I wanted to paint them white, but figured the "birch veneer" finish was more like plastic covering particle board and white paint would never work. It just wasn't going to stick. So, I coverered them in white contact paper. I did the inside in a green print. Are they perfect? No. Was it a pain to do? Yep, but contact paper is pretty forgiving and its actually easily removable. I'm happier with them now.
The inside ...
Here is the secretary awaiting paint (see the paint can on the windowsill?) and a chair that I will also paint and recover the seat with some other fabric. I think I'm going to move it to my living room as well. I could really use a space for my laptop there and once its painted I think its going to be perfect. Once the secretary is moved, I'm going to take the glider and ottoman from my daughters room and put it in the corner so we have a library area. The green chair will match the green of the shelves.
Last but not least ... A neighbor stopped by to give me an old Amish doll cradle for my daughter that she's had for years. I didn't take a "before" picture, but it was stained a very dark walnut color and the finish wasn't great. Of course, I decided to paint it and I think it actually looks pretty good.
But, I'm not done yet! I ordered these ...
... to put on the front, back and inside top of the cradle.
I'm also thinking about distressing it and putting an antique finish on it with gel stain. I wanted to do this on a larger piece (like the secretary) but I've never done it and would hate to have to repaint something bigger so I might start here. I also plan to make some cushions from the old receiving blankets that I no longer have any use for. My little girls are growing up!