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French Provincial Desk Set Makeover

Are you in the mood for a furniture makeover? This vintage French Provincial desk is in need of an update to fix the broken and bring a refreshed feel. Let’s get our DIY on! *giveaway alert!!

French Provincial Desk Before Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces

However, before I go any further, I need to give a huge shout-out to my friend, Mandy, who turned this gem over to me. I promised her to do right by her and her ministry. You can see what she does in this past post HERE. She used this desk in her home to create a study space to homeschool her children.


It’s time for a new look, wouldn’t you say? If you look close, you’ll see a broken drawer pull, chipped up paint, and a sort of jerry-rigged panel fixed to the back to hold the legs on to the rest.

Top of Vintage French Provincial Desk Before Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces

First, I took off that back panel and here’s what I saw…

Broken Desk Needs Repair |

*post sponsored by HomeRight and does contain affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

Yep…a hot mess. Thankfully, though, the desk is not beyond repair. It just needs some TLC and has come to the right place. {{wink, wink}} Next, I used the same wood from my reclaimed wall art in this post and my Kreg Jig to create a tight brace. A bit of wood glue and screws go a long way.

Repaired Desk with Kreg Pocket Holes for Desk Repair |

Then, for the rest of the desk to get some lovin’. Oh, and I found a chair to pair with it. woot! It too, needs a refresh, don’t you think?

Vintage Chair for French Provincial Desk Before Makeover |


My end goal in this project is to prime and paint. In addition, I’ll be adding some fun details as we go too. In order to do that, I need to get as clean as a surface as I can. First, I sand down the top with my sander hoping to find wood.

Sanding French Provincial Desk Top | Laminate Surface |

However, I didn’t find wood, but rather laminate. Well, you might say bummer, but I was like…let’s rock this. Laminate is a supremely durable surface and it can be painted. See my past dining set tutorial HERE.

As for the rest, I just filled in dings and dents with wood filler, and sanded down the brush strokes and drips that were already present. Also, I plugged the original drawer pull holes with dowel. Then, I drilled new holes for knobs.

Cutting Dowel to Fill Drawer Hardware Holes |


Next, it’s time to break out my paint and rework this ol’ gal. First, my favorite HomeRight tools come out to play. Why are they a favorite? Well, I’ve had a paint sprayer for about 5 years now and it has never let me down. You can see my first project with it HERE. I can get a project like this French Provincial desk set done in less than twenty minutes. Seriously!

Priming Desk with Zinsser Primer |

After I set up my Large Spray Shelter, (a life-saver!) I begin using my Super Finish Max Extra Sprayer with a stain & odor blocking shellac primer as a base coat. It provides the clean slate I’m after, plus makes for a durable finish. Also, notice how nice the desk looks with just primer.

Primed Desk in HomeRight Shelter |

You can watch how to set up and use this handy sprayer in my video below. It’s not only good for paint, but poly finishes, and stains too. You can see all the ways I’ve used it in the past in these posts.

Then, I took care of the drawers and chair. See that purple inside the drawers? After sanding, I found that this was originally a creamy white with that purple on the drawer fronts.

Desk Drawers and Chair by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

To complete the set, I applied two coats of a color called Dove White, letting cure in between coats.


Now that I truly have a blank slate, it’s time to add some fun details to make it pop. My oldest daughter, Miss C, had a leftover transfer from a drum table she just finished. It was just the right detail to add to the desk top. I’m not one to use these transfers often because I like my work to be individual – my own design work. But…I have to admit they are super handy to use as I’ve show in these past makeovers.

Applying Iron Orchid Rose Transfer by Prodigal Pieces |

Naturally, I always have an audience while working (the best ever, BTW). My two youngest girls wanted to give it a try, so I let them jump in on the fun.

Daughter Helping with Furniture Makeover |

In addition to the transfer, I also added a bit of fun to the sides. Take a peek below.


After all is said and done, my French Provincial desk makeover is complete.

Vintage White French Provincial Desk Set Updated by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #furniture #homedecor #shabbychic

Vintage Shabby Chic Desk Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #furniture #homedecor

This set now showcases a feminine vibe with all the shabby chic goodness it can muster. Not only does the new paint make a difference, but the little details give it a story. I’m excited that the linen upholstery I had left over from my French Provincial headboard I turned into a bench with a custom mattress fit the look perfectly.

Linen French Stripe Upholstery for Vintage Desk Set Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #shabbychic #home #homedecor

French Provincial Desk with Faceted Glass Knobs by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #home #shabbychic #furniture #homedecor #diy

In addition, those stripes were so fun that I even added them to the sides of the desk too.

French Provincial Desk Set with Pink Stripes by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #shabbychic #french #diy #home #homedecor

Shabby Chic French Provincial Desk Top with Rose Graphic by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #furniture #shabbychic

Then, for added depth and timeworn feel, I add a bit of gray wax and distressing. Desk is done and I’m a happy camper. If you’d love to make this desk your own, you can find it and much more available in my online shop.

