Two-Tone Grey Secretary Desk

Hello, peeps! Welcome to another episode of “painting furniture for my mom“. ;-)

This vintage secretary desk used to be my grandmother’s (or my Mommom as we called her) and now my mom has it in her guest room. The piece has something unique I haven’t seen before with secretary desks; open side shelving. In fact I had always taken it to be a buffet table all this time!

Many years of use and this desk had special “history marks” all over. Lots of the surface was roughed-up with round-rimmed grooves from vases or flower pots and odd things stuck to it – our guess is the summer sun melted some items to it when it sat in their dining room.

seagull gray grey general finishes milk paint before

Given its condition, my mom had covered it up with a bunch of decor until she could get around to refinishing it. I wish I’d thought to take a “before” picture of it to show just how much stuff she had on it! Just picture it with lots of candles, shells, beachy-looking decor, picture frames, and a lace overlay.

As I have been starting to paint furniture more in the last few months, my mom asked if I could give it the much-needed makeover it deserved.

…So, you know when you’ve been pining to do a certain paint color or design but haven’t been able to find the proper piece for it? And then you come across a random piece and suddenly there’s Morpheus whispering “this is the one”? And you’re super siked?

That was this project!

[Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.]

When I came over to my folks house I started to inspect the desk, running my hand over its surface, pulling out drawers and scanning it over…

“Hmm, lots of this will need wood filler and hard-core sanding, but the drawer fronts are in great condition, and I love the existing stain color….” 

Suddenly my brain snapped into action and I knew this piece was begging to be two-toned, something I’d been wanting to do for a long time! Mom got on-board with the idea and we got down to choosing a paint color for the rest of the desk.

Her guest room has a beachy-cottage feel with lots of blues and grays, so we decided to stay in that color scheme, choosing a light grey from General Finishes called Seagull Gray that would contrast well with the dark stain of the drawers.


general finishes seagull gray

…and a top coat was applied to seal and protect, we were left with this…!

general finishes two tone seagull gray milk paint makeover
general finishes two tone seagull gray milk paint makeover
general finishes two tone seagull gray milk paint makeover
general finishes two tone seagull gray milk paint makeover

LOVE how it turned out!

Now guests will have a statement piece in their room when they come over, and mom doesn’t have to hide every bit of surface with lace and nick-knacks. ;)

Do you have any projects you’ve been waiting to do with the right piece?


Pin it for Later!

You may also like


  1. Oh my what an interesting piece of furniture. Your Mom must have been so pleased with the gorgeous makeover you gave it. So glad it caught my eye over at the Before and After Wednesday party. Pinning this and following you!
    Marie@The Interior Frugalista

  2. Great vision for such an unusual piece! It turned out beautifully and is now a real statement piece in a room! Thanks for sharing at Inspiration Friday and I look forward to seeing and sharing more of your great work!

  3. That looks great! I would have never thought of picking a piece like that to give a makeover! Thanks for sharing! Now I'm keeping my eyes out for a diy project!

  4. This looks great! Thank you for sharing your post with us at Totally Terrific Tuesday Link Party. If you haven't linked up this week, be sure to stop by. The party is still going on! Enjoy the rest of your week!
    Christie ~ Sparkles of Sunshine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *