Mr. Q and I picked up this petite secretary hutch a few weeks ago. The gal we purchased it from said she got it from a friend who said that his grandfather made it.
It had a couple of flaws, but nothing major. However, as you can see in the ‘before’ photo, one of the drawers fell apart as we were unloading it. That was an easy fix that just needed some glue.
In addition, there were no stops in place to keep the drop down desk surface from falling back inside the piece when it was up. The only way to keep that piece in place was to use the lock mechanism, which was rather tricky. Ken solved that problem by just adding a small peg on either side.
When I first brought this piece home I had envisioned a fabulously chippy milk paint finish on it. That didn’t quite work out. I did start out painting it with a couple of coats of Homestead House milk paint in one of my favorite pale greys, Bedford.
However, when I came back out to the workshop the next day I saw that most of the paint had chipped off the fronts of the drawers and the front of the drop down desk. The paint on the sides of the piece didn’t chip, but it looked really blotchy. I had a feeling before I painted this one that I might end up with this problem. You see there were spots on the sides where the previous finish was entirely worn away. Those spots absorbed the milk paint quite differently than the spots that still had some finish on them.
I thought that maybe I could still work with the milk paint and just go really chippy and distressed, but in the end I knew I wouldn’t be happy with it. So I wrote off the milk paint and switched to Fusion acrylic paint in the same color, Bedford.
First I vigorously sanded down the super chippy drawer fronts and drop down desk front. If I hadn’t, the chippy texture of the milk paint would have shown. Once I had those mostly smooth, I wiped them down and then added a coat of Fusion’s Bedford. I didn’t sand the sides of the piece that hadn’t chipped, I just painted right over the milk paint.
It only took one coat of paint to get good coverage and to solve the blotchy problem on the sides.
I added another Iron Orchid Designs transfer to this piece. I thought this design suited it perfectly.
I painted the inside of the hutch in Fusion’s Midnight Blue. I thought this would be a great color if one has some ironstone that they want to display and they want to make it pop.
I also painted the inside of the desk in the same dark blue.
I had a heck of a time trying to get photos of this piece on a brilliantly sunny fall day. The glass in the doors reflected everything.
I even resorted to moving the hutch inside, but I didn’t think those photos were any better.
Maybe outside was better after all.
Either way, I think the hutch itself definitely looks better painted.
Would you agree?