Modernizing a French Provincial Desk

One day, a couple of summers ago, I sent Chris to Goodwill to find a life vest that we could take kayaking.  He came back with this:


This is not a life vest.  If you tried to use it as a life vest, you would sink.  Somehow, though, I wasn’t mad.  Chris clearly knows me well!

This desk has been my sewing table and my writing table.  I am in the process of redoing my craft room (I’ll show it soon, but I’m finishing a couple details), and the off-white shade of the desk doesn’t really “go.”  I also wanted to simplify the style a little bit, as it’s a bit ornate for my taste.

So, because I have never met a piece of furniture I didn’t want to paint, I got out my trusty paintbrush this week and got to work! Seriously, I’ve been on a huge painting spree.  Huge.

I took off the handles and used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey to paint the whole shebang.


I spray-painted the handles in Krylon’s Oil Rubbed Bronze.  On the top of the desk, I used the same general technique I used on our dining table to create a mottled white-and-gray look. Like with our dining room table, I used flat varnish to protect the finish.

After Tabletop Finish

I wanted to keep some of the French Provincial detailing, so I distressed the gray very, very lightly on the ridges to reveal a bit of the off-white underneath.

Here’s how it turned out:

Better After



Here’s a close-up of the finish:

Desk Close Up

This is going to be an inspiring spot to write! I’ll show the rest of the craft room soon!   It’s almost done.



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