How to Update a Secretary Desk

Upcycle flea market finds to create exciting new pieces courtesy of the DIY experts at HGTV Magazine.

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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.

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