Desk Makeover Before and After {Painted Desk Reveal}

Today on the agenda the Desk Makeover Before and After!!!!

She is finished! And ready for her moment of fame, my old desk has received her chalk paint makeover:


chalk paint desk makeover before and after via


Isn’t she pretty?! I used Annie Sloan chalk paint, White Linen over Paris Grey and some heavy distressing.

Let’s do a close-up of the before and after:


chalk paint desk makeover before and after via


Quite the metamorphosis, from ugly duckling to beautiful swan.

It was an intensive process let me tell you that. Removing the veneer off the top to start with was not an easy job. It took me the better part of a day. But then I had this:


how to remove veneer from an old desk via


A ruined iron, a raw, veneerless desk top, very tired and badly bruised and slightly burned hands and an enormous sense of accomplishment.

I removed the veneer by heating it up with the iron and then scraping it off. Stubborn bits got soaked with water then heated and scraped. And that over and over again until all the veneer was gone.

Next up was removing the glue remains and lots of sanding. Than I had this:


Desk Makeover Sanding


A desk with a ‘smooth’ surface. Still old, roughed up and naturally distressed but looking so much better and ready to be painted.

Enter my paint:


Annie Sloan Chalk Paint


I gave her one good layer of the grey and then a two layers of the white (except the drawer fronts). Then I did the distressing and finally a good coat of clear wax. The drawer fronts also got some dark wax to tie them in and they got some new drawer pulls that hide the non-functioning key holes and make them much more functional.

The whole painting process again was not a joy. I am delighted with the final outcome, but I still struggle with the chalk paint. I’ll give you a more in-depth review of my experiences with AS chalk paint tomorrow, because today I want to forget about the troubles and rejoice in the outcome!


chalk paint desk makeover before and after via




chalk paint desk makeover before and after via


The careful observer will have recognized which of my inspiration desks turned out to be my most important inspiration.

Miss Mustard Seeds Painted Desk


Mustard Seed Desk Makeover


So in honor of the wonderful Marian I tried to channel my “inner Miss Mustard Seed” and style the desk in her style as well.

The vintage typewriter has a story to tell that I will tell you another time soon.


chalk paint desk makeover before and after via




chalk paint desk makeover before and after via


Another project in my big Craft Room Makeover project finished!!

Only 1385 more to go Wie, ik?


chalk paint desk makeover before and after via


Isn’t she pretty!?!

This was my second time I worked with chalk paint. The first project involved a makeover of a maid’s closet.

You can find my review of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint (that were a bit mixed to say the least) here.

My desk now proudly stands in my craft room/ home office / sewing room. You can find the full reveal of my craft room here.


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    • Marianne@Songbird says

      Thank you! After so much work giving her the makeover I thought she deserved some proper styling too, before I bury her under paperwork and junk :-)

  1. Nathalie says

    Oh Marianne, your desk looks so beautiful- I love it!!! Ohhhh I want one of those! What a labour of love! Well done! My old dark stain oak bureau is looking at me now and it looks very sad… I think I have just decided what make-over to give it :-) Looking forward to your thoughts on the chalk paint; I keep hearing about it but have not tried it myself.

    • Marianne@Songbird says

      A sad looking oak bureau. Now we can’t have that. Go slap some paint on that baby and make her happy again….

      • Nathalie says

        yes ma’am 😉 The project will have to go to the back of the queue, but I will show you a picture once completed…could be a while though 😉

        • Marianne@Songbird says

          Yes! Please do. I love seeing happily painted oak bureau’s. Looking forward to the makeover reveal.

  2. says

    It’s lovely. I especially love the color combo….

    Looking forward to hearing what you think about the chalk paint, I have only done a few pieces, and do like it, with some reservations.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

    • Marianne@Songbird says

      Yes, I think the color combo makes the desk. I am preparing my post for tonight. Curious to know if my reservations are the same as yours.

    • Marianne@Songbird says

      Wow that is one big compliment! I love MMS’s one too, but the starker color combination wouldn’t have worked in my room. I am grateful for her inspiration though.

    • Marianne@Songbird says

      Physical pain is true all right. But she was worth it. I guess the life of a home decorator blogger comes with physical hardship :-)

    • Marianne@Songbird says

      Thank you! And art or not this baby has got to work too, she will be used hard :-)

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.

  3. Lola Fields says

    So glad I found you. I’m about to try the chalk paint and I need to know all about it before I spend the $’s on it. I’m wanting to paint my bathroom vanity cabinets.

    • Marianne@Songbird says

      I am working on my review for tonights post. Hopefully it will be helpful. And good luck with your vanity cabinets.

    • Marianne@Songbird says

      Dank je wel! Ja het was zeker een hoop werk, maar ik ben hardstikke blij dat ik doorgezet heb en dat het precies zo geworden is als in mijn fantasie.

  4. says

    Amazing transformation!! I love how you made it look like something close to a original. You didn’t take the soul from it instead you gave it even more!

  5. says

    Hi Marianne, you were brave to take off all the veneer on top. You did a great job and it turned out well worth the trouble. Love the technique with the gray on the drawer fronts, thanks so much for coming to the party and linking up to VIF!!

  6. says

    Hello Marianne,

    First of all; I love this make-over. Great job!!

    I have worked a lot with AS Paint (and all other brands of chalk paint) in the past, but the ‘no-sanding and no priming’ story is nonsense. It is always better to degrease thoroughly, remove old layers of wax and sand glossy surfaces lightly. I understand that the ‘no prep’ part is tempting, but use your common sense. For example; when you’re working on an old piece of furniture that has been French polished, you can’t just paint over it. And some types of wood, like oak, contain tannin, which causes these yellow or brownish stains. If this occurs, you really should prime the wood with a special primer.

    I compared AS paint with our own Chalk Paint (Abbondanza) and did a lot of tests on ‘difficult surfaces’ like melamine, waxed and glossy surfaces etc. and AS did not stick better. To be honest; our paint was more durable, even without primer :)

  7. says

    Oh – she is pretty! Love every last detail! It sounds like it was a ton of work, but so worth it. The typewriter looks like it has been on that desk since back in the day. Just wonderful!

  8. says

    Your desk is beautiful! What a great job. I really like how you have it styled with the old typewriter and other accessories. The chair looks so pretty with the desk.
    I’m a new follower and hope you’ll stop by and follow back on GFC.
    Mary Alice

  9. says

    Hi Marianne! I popped over from your HomeTalk post to get the low-down on this piece… love the way it turned out! I’m tackling a secretary this weekend and have been on the fence about using a 2 tone approach. I think this sealed the deal!
    Enjoy your weekend ~ Heidi @ Decor & More

  10. says

    Oh wow! That is beautyfull! I love the colors you chose! It looks very similar to the secretary I did a makeover on, a few weeks ago:) You can see it on my blog:)