My good friend Nancy Chase at Sea Rose Cottage and Danielle Driscoll from Finding Silver Pennies  partnered on this project. It is so lovely, and has such a sweet story on naming the secretary, that we have reprinted this for your enjoyment.


February 2, 2015 by Danielle Driscoll 

I partnered with the Sea Rose Cottage for this post. She sent me some Efex Appliqués to try and I loved them.

Happy Monday!  I’m delighted to introduce you to this lovely lady!


I bought this great secretary (I think from the 1940s/ 50s) shortly after we moved into our house and it has sat in the corner of the living room waiting for her makeover ever since. That is almost two years!!!  This is how she was looking before:


I fell in love with her ball and claw feet and the pretty serpentine shape of the drawers, BUT as you can see she wasn’t in perfect condition:


Lots of scratches and very shiny finish.


We filled the drawers too.  Once all the repairs were done, I prepped this desk thoroughly washing it down and sealing with two coats of shellac.  I was really worried this one was going to bleed through.

The front of the desk was really quite plain and I wanted to bring in the coastal feel that the rest of our home has while keeping it classic.  I talked with my friend Nancy about Efex Appliqués.  These appliqués are amazing!  They are made out of latex.


They are flexible, can bend and can stretch.  You can stick them to almost any surface: wood, plaster, metal, glass, and terracotta.   My friend Victoria has done a mirror in them – which you can see here.

Here are the materials I used for this desk:




First, we lined up the appliqué on the desk and made sure it was level. Then we traced the appliqués outline.  We applied DAP Weldwood contact cement to the appliqués and to the surface and allowed this to set for about 15 minutes.Then pressed the Efex into place and bonded on contact.  To be on the safe side I waited until the next day to start painting.


The inside is painted in French Linen Chalk Paint with a wash of Old White.  I love this soft effect it gives to the piece.  I started by doing French Linen all over the whole piece (twice).  If you remember the French Linen is also picked up in our coffee table which is on the other side of the room.


I plan on sharing the “wash technique” very soon as it is one of my favorite effects for giving texture, depth and a soft look.  It can also give a whitewashed look on plain wood.


Oh, I also need to say a HUGE thank you to my husband who spent a lot of time and effort getting the shelf unit out.

If you follow me on Instagram then you maybe saw these treasures I found behind the shelf unit inside the desk.


Vintage stamps and this sweet photograph.

The desk is named after “Daisie Barrett” who received the letter tucked inside. The stamp is from 1925.


Oh, a tip for paintinginside the shelf – I used a mini roller!


The rest of the desk is painted in a light coat of Duck Egg Blue.  I used haphazard strokes and Annie Sloan bristle brush which gives a textured finish. Over the entire body I did a wash of Old White.  I lightly distressed with a sanding block and sealed with 2 coats of wax and then buffed.

Here you can see the layered texture and colors:


She is very soft and dreamy.  She reminds me of a warm day sitting in the sand or a lovely garden party filled with macaroons in their pastel shades.


All of her beautiful details stand out now, from the serpentine drawers to the ball and claw feet.

The Efex appliqués really make the piece.  I also used a little Pearl Oyster Stencil Creme on them.


The Sea Rose Cottage has all the popular designs, including the ones I used on this piece in stock.  The appliqués I used were R1 and SC-14 .  I’m really excited to use more on different pieces of furniture.


What do you think of my pretty Daisie?!?


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