Madame Secretary

May I introduce you to Madame Secretary of MRS Designs headquarters. She is a woman of few words. She resides over many of the ins and outs of correspondence, and keeps everything tidy. 

MRS Designs Blog - Refinishing a Vintage Secretary Desk

With humble beginnings she was beautifully crafted many years ago.

Fitted with two top shelves, carved legs, and a handy drawer, she was very exquisite on the outside. And as it is with most things though, her true beauty was deep within. Women are complex! She was not very happy with her aged "orange" look, and begged to be updated. With careful thought I began her transformation. 

MRS Designs Blog - Refinishing a Vintage Secretary Desk

Paris gray chalk paint by Annie Sloan seemed the best choice. A bit conservative, but I wanted to retain a classic, airy look. Sometimes, ok all the time, when I am repainting something I tend to go through the "ugly stage" of the process.  It's usually when I am halfway completed that I start to second guess.

MRS Designs Blog - Refinishing a Vintage Secretary Desk

This makes me and Madame Secretary moody and worried. But stay the course...it's only paint after all!

The real fun about repainting a piece is when you age it. All the curves and carvings are highlighted and come to life like magic.

MRS Designs Blog - Refinishing a Vintage Secretary Desk

Excellent Madame Secretary!

MRS Designs Blog - Refinishing a Vintage Secretary Desk

Here we dressed her all up for fall.

We did have to deal with accessories...the chair. It was orange too if you recall. So I made a slip cover out of hemp linen and couldn't help but embroider it with my initials, MS :)

Helpful Tip: Don't forget to piece it together inside out for easy fitting and stitching.

MRS Designs Blog - Refinishing a Vintage Secretary Desk

A cozy corner to read. Thank you Madame Secretary.

MRS Designs Blog - Refinishing a Vintage Secretary Desk

Now don't be moody!

 

Remember reuse, renew, repurpose.

Margaret

How to Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover or Journal

Here is my faithful bible that I purchased in 1970. It has been well used and needs a facelift. Sure, I could have sewn a new slipcover, but I had heard that Annie Sloan chalk paint will stick to almost anything!  

So I prepped the book by removing the pages, which were still intact with its original book webbing, leaving the flaps.

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover - Step 1

I opened it up and laid it flat on a painting surface. I brushed on Annie Sloan paint "Pure White" on the outside and let it dry. 

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover - Painting the cover

Then I painted the inside flaps.

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover - Annie Sloan Paint

I folded back the page and pressed them back together and then opened them again. The texture appears to look like angel wings or feathers. Annie Sloan chalk paint is very creamy and perfect for this.

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover - Annie Sloan Paint Inside Pages

I let this dry again and then I topped it with a light coat of Annie Sloan wax to seal it and then buffed it lightly.

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover; embellishing the outside

Back to the outside of the book. Here is where it really gets fun. Collect together all your paper embellishments like old music, vintage wall paper findings, stamps, old postcards (mine were written by my grandmother who sent them to me when I was little) and other graphics that have special meaning to you. The Graphics Fairy is a fabulous resource where you will find over 4,500 free vintage images. Pre-arrange them on the dry cover so you get an idea where to place them once you are ready to glue down with "Mod Podge" glue. Use stamps and paint to add texture after the first coat of glue has dried.

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover; Stamp Tips

A trick to place stamp images exactly where you want them is to first stamp the image on white tissue paper. I use the Cost Co brand. Using water, paint around the image and tear it out. Then glue down exactly where you want it...no guessing or luck required! Be sure to give your cover three good coats of glue. Here is the new front...

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover; final product

And here is the back...

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover; final product cover

The wonderful thing about using Annie Sloan paint is that it leaves a time worn, vintage look...in a pretty way, of course!

MRS Designs Blog - Paint and Decoupage an Old Book Cover Finished Product

Why not pick up some velvet bookmarkers that you can find in our shop to go along with your "new" book!

Thanks for visiting.

 

Remember to reuse, renew, repurpose.

Margaret