14 In Furniture Makeovers/ How To's

White Desk Restyle

White Desk makeover

Throughout high school, college and after in the real world, I brought a small Target desk with me to use. It was a dark wood, very cute and I loved that it was great for small apartment spaces. But when we moved we had to keep all of our accumulated office supplies in an extra dresser while looking for more storage space. So when we found this 9 drawer desk I was ecstatic! I knew this would be perfect for our storage woes!

desk makeover

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chalk painted furniture

But of course, with all the furniture we find it needed some fixing before we could even think about pulling out that paintbrush. Once again, with all the scratches to the top surface, the best bet was to sand them all down. We sanded the entire piece, but only the top down to the raw wood. (This is what we use for heavy-duty sanding.) There was also some terrible, old contact paper on the inside of each drawer, but lucky for me it came off very easy! And underneath that, the wood was perfect 🙂

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Shellac was then needed as a sealant so the old finish wouldn’t bleed through the paint. We applied two coats of that with a foam brush over the old sanded finish before we painted. If you start painting and notice the color is bleeding, stop and apply a stain blocking primer if shellac was already used.


Our absolute favorite paint is Annie Sloan’s “Old White” which I had previously used on my coffee table. This desk would be used in a different room than the coffee table but I still wanted to run the same color scheme throughout the house with a mixture of light painted pieces and dark wood pieces. So we applied two coats of “Old White” to the desk, right over the shellac.


Then I felt like the piece needed some kind of added detail to it since it was very plain. There is nothing wrong with being simple and leaving it perfect white, but we wanted to take this to the next level and add some depth to it. It was decided we would take Annie Sloan’s ” French Linen” color and do some hand painting! I grabbed a small craft paint brush and added a couple drops of water to the “French Linen” and hand painted the color into the crevices of the piece, which was mainly around the bottom ‘feet’.

desk makeover

I then took the same color, with less water, and hand painted that to the edges to make it look like the piece was distressed. But instead of using sand paper to take off the paint, we added the color to give it the look we wanted.

white painted furniture

Then all that was needed was some wax to seal the piece. You could also use polycrylic to seal, but I wanted the matte sheen of a wax for this piece.

custom painted furniture
White Desk Restyle 1
And to complete the look of this desk, new cup pulls were ordered to bring it all together. Since the French Linen color is a grayish tint we went with an antique pewter finish on the hardware to tie it all together.

restyled furniture

white painted furniture

It is now a wonderful new addition to our small household, where storage was really needed!

painted furniture

White Desk Restyle 2
9 drawer desk makeover

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  • Reply
    June 26, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    It turned out amazing!!! Awesome job! Thanks for sharing at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link!

  • Reply
    August 1, 2016 at 9:34 am

    What a stunning desk and the hardware looks so much better than the original ones. . My two favorite colors from ASCP. It’s my go to and they look great together. I so enjoyed visiting your lovely blog and I would love for you to stop by and link up your post at a link party I am co-hosting. I hope to see you there. Have a great week. http://diy180site.blogspot.com/2016/07/dishing-it-and-digging-it-link-party-107.html

    • Reply
      Kristen & Vicki
      August 1, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      Thank you so much for visiting Vanessa! Those two ASCP colors are our “go-to’s” as well! We will be sure to link up to your party!!

  • Reply
    Nicole Cisneros
    August 12, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Love it! The power of white paint always amazes me 🙂 🙂 🙂 So great! I found you on the Chic on a Shoestring link up – glad I did!

    • Reply
      Kristen & Vicki
      August 12, 2016 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks so much for visiting Nicole! We love white paint!!

  • Reply
    Sam-Raggedy Bits
    August 13, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Gorgeous makeover! Love the drawer pulls!

    • Reply
      Kristen & Vicki
      August 15, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Thank you so much for visiting and for the kind words!

  • Reply
    September 2, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Love this. Saving the link for maybe doing my Dad’s old desk.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:52 am

    The entire VintageStyleLiving.com team just loves this desk project. It turned out fabulous!

  • Reply
    Brenda E Young
    January 21, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    A classic finish for a classic piece, love the new hardware and softly added details, thanks for sharing it a Fridays Furniture Fix Ladies!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Amazing what some paint can do to change a piece of furniture! Thanks for sharing for IDIYedThat!

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