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Damask Stenciled Magazine Rack

  You know I like to give boring wooden magazine racks some personality. This dark stained one was refreshed in a soft green with a soft worn damask stencil design, so pretty don't you think?

Secretary Desk Gets A Whitewash


I was gifted a solid wood secretary desk to relove and after much debate I went with a white wash finish to keep the amazing wood visible as well as some natural wood areas. Here is what happened to get this look.

Links to the Dixie Belle products are for your convenience. My affiliation with this paint company does not increase prices on your end, your purchases via my links do however provide a small subsidy which allows me to keep providing these tutorials. Thank you!

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This compact desk was hand crafted in Canada and is so well made.

Step 1 is to scrub it inside and out once the dark stained wood hardware was removed. I like to use Dixie Belle white lightning cleaner in a bucket of warm soapy water and a scrub brush. Rinse well and dry.

The desk frame was in very good condition but the top had some pink and blue marks that even with nail polish remover, mineral spirits, hand sanding or other options would remove. This made the piece require a new updated finish.

I had polls as to what my followers felt was the best color options but as per usual it was pretty divided between black, warm white or a fun color. Originally I thought black but seeing the wood is so lovely I did not want to hide it in black. I decided to try the solid warm white drop cloth Dixie Belle Paint but after doing the front legs I was not a fan. As much as I loved the color, the style of the desk was too smooth and minimalistic with little areas to provide interest if dark waxed or distressed. So the legs were washed completely clean.

Plan b was to use the same warm white Dixie Belle Paint drop cloth but do as a white wash. Above you can see it brushed on left then wiped back right. This was done on all sides except the desk top and the drawer/cubby area.

To address the stained top, Dixie Belle BOSS was brushed on the areas with a small artist brush and blended outward. This product is a stain blocker. A couple coats were applied.

The desk top was then painted a solid coat of the drop cloth and the inside edges. Another coat was applied when dry. I pondered leaving the drawer fronts natural.

All the white washed areas were lightly sanded with a Dixie Belle sanding sponge. The glove is still on from white washing the surfaces.

The drawer fronts were white washed to match the sides. The cubbies were left natural.

To seal up the paint clear Dixie Belle's best dang wax was brushed on with the Dixie Belle best dang brush. This brush is the perfect size to make the task faster.

The original wood pulls were painted the warm white (above) but again I was not a fan.

The original darker stain looks good so once again the paint was washed off and the pulls were given a polished buff with Dixie Belle Big Mama’s Butta. The tub was the Suzanne's garden scent which gives a nice floral scent too.

The desk top was sealed with Dixie Belle satin clear coat to give a more durable surface seeing it may see allot of traffic. It was applied with the flat wide Dixie Belle scarlet brush. The right sized brushes for a project make all the difference. Two coats were applied of the clear coat.

The pulls were put back in place and this refreshed beauty is ready. It makes the perfect compact desk but also would make a lovely vanity.

I am still pondering the natural and dark stain accents and may paint them. What is your opinion?

Links to the Dixie Belle products are for your convenience. My affiliation with this company does not increase prices on your end, your purchases via my links do however provide a small subsidy which allows me to keep providing these free tutorials. Thank you!


Fridays with Friends

Shared up at these fun parties


  1. Thanks for sharing with us every week, I'm featuring you when the next To Grandma's house we go party starts! Happy Holidays!!

    1. Thank you for featuring this piece, I enjoy participating in your weekly party, thanks for hosting and Merry Christmas!

  2. You always have the best furniture makeovers. I love visiting and seeing what's new :)
    Congrats, you are being featured at the next FWF party.

    I'm looking forward to another year of pretty inspiration when the FWF party starts up again this Friday, January 7th.
    Hope to see you there!
    Happy New Year!

    1. Awe, thank you that means allot!! and thank you for the feature and many more parties!!

  3. Great job on this piece! you made such an improvement to the look and brought it into 2022! Agh...Did I really just say 2022?? Anyway, Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you and yes that is a crazy change up , Happy New Year!


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