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Vintage White French Provincial Desk Set with Shabby Chic Flair by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #shabbychic #furniture #homedecor


HomeRight and I are all about empowering you to up your DIY game. We are giving away a Super Finish Max Extra Sprayer to one of you. woot, woot! Easy entry – complete as many steps in the widget below as you like. Open to U.S. & Canada residents 18 years of age and older. Winner will be notified via email. In addition, be sure to check your spam!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, pin and share this French Provincial Desk project to inspire others. Not all furniture should be ignored. Most just need some DIY lovin’.

Vintage French Provincial Desk Gets the Makeover of a Lifetime by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Details at #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #home #frenchprovincial #homedecor

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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In addition, more projects like my French Provincial desk makeover:

Simply beautiful. Larissa of Prodigal Pieces created this French Provincial headboard bench with a custom built frame as well as a handmade tufted French mattress. | DIY details at #prodigalpieces #handmade #diy #homedecor #furniture #shoppingA vintage French provincial lingerie chest was tired and worn, but Larissa of Prodigal Pieces gave it new life with a limewash effect. See the details at #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #furniture #farmhouse #vintage


180 replies on “French Provincial Desk Set Makeover”

Those shelter would be great for doing all kinds of projects . It would keep the paint from spraying on to other areas that you wound’t want to paint . They look awesome

What a beautiful transformation! I love the natural vision you have to see potential in ‘lost’ items!

You inspire me!

A paint sprayer as well as a paint booth are on the top of my ‘want’ (or is it need;) ) list! I just got my hands on a free Telefunken radio cabinet that Im using as my tv stand, it is in great need of a good paint makeover!

WOW! Desk & chair are absolutely gorgeous. Great job.
We are in process or remodeling our guest bath so sprayer would be really handy.
Thank You 4 this wonderful giveaway opportunity.
Enjoy your day; as Today Is A Good Day to Have A Good Day.

I’m always amazed at your projects! I love the stripes. Your spray painter is a wicked cool tool. I’d think I’d use it first on a small, but deep bedside table. But then, like the mouse and the cookie, I would want a pop up spray tent to go with it!

What a transformation! You wouldn’t even know it was the same desk. The sprayer would be a welcome addition to my workshop since I still do everything with a brush. What a time saver and professional finish that it provides. Thanks for always having such good give-aways.

Hi Larissa,
Beautiful desk! I’m going to have to get some of those transfers they’re so pretty! Love how you transformed it. My project would be my dining room table. Even though I’m going to get a new table, I would still like to give it a makeover and sell it!

What a wonderful makeover-it really needed it! love the colors you chose and the chair fabric matches so well. This is a HUGE improvement for sad-looking school desk!

Larissa, another wonderful transformation. I love the stripes! Thank you for the chance to win this sprayer. I have been wanting one for a long while. It sure would make my life easier.

I honestly can’t say enough about this desk makeover. Absolutely stunning! That sprayer would make such a difference in my life! I’m praying haaaaarrrrddddd!!!!! lol

GASP!! What an awesome transformation! Larissa, there is not enough adjectives to describe your beautiful style and work.

Hi! It amazes me how you integrate color into your pieces. They come out stunning. Stripes?! On a desk?! And yet… it’s absolutely that’s finishing touch that brings the whole piece to life! Such a talent, Larissa!

We would use the sprayer for EVERYTHING WE COULD!!! We’d moved into a old house this last July and there are a million projects!!!

Thank you for your continued efforts to put up this blog while struggling through your personal trials. That is not easy, and I sincerely hope you take all the rest and space you need. We would appreciate you even without your amazing projects! You are a gift!

You are so sweet, Kaleria. Thank you for not only getting my design choices, but also how it is for me on the personal side. I’m happy to share. And…congrats on the home! 😀

What a transformation! I have an old dresser that I’m in the process of stripping to remake for my grandsons to use. I’ll be sanding next but it doesn’t look like I’m going to find wood to stain it like I had hoped. Using a paint sprayer like yours would insure that I can give it a perfect finish for them.

Yup! This desk definitely needed a makeover! Makes me wish I still had my childhood desk. Although I’m not a pink girl, this looks terrific and I’d gift it to a gal in a new york minute! As usual, PERFECTION, Larissa!! I’d love the sprayer for a dozen projects I have to do. First would probably be a table I found on the side of the road. Painted blood red, I think it needs to be a flat black/charcoal to cover it up. More tables and chairs in line behind it! Thanks for always doing your best. Hope you are getting good news and you’re feeling good !

Tee hee! Thanks! There are certain colors that are true to French Provincial style and this rose pink is one of them. I had to do it up fun. 😀 I know you’ll put the sprayer to good use.

