Tutorial on how to build these SUPER sturdy and adorable Mod Kid's Chairs... a Land of Nod Knock-off! {Sawdust & Embryos}

Secretary {Part 1} ~ Whitewash Glaze

What do y’all think about our new Title-Header-thing above? Classy, right? I’m a little giddy about it. HUGE thanks to Molly Long for helping out with it! I’ll post about it’s evolution soon, and Molly’s extraordinary patience with my antics.

Thank you all SOOOO much for your encouragement and support with our unfortunate living room situation! I’m so excited that so many of you love the new design better than the old one. I think I agree!

So let’s talk about a part of the living room that’s actually making some progress. Shall we? You may recall from THIS POST that we were gifted this adorable secretary desk from my sister-in-law’s parents.


I’m absolutely in love with it, for it’s cuteness and it’s organizational qualities. And I’ve been using it, as is, for several months. This has given me plenty of time to look at it, and decide what kind of treatment (if any) I would want to do to it.


Since it’s going to be a permanent fixture in our living room, I knew I wanted it to be…well, AWESOME. And I loved the woodgrain enough that I wanted to embrace it, to a certain degree.  I decided to go with a white wash! Back when we did our OMBRE DRESSER, many of you mentioned that you would have liked it better if it was a white paint-wash instead of a gray-wash. And I admit I kinda agreed. So this was my chance to try out the white.

I started by brushing on my white-wash (1 part glaze, 1 part white paint, 1 part white primer).


Then, using a clean/dry cloth, I wiped it away in the direction of the grain, leaving the white in all the crevices of the woodgrain.


Essentially, this is just glazing in white! Only instead of applying over a painted piece, I’m glazing a wood-finished piece.


I ABSOLUTELY LOOOOOVE this look. It’s so organic and beautiful. And it maintains the integrity of the wood, without feeling boring.


I love how the drawers have individual square sections (that almost look like individual drawers). And since I’ve always secretly lusted over card catalogues (NOT the price-tag), I decided I wanted hardware on each little section… to give the illusion that it has many smaller drawers! My lover drilled the holes, and I put on the new hardware… which was 70% off at Menards. (I still hate Menards. It would take a lot for them to redeem themselves)



And here she blows.



I feel like it’s came straight from Restoration Hardware, or Antrhopologie. At the moment, this is my favorite thing in my entire house (other than my little offsprings).


Can’t wait to show you what I did on the inside of the desk part!! Stay tuned later today! I suspect you’re gonna love it.



Secretary {Part 2} ~ LAYERED Stenciling (you heard me!)
Wall Disappointments {and explanations}
  • Jennifer Cabral

    That looks awesome!! I have been trying to decide what to do to some older 70’s end tables we got that are very chunky and cool. I love the wood, but it is soooo dark. I think I have found my inspiration! Thank you!

  • Junkin Revival

    Awesomeness at its finest! I get so inspired by all you have done. Great job yet again!

  • Jess

    I looks great,love how it truned out. I like how it looks like you have a lot of drawers.

  • Renee’

    LOVE IT!!! What an improvement! The cheap handles are very awesome! I have lusted over those handles for some while but do not have anyplace to put them! I also have wanted a card catalog for just as long but have not seen one in my small “price range”. You really hit the nail on the head for my wants all in one piece!

  • Mekenzie @ Interiors by Kenz

    It looks amazing! I love the RH look so hard. And your header looks sharp!

  • Anonymous

    NICE! Love the look. Mary in NY

  • Jokerine

    I’m not a huge fan of whitewashing, but this looks so organic and lovely! I also like the hardware trick. Really clever! Can’t wait to see what’s up next!

  • Holly Makowski

    Looks so awesome! The hardware is fanstatic, I love it!!! Great idea.

  • Allison

    I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure about the first white wash pictures… but once the drawer pulls were on I loved it! They complete the look…

  • artgirl

    You are an artistically creative inspirational Goddess! Love,love,love!

  • mbolke

    Hi, Beth – I went to Lowe’s today to pick up my supplies to do this technique on some gifted furniture. After talking with an associate in the paint dept., I left empty-handed and confused.

    I saw that you used equal parts primer, white paint, and glaze. Do you remember what brands/type? Did you use oil-based or latex? What sheen of paint?

    Thanks so much!

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Melanie, I used semi-gloss white latex paint, water-based primer, and technique glaze. I’m sorry I don’t remember the brands, but I’ve used them all and they should all work for this project. Let me know if you have any other questions, and please send pics when you’re done!!

  • Anonymous

    Hi there! Did you sand this piece first? I am going to try it out this weekend :)

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Nope no need to sand! Unless the current finish es extremely glossy, then I would lightly sand with 220 grit before you do the whitewash/glaze. Be sure to send pics when you’re done!!



    • Beth

      Sure that would be fine! Please send the link when it’s live so we can see! And thx for asking :)

      • Sherri

        I’ve been wanting to get that same look, but wasn’t sure since I have an unusual looking table. It’s still in nice condition, but it’s kind of boring light wood. I think it’s pine, but not sure. I have some stain called white wash. Do you think that would work with a glaze or do I need to use regular paint with the glaze?

        • Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos

          I would not use the whitewash stain. That’s meant for raw wood, and still wouldn’t REALLY give you the ‘whitewashed’ look. Just use simple white latex paint and a technique glaze and you’ll be golden! Be sure to send pictures when you’re done!

  • Virginia

    I just glazed a built in break front and was told by my paint store (they know me well:-) that I need to varnish after the glaze. Do you varnish? I’m trying to talk myself out of it because it’s a rather large piece, and I have other projects I want to move on to!

    • Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Ok personally, I would just leave it and skip the glazing. Especially if it’s a large piece. However if something scratches across it, it may take a little glaze off. This isn’t an issue for me, because I tend to wipe all the glaze off except for the nooks and crannies. But some people like to leave a ‘haze’ of glaze everywhere. And that may be where you run into some problems. It’s just really up to you. You’d have to REALLY scrape something hard for the glaze to come off. Hope this helps!!

  • http://Wedoredeaux Jackie S

    The absolute most beautiful piece ever! I am doing one more buffet and it will be my own and this is exactly how it will be done. Thank you for sharing this is stunning. I am in love with the way it turned out. Thank you for your insight and tutorial.

  • Beth

    Wow! Love it! Do you think it would work on my honey oak kitchen? Just want to lighten and tone down the orange (might put some blue Tobit in it, just a spec) but love the wood grain.

    • Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos

      YES… you could totally do this on honey oak cabinets. In fact I’ve been thinking about doing this to my mom’s cabinets just to show everyone how awesome it looks and how easy it is! If you look at this post of ours ( you’ll see a honey oak dresser that we gray-washed for a buffet in the dining room. I wish I had done a tutorial, because I literally just wiped on flat gray paint with a brush, and then wiped it off with a cotton rag. It made it look a million times better. If you go for it, be sure to email us pictures!!

  • Ironbutterfly 51

    As a professional designer and furniture junkie, I must tell you that your piece came out fabulous and the hardware is what made it. Great job.

  • beata

    Simply stunning

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