Have you ever heard of a spinet desk?  If you’re shaking your head “no”, then you and I are in good company!  Before I found my latest project, I hadn’t heard of one either.

I popped into Homestead Studios one day, and saw the prettiest little desk.  It had cubbies, turned legs, a pull out writing surface and a skinny drawer.  I loved it the minute I saw it, and the owner of Homestead Studios, Tracy, gave me a great deal.  We loaded it up into The Marshmallow and I carted it home.

Here’s a sneak peek of what it looked like when I got it home:

I know this photo isn’t the best.  It’s actually a screen shot from a quick video I put up on my Facebook page.  You can watch the full video here.

Now before I get into the makeover process, let’s chat for just a minute about what a spinet desk is.  It’s named after a “spinet”, which is a musical instrument in the harpsichord family.  When these instruments waned in popularity, makers cleverly gutted the insides and turned them into writing desks!

They are characterized by drawers that run the length of the desk and a folding top that reveals a writing desk interior.  There are usually cubbies inside and a pull-out surface to increase workspace.

In this way, spinet desks look like a table on the outside and function as a writing desk on the inside.  How fun?!

So now that we know what spinet desks are, let’s take a look at how mine turned out.  Let’s start with the outside.

One of my clients saw the spinet desk on my Facebook page and asked me to paint it using Farmhouse White by Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.  She wanted it to chip as well, which it did on the front.

To seal in those chipping spots, I used Tough Coat.  This sealer is the water based poly in the MMS Milk Paint collection.  It’s non-yellowing and ideal for sealing patches of chipping paint.  Plus, it’s the most durable finish in the line, which is ideal for a piece that will be opened and closed often.

The pull out drawer has a pretty round medallion on the front.

And the legs are gorgeous!

To open the desk, you lift the top up…

and fold it back until it lays flat.

The interior has cubbies that would be perfect for holding receipts, checkbooks, stationary, stamps, pens, etc.

The interior of this spinet desk was a hot mess.  It was uneven and despite my efforts to sand it down and stain it, it came out very uneven and blotchy.  So instead of staining it, I opted to paint it with MMSMP’s chocolatey brown, Curio.

I sanded everything smooth with 400 grit sandpaper and sealed the interior with Hemp Oil.  This all natural wood oil finish makes dark colors (like Curio) look amazing!

The writing surface pulls out about 6 more inches, giving you a bit more space to work.

I really like how the back folds up at a 90 degree angle, giving you a “backsplash” of sorts.  It provides a nice surface to display your treasures.

So the next time you’re out antiquing, keep your eyes open for a spinet desk!

If you like the look I created on this piece, you can shop for all of the products I used in my antique booth at Morgantown Market.  Here’s a handy shopping list:

Products Used:

  • MMSMP in Farmhouse White
  • MMSMP in Curio
  • Hemp Oil Wood Finish
  • Tough Coat Sealer

Welcome to my happy place!
I'm Jenn Baker - Milk Paint lover, photographer, blogger, and QVC Guest Host. Click below to learn more about me and my creative business.  LEARN MORE ABOUT JENN

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