WOW Larissa! I don’t know that I would have tackled that desk, thinking it had seen better days. You have a gift my dear…this was an absolutely amazing transformation!! Took my breath away when I scrolled down to see the “after”…wow! Love the stripes…everything about it. Thank you so much for your inspiration. Makes me reflect on the work of transformation God does in our lives! 🙂 I have an old dining set with chairs…I think a sprayer would work so well on the chairs, but even the trundle table legs…I’ve always used a brush but watching your use of the sprayer, I am convinced it is time for me to learn some new skills!

You got exactly what I see in something…the way God sees us…never a waste, never too far gone to save. Thank you! Yes, sprayers are a lifesaver with chairs, especially. I hope you win!

This desk set is exquisite…absolutely beautiful! I can’t wait to try using the decals…the rose happens to be my favorite. I would be so happy to win the spay shelter! Thanks for the opportunity.

Love your transformations. I have several pieces I want to redo and feel sprayer would make job much easier. I have been checking some out and checking reviews but have to get new brakes on my car so can’t afford sprayer right now. Guess it will have to stay on wish list for now. Look forward each week to see ur new projects. Thank you for sharing your fantastic work.

Wow! What an amazing difference. I love the desk and chair. I’m on the hunt for bedside tables and that’s where I’d use the sprayer.

Larissa, this is fabulous! I wish you lived closer to me. (Chagrin Falls) There is always so much furniture put out in the trash, it is unbelievable!

I ~love~ your project! What an impressive transformation. With this tool, I would first tackle the interior doors of our house. Several of them look like they have seen better days… because they have! There are just so many layers of paint, and whoever lived in this house before us did just a hasty and awful job. We’d get so much use out of this sprayer!

Such a pretty, feminine and impressive makeover!! Although it’s not exciting my wood garage doors have needed a new paint job for ages and the sprayer would make that job SO much easier!!

The transformation of that desk is absolutely stunning. I have a dresser that needs a redo and the sprayer would come in handy.

Wow – did that ever change the look of the desk! I didn’t think you were going to pull this one off. It is really beautiful! I could really use that sprayer! I paint everything I do by hand right now and I would love a sprayer to do furniture with. I have so much furniture stuffed in the back room of my basement! I think I would start with my grandmother’s table. I would sand and refinish the top. The bottom, I would spray a soft ivory. It has beautiful legs on it and a lot of them. I would rather paint them with a sprayer than hand paint them!!!! Thanks for the chance!

Talk about a trash to treasue night and day transformation, my friend. Love the rose stripes that echo the ticking fabric on the chairs.

Loved your project choice: I enjoy seeing people be CREATIVE and CHANGE things around them. As far as my project, well a couple of days ago I would have said I would refresh my bedroom. Repaint and renew. However, today I would saw what is most important would be to RENEW and REPAINT the brick fence that now has GRAFFITI.
Always something new.

I need to spruce up my outdoor furniture. It really is in need of an ‘up-do’ and this sprayer would make it doable for this ole gal.

Woah, that is a huge upgrade!! I absolutely love the end result!! The first project I would tackle is painting my kitchen cabinets. 🙂

It looks amazing. The first project I would tackle if the old iron bedstead I had as a child and painting it so it looks nice again for my son.

My husband gave me a 3-mirror vintage vanity for Christmas. I love it but I could carefully remove the mirrors, sand it and use the HomeRight Super Finish Max Sprayer to make it look gorgeous.

I love the details on this piece! I have a similar set I got from my Dad’s house that I’d love to do in a bright color combo: maybe orange accents on the desk and a bright tropical floral for the chair seat.

Hi Larissa, What a mess this piece was, ugh! You really helped her look beautiful again, m,y favorite being the stripes that you added to coordinate with the fabric used on the chair. This is so feminine and pretty.

Your desk and chair are gorgeous! I have an antique dental cabinet that needs a refresh. That would be my first project if I’m lucky enough to win your contest.

So beautiful! You are so creative taking furniture from trash to treasure!! I have a few tables that could use a makeover and a sprayer would make the job so much easier. Thank you for the opportunity to win this giveaway!

I love what you did, HUGE improvement!! If I had that sprayer I would put a new coat on some wood furniture I have laying around!

I found you on YouTube and love your website and Youtube! Spring is beginning to peek through and I can not wait to work on my worn out furniture using the HomeRight sprayer if I win it!
Your projects inspired me to tackle a bunch of small projects of my own this winter. I am praying for your health and complete healing.

The projects look great! We just bought a vintage house and instead of filling it with new furniture, I plan to go garage sale and estate sale hopping to find pieces that match the 1940’s time frame of my new house and give them a facelift. Vintage piece with modern paint!

Your project is beautiful. The first project that I would tackle would be my outdoor furniture, especially my Adirondack chairs. I have a bunch of projects, but with warmer weather coming, these would be on top of my list.

I just used a transfer for the first time, it was so essy. Thanks for the inspiration! I would love to redo dining room chairs and a sprayer would definitely make the job easier.

Wow, what a transformation! My first project would be a cubby set that was in my great Aunt’s kindergarten classroom. I put casters on it and made it into a bench. It’s going to be amazing with a new coat of paint.

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