Another Craig’s List Find

August 29, 2013 by 18 Comments

I’m a happy camper today!  I’ve been patiently waiting and checking Craigslist on a regular basis for a secretary desk and I found it.  Yay! We’ve lived in this house for quite some time and one of the walls has been such an eye sore.  Well, it’s been bare….I’ve never shown it to you for that reason.  In the past I tried to decorate this area with pictures, collages and an antique wall clock…nothing seem to work in that space. Aimee, my dil, suggested botanical prints, which I really like, however we’re talking quite a bit of money for 6 or 9 prints including framing. A couple of months ago I’ve started paying attention and was inspired by secretary desks. I never really thought about them before, but now I was smitten and on a mission to find one for our living room.

secretary deskI love the simplicity of it….and the lead glass doors definitely had my attention first time I laid eyes on the piece.  Very charming! I can’t wait to decorate the inside!

Cleaning ProductsI have one small challenge…it came out of a smokers’ home and I’ve already cleaned it with Simple Green and Murphy’s Oil Soap.  I’ve read on “eHow”  instructions on how to use vinegar and water to get rid of the residue from the cigarette smoke, so it will get another cleaning or two with the recommended vinegar and water solution to remove the odor.

Things needed:

1/2 cup of vinegar

1 quart of warm water

soft rags and bucket

So here I go,  round 2 of the cleaning. Do you have any other suggestions how to get rid of smoke damage on furniture?

Linking to:  savvy southern style , between naps on the porch


18 Responses to “Another Craig’s List Find”
  1. Carolyn says:

    Beautiful piece! I think the vinegar should work. Maybe add a little baking soda if not too harsh. Look forward to finished pics.

  2. Diane says:

    Oh what a find!!! I just love it. Hope you are able to get the smell to go away. Looks like you are on the right road 🙂 Can’t wait to see it all filled and looking beautiful in its new home.

  3. Karen K says:

    Wow, that secretary is beautiful! Great find! I have my Mother-in-law’s downstairs & it needs something done to it, but your’s is sooo much prettier! I would have tried to “clean” it the same way as you have tried. I’m sitting here drinking lemon water & was trying to think of something lemony (SP) maybe you could use. Lemons clean & also leave a fresh scent. Let us know how it turned out!

  4. Sarah says:

    Wonderful piece! Good luck with getting the smell out. Did the years of smoke damage the finish? Look forward to seeing it with all your things in it.

  5. Donnamae says:

    Beautiful piece! I didn’t realize wood would retain smoke. I would call a professional and see if they have any advice. Good luck…anxious to see it all styled! 😉

  6. Ribota says:

    Gorgeous piece! Thats my style. Enjoy it.

  7. It is a gorgeous piece, Moni! I love it! My little china hutch in my dining room also had a funky smell to it…it may have been in a smoker’s home at one time. It’s very hard to get rid of! After cleaning it up and painting it, I put some potpourri in little votive cups inside the drawers for awhile and now I keep dryer sheets in there to keep it fresh smelling.

    Also…thanks so much for the link to my site on your side bar! What a nice surprise! 🙂

  8. Christine says:

    Great piece Moni, love it! I have another tip for you about getting rid of odor…if you can still smell smoke. Try pouring cheap coffee grinds inside the piece, laying down a nice 1/2″ thick “bed” inside everywhere you can……leave it for at least a week, then vacuum it out.

    It will smell like coffee afterwards for probably a month or two but it should get rid of the smoke odor.

  9. Tammy says:

    I so want a secretary! There was one at the auction on Saturday night but after a day of painting, I wasn’t able to stay until they ran it! As far as the smoke smell, besides cleaning with vinegar, put a few pieces of bbq charcoal in the cabinet areas. That might help some. Our camper refrigerator was unexpectedly turned off and we had some bad food that smelled really, really bad! I scrubbed it quite a few times, then I read about the charcoal and it worked! I left it in the fridge for several months and it absorbed all the bad smell!

  10. Lanita says:

    I LOVE the new piece of furniture!! Can’t wait to see how you decorate the inside!

  11. Susan says:

    I have wanted one for years, but the ones that I found were very expensive. You got a beauty! Good luck with the smoke smell~

  12. Zuni says:

    Oh, Moni, she’s beautiful!! I love the leaded glass and the legs! I have an old secretary with original wavy glass and I love it. You’re going to have so much fun decorating it! ~Zuni

  13. sandy says:

    Try vodka and fresh air…This may sound crazy but has worked for me on really smelly interiors. Try on an inconspicuous area on finished surface. Good luck!

  14. Stephanie says:

    What a GREAT find! I love secretary desks, you can do so much with them with little effort. Unfortunately I don’t know how to rid the smell, but I do know that’s fab.

    Surrounded by Pretty

  15. Jayne says:

    Beautiful piece! I love to use baking soda after I’ve cleaned with white vinegar and let TOTALLY dry. I sprinkle the baking soda in and on the piece and leave for a couple of days and then vacuum out, good luck!

  16. Eva says:

    I would try cleaning with Amonia. Sounds horrible but I clean all the furniture I paint with water with amonia. I tip I got from Annie Sloan. After that if you can’t get the smell out I would start doing to the piece what you would like to do. If you don’t want to paint the outside wood I would recommend giving it a very light sanding and wax it afterwards.
    By the way don’t use Anny Sloan’s or any similar paint on it because nothing bleeds through like nicotine!

    Good luck.


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  1. At Home says:

    […] I have tons of small projects I’d like to get to. By the way….I still like my recent craigslist find!  I’m still working on making it smell better.  So far I have used all of the recommended […]

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