I was given this desk/secretary from my mom because I wanted to change the look of yellow and orange to something more modern. My sister and I had this in our bedroom until I was 4 years old and then it sat in her basement where she put sewing related items in it.
My mom told me the history of this desk and I saw it in a totally different light. It was my great-grandmothers desk, who was a Norwegian immigrant, that was bought to put in her new home. She passed the desk on to her youngest child, my grandmother. I then learned that it had a hutch on top. Of course I have to look up secretaries on lines and found some that it could have resembled. My grandmother’s home had slanted ceiling and it did not work to be that high so it went into the attic. When my grandma moved to a “modern” home she found that my grandfather got rid of the hutch. How dare he.
Later this was passed down to her youngest child, my mother. I do believe she painted it the white and orange. I had noticed green paint and some white. The inside of the drawers were a pretty oak but with all of the scrolls, I decided to not go down to the original but paint it. I may change it again down the road. I also noticed that the hardware was not the original. The drawers had a two hold pull but was filled in along with the keyhole in the top center of each drawer. How could they do that! The brass, large knobs were outdated and scratch so they were thrown. I found these at Hobby Lobby. They were a distressed white that gave it a modern but old farmhouse vibe. I did have the original pull for the little drawer inside the desk. It needed a facelift so I used a metallic bronze spray paint that I had on hand. I had to get new i-hooks but otherwise I put it back together.
For the paint I went with Behr white with the primer added. I have found it has great coverage when I did a previous project. I have used chalk paint also in the past. I was trying to decide what to do with the scrolls and I used a brown glaze I had on hand and it gave it a gold look. When I bought the hardware, it just didn’t seem to match so I took a fine paint brush and painted acrylic black paint to outline the deepest lines for enhancement. After that was dry, I took white acrylic paint that was a little watered down. I used a damp paper towel and wiped it over the top to tone it all down. There is a little of the brown glaze that still shows through but much more subtle.
By the way, I am the youngest child and 4th generation to have this desk. I have one child and I don’t know if he will want this someday. This is now in my home and I am using it as a desk again. I was excited to put my things inside. I hope my great grandmother would approve.