How to Update a Secretary Desk

Upcycle flea market finds to create exciting new pieces courtesy of the DIY experts at HGTV Magazine.
By: Jaimie Dalessio Clayton
RX-HGMAG017_Flea-Market-Flips-100-b-4x3

RX-HGMAG017_Flea-Market-Flips-100-b-4x3

Photo by: Marko Metzinger

Marko Metzinger

Materials Needed:

  • paint
  • stencil
  • crafts paint
  • knobs
  • drill
  • foam roller or pouncer

Step 1

Open the front panel to expose the desk, and remove any small drawers and their knobs. Spray-paint the knobs (we used Satin Nickel by Rust-Oleum), and let dry. Paint the desk area, and let dry.

Step 2

Remove the secretary’s main drawers, then remove their hardware and patch any holes.

Step 3

Paint the frame and all the drawer fronts a color that’s darker than the desk paint, and let dry.

Step 4

Attach a stencil to the center of a main drawer front with repositionable spray mount. Use a foam roller or pouncer to fill it in with crafts paint. Remove the stencil and reposition it on the drawer to create a continuous pattern. Repeat for all main drawer fronts. Close the front panel and use the technique above to stencil it, and let dry.

Step 5

Reattach the spray-painted knobs to the small drawers, then replace them inside the desk.

Step 6

Drill holes in the main drawer fronts and attach new knobs. Replace the main drawers.

Next Up

How to Sweeten Up a Secretary Desk

The DIY experts at HGTV Magazine recreated this flea market find. Here’s how you can, too.

How to Totally Deck Out a Desk in Blue

The DIY experts at HGTV Magazine recreated this flea market find. Here’s how you can, too.

How to Bring a Desk Back to Life

The DIY experts at HGTV Magazine recreated this flea market find. Here’s how you can, too.

How to Make a Space-Saving Floating Desk

Create a streamlined, custom floating desk that is aesthetically pleasing, efficient and packed with storage with these easy instructions.

How to Build a Desk

You don't need a dedicated home office space to be productive at home. Maybe you just need the right desk. Choose from these designs and step-by-step directions on how to build a desk.

Update a Used China Cabinet

HGTV Magazine looked beyond the red stained wood and the gold trim, and saw that this 1970s china cabinet had the potential to be a stunner. Here’s how you can remake a similar piece of your own.

Stair Post Kid's Desk

Learn how wooden posts, plywood and a little patience can create a custom, kid-size desk.

How-to: Piñata Letters

Host a fun backyard party with these customized piñata letters from HGTV Magazine.

Yard Sale Furniture Repurposed: Side Table

HGTV Magazine gives the simple how-tos of turning a side table castoff into a colorful accent piece.

How to DIY Book Shelves

The DIY experts at HGTV Magazine recreated this flea market find. Here’s how you can, too.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows.

Live Stream HGTV Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.