French Provincial Desk DIY Renovation

Another crafty furniture post!

So I have this habit of finding worn down awesome furniture pieces at yard sales and thrift stores, and not being able to walk away. My most recent purchase was a French Provincial Desk and Dresser.

I live on an island and have a whimsical surfer, bohemian type style, personally. But even if your color choices would be different from mine, this is still a fun project to take on!

My Obsession

Eight years ago I drove up to Ohio for my friend Lauren’s wedding. I drove passed a yard sale and saw a French Provincial triple dresser. It was $10… I couldn’t pass it up. That started my obsession. Since then, I acquired a nightstand, at an antique store in Knoxville. And this summer, the desk and double dresser here on the Outer Banks of NC. Slowly but surely, my set is coming together!

My Undertaking


I started by taking out all of the drawers and removing all of the hardware, to scrub and clean the whole desk.

I sanded the surface of the desk:

  • Top
  • Sides
  • Legs
  • Drawer Faces
  • All of it

With the surfaces ready to go, it was time for my favorite part! Choosing the paint color!


I had already painted the dresser and nightstand that I had gotten years before; so, I already knew that I wanted the body of the pieces to be a powder blue, that makes me think of Pride and Prejudice, while keeping to my beach roots. It would match my existing pieces, but with an added flare.

Of course, I am a beach bunny so, I also needed a little sun and punch to it! I love orange, but it may be a bit much for some people. Its really bright, so it was only used in small doses here or there.

The goal was to paint the desk in a way where I wouldn’t be sick of it a year from now, and want to repaint it all over again!

So I decided to go with an orange pop as an accent color.

Because the blue is a pretty light color, and I didn’t bother with a primer (which I would suggest if you are using a light color), I did about three coats of paint on the top and frame.

Base Coat done

The desk already had some really pretty details carved into the wood, so I just worked with that, but if you are artsy and have a steady hand, you could do your own design! I filled in these areas with the orange paint. I also decided to do peekaboo drawers (to paint the sides of the drawers orange, too). All of that with the hardware painted orange as well made for a nice balance.

Orange accents added


The desk was coming together! I wanted to add a little something extra to it though. This was, after all, the desk I would be sitting at when I finished my novel and published my first book!

I work at a furniture store, and have a habit of bringing home the discontinued fabric samples. For such a time as this…!

Fabric lining added

I happened to have the perfect inspirational fabric to line my pencil drawer with. I laid the fabric in the drawer and traced it out, then trimmed off the excess fabric.

Then I broke out the tub of modge podge and put a nice healthy layer over the whole bottom of the drawer. I laid the fabric down, and smoothed it out using my debit card.

After I had it positioned exactly as I wanted it (while the modge podge was still wet), I began to put another layer of modge podge on top of the fabric. This made it hard, like the bottom of a drawer should be, so that the fabric wouldn’t be snagged by sliding scissors and pens as the drawer was opened and closed.

This is the point where I scrubbed the hardware, painted it (three coats), and put it back into place. I decorated the desk with pops of green orange and teal, toned down with elements like natural wood and silver. I paired it with the green tie chair I made (you can check out how I made it here), and created my whimsical, creative office space to finish my book(s)!

Finished product!

Hope you enjoyed this project and were inspired! Feel free to reach out with any questions, you may have, or share your own similar projects! I love to see what others come up with 😉

Published by brandy ange

I am an author, a reader, a craftsman, and a fitness enthusiast. I write about all of my passions, and love to share my experiences with friends and strangers alike! Stay tuned to read more about what I'm writing, and what this crazy self publishing endeavor looks like. I post new content on Tuesdays, and will alternate between my passions. Thanks for joining in this adventure called life with me! God Bless!

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