before & after: jenn’s secretary + kristen’s table

today’s first before & after is the perfect example of why my favorite color combination (yellow and grey) works so well together. jenn from chet and dot spotted this sad little secretary on the side of the road and brought it home for a little makeover fun. there was a hole in the front of the fold down panel (presumably for a lock) that jenn cleverly patched with a wine cork and then puttied over and sanded down. the veneer on the secretary was warped and peeling, so jenn sanded it down and applied a grey-tinted primer that worked so nicely with the yellow that they used it as paint for the inside and knobs. the body of the secretary got a coat of bright yellow paint and voila! a brand new piece. great work, jenn!

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)]

CLICK HERE for kristen’s table makeover after the jump!

i love when people paint furniture and leave some of the natural wood showing, so i was really happy to see this piece from kristen hamilton of ‘i keep my ideals‘. kristen finished this table for her best friend, kelly and i love the v-pattern she created with paint. great job, kristen!


haha…some red my mind!! I have been thinking of painting a piece in bright yellow and this is just perfect, I saw the piece already being left on the street near home I just need to get home some how and start painting!!! Thansks for the inspiration.


so great!! what wonderful examples of reducing reusing recycling. I hope this catches on more in mainstream society. how clever these reinventions are!

Natasha Jarmick

This is amazing! I love the bright yellow desk. I have recently been redoing a lot of my furni–as a result of inspiration from Design Sponge, and this yellow desk is my next project!!! It goes perfectly with a picture board I created with yellow button (you can see the pics on my blog).


I love the secretary w/o the door on the front. Plus the color is wonderful.


I found a secretary at Value Village (for less than $5!) and it’s nearly the twin of this one! The little divider insert was detached from mine, and I decided not to re-attach it, although I did keep it.

I’ve been using it as a dressing table! I call it my vani-desk. I made a hole in the back wall with a hole-cutter for the power cord of my lighted makeup mirror. It works perfectly to hold all my supplies, and when I’m done in the morning, I fold it up and everything is hidden away.

I also attached an organizer to the left side to hold my hair dryer, curling iron, flat iron, and brushes. Then I mounted a power strip on the rear so I could plug in everything.

So far I haven’t refinished it, but I think I will sand it down and paint it sage green, then decoupage or wallpaper the drop-front. I’m working on a cream/sage/ferns theme for my bedroom.


I’m admiring the blue tone Ikea vases. I have them in white, and have been loving blue lately. How did you colour these? What kind of paint did you use?


The blue vase set was bought as is at Winners – Canada’s version of TJ Maxx. I think they were about seven bucks!


Thanks Kristen, I’ll have a look there. I’m in Canada too! (Vancouver).