I haven't painted many of these yet, though I do seem to be coming across them more and more recently. A secretary desk is basically a piece of furniture with a pull down area that transforms into a desk, allowing all the usual messy bits of a desk to be neatly tucked away at a moment's notice. [like when you're writing a letter in correspondence with the person you've been in the throes of a torrid love affair with, and you must quickly conceal your secrets, that kind of thing...]
Back to the matter at hand, paint! I had initially started to paint this piece white, because I thought it would look really elegant, but unfortunately the previous paint/stain job was done in this olive green color that continued to bleed through the white no matter what I tried. For curiosity's sake, I slicked on some blue paint and POUF, the green disappeared! So blue it was. I went with a graphite color for the interior, again to hide the offensive green, but also because I love the look of a two toned piece.
When looking for a secretary desk, having really sturdy hinges is key. Open it and put pressure on the fold out piece. If it feels unstable or like it could snap off without much trouble, run in the other direction! Lucky for me, this one is exceptionally sturdy.
This desk would make the perfect spot to do crafts or other cluttered work, depending on what tickles your fancy. If you have a particularly messy kid, this desk can hide all manner of sin. Plus it has three drawers for storing anything else that might be mucking up the space [I really like the word mucking]. This piece could go anywhere, from the end of a hallway, to a bedroom, or just as an occasional spot to do bills or poke around on the laptop in your living room. Any small space will do! Check it out on Craigslist or in the shop! [or now, on Etsy!]