This Pennsylvania House secretary was given a bold blue and gold makeover using chalk paint and glaze. Designer fabric was used to line the inside of the upper cabinet and the blotter on the desk.
And she’s done! Whew. As I said before, this simple project morphed from one thing to the next, but I’m thrilled with how it turned out.
We recently painted our office Creme Brûlée above the chair rail and Bright White below it, so the secretary needed a color that would make a big impact while also complementing the wall color.
I like sticking with two to three colors (blues, greens, and a touch of red) throughout all of the rooms in our open living area. It makes for seamless transitions from one room to the next, and I can easily move decor from one area to another since it will fit into the color scheme.
Plan A Blue and Gold Secretary: The Modern Version
I started out thinking I would use Napoleonic Blue with gold hardware for a more modern look. Clean lines, no glazing, and no distressing, but all of that flew out the window after I had finished with the basic painting.
As you can see in the picture above, Napoleonic Blue is an electric, royal blue. This Pennsylvania House secretary has a rather plain design and it needed more depth and character than Napoleonic Blue could give.
Plan B Blue and Gold Secretary: Rust-Oleum Glaze
I had Rust-Oleum glaze in my garage so I went with that. You could also use dark antiquing wax to get the same effect. The glazing gave the secretary a deeper, richer look which is almost navy.
I would like to say glazing is a quick and easy process, but it’s quite time consuming. It took me about three hours to do the entire secretary and then it had to dry for at least eight hours according to the directions.
I’ve read other people’s reviews on this particular product and they all say to allow the full drying time and I have to agree. This is one of those times if you move onto the next step too quickly, then you’ll be regretting it.
Since it was winter and the foyer was a little colder than normal, I set up a heater to help it along some, but it still took about eight hours before it was completely dry.
As I was waiting for the glaze to dry, I realized the inside of the top cabinet was going to be dark and kind of plain on the inside. Sooooooo, I came up with….
Plan C Blue and Gold Secretary: Fabric Lining the Inside
I wanted a pretty fabric to brighten this gal up.
While I was in limbo waiting on the glaze to dry, I dropped in at my local Joann’s (along with a million Christmas shoppers!) and found this beautiful upholstery fabric from HGTV:
After the glaze had dried, I did a light distressing (just here and there… not entire drawers or window panes) and then I sealed the entire piece with Miss Lillian’s Lack Luster Acrylic Poly Top Coat which gives a soft sheen like wax.
FINALLY, it was time to put the pretty fabric in!
After doing some research with the experts who have used fabric numerous times, I decided to use spray adhesive instead of Mod Podge. I wanted my fabric to maintain it’s look and feel and I wasn’t certain I could get that look with Mod Podge.
So back to the craft store I went (Michael’s this time and yes, there were a million shoppers there, too), to pick up some spray adhesive. I bought Krylon Spray Adhesive.
I sprayed this on the cabinet backboard and not the fabric.
I worked in small sections, spraying the adhesive on a 2-3 inch line from one side to the other.
I quickly pressed the fabric onto the board with my hands while smoothing out all the wrinkles.
I started in the center each time and quickly worked my way out to the edges, making sure the edges were sealed down.
I repeated these steps until I had the entire fabric piece on adhered.
Please Note: I need a new camera or better camera skills maybe :-). Some pictures were taken in the evening and aren’t the brightest, but I’m including them anyway. Apologies for the varying shades of blue!
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