Chalk Paint Secretary {Dining Room Details}

Oh, how I agonized.  What color to paint, and HOW to paint this beauty… an antique secretary that belonged to my aunt back in her girlhood.  I’ve had the piece for over 20 years and it was time for some TLC and a makeover so she could really shine!  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to the rescue!

antique secretary before

I finally had to bite the bullet and start painting. 🙂  And ended up with this…

DR secretary after


DR secretary after

A custom paint color of Annie Sloan Paris Gray with a few dollops of Graphite for the exterior.  Old White for the inside upper cabinet.  And Old Violet for this interior…

DR secretary interior Old Violet

I LOVE the Old Violet!

So much so, that I rarely want to close the secretary… although this looks pretty, too….

DR secretary Paris Gray

The biggest chance I took on this piece was using Minwax Special Walnut stain to add depth around the details and edges.  I was kind of scared when I had this…

DR secretary Minwax Special Walnut

But after some very light sanding, waxing with AS Clear Wax, and buffing, I fell in love with the look…

DR secretary buffed details

DR secretary details

And now we have this lovely, being completely appreciated in the corner of our dining room!

DR secretary Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

With all the nooks and crannies and details, this was quite time consuming, but the finished piece is well worth it.  Here’s the low down on what I used:

  • Exterior color: Annie Sloan Paris Gray mixed with small amount of Annie Sloan Graphite.
  • Interior upper cabinet:  Annie Sloan Old White
  • Interior desk space:  Annie Sloan Old Violet (drawer fronts in Paris Gray/Graphite mixture)
  • Depth added with Minwax Special Walnut stain
  • Waxed with Annie Sloan Clear Wax.

I love that this piece serves now as extra storage for my crystal AND can function as an extra serving surface, too.  #Winning! 🙂

What’s the most involved piece you’ve ever painted?


at Primitive & Proper

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See you Friday for my August Favorites!


  1. Beautiful and inspiring. I love how you sculpted this piece in an array of soft and related shades especially using a touch of Old Violet on the interior. You’ve definitely guaranteed this piece will be a treasured family heirloom for decades to come.

    Robin @

  2. Really, really beautiful… Big job, but big payoff too!

  3. SO pretty! I love the inside color too!

  4. Heidi you know I love this piece!! The colors are beautiful!!!

  5. I never cease to be amazed at what a liitle paint and elbow grease can do! Wonderful transformation! (Also, I couldn’t get your link to work at Wow Us Wednesday, you may want to check it out.)

  6. Lovely! That took some nerve to paint over that old piece, bit look at all the details it brought out! I believe it is more beautiful now!

  7. it looks so beautiful! fabulous job, heidi!

  8. Janis Covington Stufflebean says


  9. Beautiful! I love the extra touch added by the stain. You did an excellent job really bringing this piece back to life!

  10. Love it, Heidi!

  11. Ummm, you totally rocked it with the chalk paint, sister! I just stumbled upon your blog and just wanted to give you a shout out about the awesome job you did on the secretary.

    Another one from the A-T-L…I am, Dawn Rene

  12. I had said that I could not pick a favorite in your beautiful room as everything is so beautiful; however, if you tied me down and made me pick one…I would have to choose the secretary…you did an awesome job…just love the colors you chose!….Bravo Heidi!!!

  13. It turned out just BEAUTIFUL…my post today is about my secretary but mine is very country…not elegant like yours. You did a great job on it.
    Over from the Picket Fence. 🙂
    I am linking to follow your pretty blog.

  14. very nice indeed; I have a secretary to get started on as well; can’t wait


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