skip this part of the advice :) ) You can lightly sand your final coat (and even between coats) with very fine sandpaper, the Chalk Paint, for a smoother finish. Less is more with the wax. You want to be sure you get it down into the paint but you don’t want to leave enough that there’s a sticky residue. Other than that, paint away and have fun! :)

      1. This is awesome information Nancy. Sadly, I have already done a rough sanding on the parts that I am painting. I do have the spray shellac and will coat the whole piece in that before painting. There are a couple of small pieces that I have already painted and probably should do another small piece before tackling the dresser, but I am so anxious to start on this and will cross my fingers that it turns out as beautiful as I have imagined it will be. Instead of using wax, I will be using the MinWax water based Polycrylic protective finish. Thank you so much for your very quick reply and helpful information!!

        1. Oh shoot, well no worries, the Shellac should do the trick! And oh yes, I love Minwax Polycrylic. I have finished quite a few Chalk Paint pieces with that. Another, more recent, favorite of mine is General Finishes High Performance Top Coat. Love it! I only use wax occasionally on pieces. Depends on the piece but many times I’ll use poly too. Good luck and have fun! :) xoxo

          1. This is sooo beautiful. I had a few false starts with painting a white wooden chest of drawers. Like a child with a new toy, I played around with colours too much and had to start again, lol. I also chose ‘in your face’ colours that soon got on my nerves. This time it’s duck egg, which looks subtle and easy to live with. My first trial attempt looks too dark, and I’m wondering if you mixed your duck egg with old white. You’ve really inspired me. Thanks so much :) xxx

          2. Thank you Geri! :)
            Yep!! lol I have done the same with colors in the past, I love color! But after awhile it can get to me.
            No, I didn’t mix it at all. I did apply some dark wax as well as darker blue colored wax so that may give the appearance that it is lighter. (because of the contrast of the darker waxes maybe?) Or it could just be the lighting in my photos. BUT with that, if YOU don’t love the shade you’ve gotten in person, you can certainly mix it with white. I have done so before. Also, if you don’t want to paint it completely over, you could try giving a subtle touch of white (or even duck egg mixed with white) with dry brushing and/or use white wax to finish. That will give it a bit of brightness, lighten it up and give it some nice contrast. Hope that helps! :) xoxo

  23. I have this exact very same desk but mine has a matching top hutch to go with it! I have been looking for ideas…PERFECT! I’m going to do exactly this, but maybe in a pale pink for my office! xox

      1. I am trying to email you that these are beautiful but i am not too tech savvy. I am scared to start something like this but looks fun.
        How did you keep paint off inside of drawers.


        1. Hi Joy!

          Thank you so much. :)
          A steady hand most of the time. ;) And sometimes I will tape it up, just depends! xo

  24. The inside is beautiful and really well done.
    Not a big fan of the outside, I’m afraid; l love antiques for their patina. I can appreciate what a good job you did, just prefer the look of the original.
    Each to their own…

  25. Hi Nancy,
    I have become addicted to painting furniture with Annie Sloan paint. If I find a very reasonable piece of furniture I buy it and paint it. It is amazing how designs happen as you go along. Your work is beautiful.
    I was wondering if you might be able to give me some ideas on how to show my work and it would be wonderful to sell it. I participated in a craft show and sold 2 pieces, so that wasn’t the best venue, but I did find out that people liked my work and thought my prices were good. Many said use Instagram, which not being a Facebook or Instagram aficionado, i have hesitated doing.
    I live in Baltimore Maryland and wondered if you might be interested in seeing some photos of my work.
    If so, let me know and I can email them to you. Would love your advice!!
    I have been following pintrist for months and was led to you by the secretary you so beautifully painted.
    I really like what you are doing and how people are responding. You have a great group of followers. If you don’t mind if I ask, what state are you in and how do you market your pieces.
    Thank you,

    1. Hello!
      Oh yes, it is addicting! :) And thank you for the kind words!
      I am in Virginia and usually sell by word of mouth or through Craigslist. I know people have success with the trash to treasure facebook groups but I’ve never done those. I have success on Craigslist…eventually. ;) Just takes a bit longer. I used to have a space in a shop years ago and am actually considering doing that again. That is what I suggest you do. That or try out the facebook groups. If you do a lot of furniture, it’s nice to have a space though. And then you can direct people there to see everything you have to offer. Wish you all the best with it!! :)

  26. Wow! This turned out beautiful! I love everything about it! You are a huge inspiration! I started painting furniture a while ago but now I want to take it further like this!

  27. Awesome job Nancy, love it. I love duck egg blue❤️ But i think painting the inside would give it morw wow effect, but what do i know I’m just a beginner ? But u did great, i saw the diff colors and effects❤️

    1. Thanks so much Lucidelle! :) You might be right, but I wanted to keep a bit of that pretty wood so added the gold for the little bit of “wow” effect instead. ;) xoxo

  28. This is really amazing makeover.
    I’m wondering though, how is this wax behaving after a year of using the dresser, pulling the handles? Does it peel of?
    i would like to do something like that, but have concerns above.

    Thanks for the answer,

    1. Hi Maja,

      Thank you! :) No, the wax doesn’t peel off, it penetrates into the paint so you don’t have to worry about that. I haven’t had any issues with any of the furniture I’ve used wax on. Poly also works nicely too. Hope that helps! xo

  29. Beautiful job! Since some time has past since you did it, has the paint held up on the hardware? Loved how you painted it the same color, with chalk paint but the handles get a lot of handling, so I’m afraid to do it. Please let me know & Thank you!

    1. Hi Deb,

      This does not get a lot of use but we do go into it occasionally since we do use the drawers and such for storage. It has held up wonderfully. I have painted hardware on many pieces and don’t really ever have a problem with wear. Just be sure to finish it well whether that is with wax or poly. You can give it a very light sanding to take the shine off beforehand and that will help even more. :) And thank you, by the way! :)

  30. What a beautiful piece of furniture! You have made the perfect addition to your room. Love everything about what you have done. The natural wood accent is very nice and that ‘touch of gold’ is awesome. Thanks for sharing your great ideas. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  31. I really like how your antique desk turned out. The duck egg blue and the wash really bring this piece to the 21st centry. However, I think the crowning touch is what you did on the inside. What an amazing look. I love the gold trim on the drawers and when opened, the trim really makes a statement. I don’t believe I was following you when your first and second time posted it. I have enjoyed seeing your artistic touch on a weekly basis, but it has been fun as you show some of your previous work! Awesome!! Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend. Give Ryder a hug for me. He is so adorable!!

    1. Thank you so much, Sue!! I do love that part too. It was a nice compromise for me keeping the inside from being painted. :) I am SO happy to hear that you are enjoying revisiting some of these older posts too!! And absolutely, he is getting extra hugs tonight. xoxo

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