French Provincial Desk Makeover with Secrets


Hi there friend, it’s Trash to Treasure day!

On the 2nd Tuesday of each month, my friends and I share a transformation of a free or thrifted item.  It’s so much fun to be inspired by budget-friendly makeovers, isn’t it?  You can see theirs at the end of this post, and all my previous T2T makeovers HERE.

I started with this desk I bought for cheap at an estate sale… it was definitely trashy:

(Before) French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

My husband (Mr. GITG) convinced me to paint it for the vintage market, even though I had been avoiding it for ages.  It was SO filthy and gross.  And several of the drawers had ink spilled all over inside…

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

This post contains some affiliate links, at no extra cost to you, so you can easily find the products I use and like.

I was not looking forward to this project!  I started by cleaning it with damp cloths and then painting it in a few coats of Zinsser Bullseye Primer.  The ink came off onto my favorite Purdy brush which kind of freaked me out, so then I ended up pouring some primer into the drawer and spreading it around with paper towels.  After about 5 coats of primer, the ink wasn’t budging.  Time for Plan B…

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

I decided to line the drawers with paper, and I chose something dark but still feminine.  I bought 12×12 sheets of scrapbook paper and cut them to size with my paper cutter (quick and easy for these kinds of projects!).  Before gluing the paper inside though, I painted the sides of the drawers in leftover pink paint from my stash.  Thankfully it was dark enough to cover the ink on the sides.

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

The drawer was longer than my paper so I cut a small strip and glued that on with Mod Podge in the back, then glued the larger section in the front.  Be careful to not use too much Mod Podge, go slowly, and smooth out wrinkles as you go.

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

You can see the layout of the large middle drawer here – two thin sections for the back and two larger sections (one is a full sheet) for the front.  I use Matte Mod Podge for this kind of project because if you’re a little messy and get some glue on the sides (like me), the matte won’t be near as noticeable as the glossy would be.

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

The rest of the desk was painted in about 3 coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

Even the handles.

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

Finally, I used General Finishes Topcoat for the protective finish.  Watching this vintage French Provincial desk go from filthy yellow to bright, clean white was so satisfying!   <3

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

I love how it looks so simple from the outside and then you open the drawers and it’s like BAM! – a bold pop of unexpected color.

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

Such a fun secret, right?

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

I finished this desk makeover a couple weeks ago and took photos right before we loaded it into the trailer to take to the market.  A very nice couple ended up buying it.  🙂

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

I like adding a fun surprise in my projects – do you too?  In this case it was necessity, but it all worked out for the best!

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Decoupage Drawers - Girl in the Garage

Next, don’t forget to visit my friends for their Trash to Treasure Makeovers…

Trash to Treasure Tuesday - Girl in the Garage

Below are their “Before” photos – click the links underneath to go to each tutorial and see the “After” photos.

Trash to Treasure Makeovers

1. Prodigal Pieces

2. Confessions of a Serial DIYer

3. Artsy Chicks Rule

Jen

Did this project inspire you?  Please share!


 photo just-paint-it-ad-border-wide_zpsmka7ckdc.jpg

24 Comments on French Provincial Desk Makeover with Secrets

  1. Carla
    September 13, 2016 at 6:15 am (11 months ago)

    I love your desk transformation!

    Reply
    • Jen
      September 14, 2016 at 10:24 pm (11 months ago)

      Thank you so much, Carla!

      Reply
  2. Marcie Lovett
    September 13, 2016 at 9:58 am (11 months ago)

    That was a pretty tragic “before.” Love the after!

    Reply
    • Jen
      September 14, 2016 at 10:24 pm (11 months ago)

      Thanks so much, Marcie! You can tell why I put off doing this makeover for so long – that Before was nasty!

      Reply
  3. Paula@SweetPea
    September 13, 2016 at 11:45 am (11 months ago)

    The painted drawer sides and lined drawers really make this piece pop. It looks like a beautiful white desk and then when you open the drawers, the surprise is wonderful!
    Paula@SweetPea recently posted…Mid-Century Yard Sale FindsMy Profile

    Reply
    • Jen
      September 14, 2016 at 10:23 pm (11 months ago)

      Thank you Paula! 🙂 I had to break away from another solid neutral project, LOL

      Reply
  4. Carolyn
    September 13, 2016 at 12:47 pm (11 months ago)

    What a nice change! I think it would have looked nice with gold handles too.

    Reply
    • Jen
      September 14, 2016 at 10:22 pm (11 months ago)

      Oh yes, I love how white and gold look together!

      Reply
  5. Monica
    September 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm (11 months ago)

    I just want to tell you that I absolutely love what you have done with this piece!!! So beautiful with a clean, white exterior and surprising pop of color on the inside! I just love your taste! Thank you for sharing! I always feel inspired when I see the cool things others have done with old/sad pieces.

    Reply
    • Jen
      September 14, 2016 at 10:22 pm (11 months ago)

      Thanks so much, Monica! Your sweet comment made my day!

      Reply
  6. Christy@Confessions of Serial Do-it-Yourselfer
    September 13, 2016 at 4:46 pm (11 months ago)

    I love this so much, Jen!! Funny how the problem issues are what lead us in a different direction, that often results in something so much better than the original idea! The drawers really up the wow factor!! XOXO
    Christy@Confessions of Serial Do-it-Yourselfer recently posted…Repurposed HeadboardMy Profile

    Reply
    • Jen
      September 14, 2016 at 10:21 pm (11 months ago)

      Oh yes, so true! Hey I warned you a few weeks back I was working on a white FP piece like your white and gold buffet 😉

      Reply
  7. Marie, The Interior Frugalista
    September 13, 2016 at 5:56 pm (11 months ago)

    Oh my do I LOVE the surprise waiting inside that desk! I actually gasped out loud when I saw the photo. The strong red color combined with the soft white – perfection and the papered drawers just pulled it all together. No surprise it sold. Pinned to share but 🙂
    Marie, The Interior Frugalista recently posted…How To Harvest And Dry LavenderMy Profile

    Reply
    • Jen
      September 14, 2016 at 10:20 pm (11 months ago)

      Thanks so much Marie, I’m glad you like it! xo

      Reply
  8. Kim
    September 13, 2016 at 9:14 pm (11 months ago)

    Absolutely love the desk makeover. The colors are perfect!

    Reply
    • Jen
      September 14, 2016 at 10:20 pm (11 months ago)

      Thank you Kim! I was lucky to already have pink paint that matched the paper. 🙂

      Reply
    • Jen
      September 14, 2016 at 10:19 pm (11 months ago)

      Thanks so much Nancy! xo

      Reply
  9. Joanne Taggart
    September 14, 2016 at 3:15 am (11 months ago)

    Love the desk and especially the surprise when you open the drawers. I think they are the icing on the cake and who doesn’t like cake. Beautiful job and thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Jen
      September 14, 2016 at 10:19 pm (11 months ago)

      Thank you Joanne! Now you’ve got me craving some cake 😉

      Reply
  10. Audra @ Renewed Projects
    September 14, 2016 at 9:58 am (11 months ago)

    wow! What a quiet and unassuming piece with a bold secret to share! Love it!

    Reply
    • Jen
      September 14, 2016 at 10:18 pm (11 months ago)

      Thanks so much, Audra! I love doing neutrals so this was a fun way to add some unexpected color. 🙂

      Reply
  11. DiB
    September 18, 2016 at 8:01 am (11 months ago)

    Love it! I also love the appointments that you used to display the desk!

    Reply

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