Oh happy day! It’s not often I get an offering of pieces like this. I mean, would you pass up this French provincial kidney desk? The lines alone are gorgeous. Not to mention that it offers function too (not just another pretty piece). Today is all about giving this desk a new lease on life.
When I received the desk, the original owner said it’s over 100 years old. Well, it definitely is vintage, but not a true antique…yet. It’s most likely from as early as the 50’s because it has the classic faux wood finish to it that was quite popular at the time. Likewise, it is a solid build and far better than most modern furniture today. It’s a keeper.
It has dove-tailed drawers and original brass hardware. However, it does have dents, gouges and wear to the top that will require some tending to.
Because the wood had a faux wood grain and finish, I am super curious to see what was beneath. So, my littlest and I removed the hardware and began to sand the top. psst…she’s the best helper!
I use my orbital sander to take off the faux finish. However, I am disappointed (but not surprised) to find mixed wood. A mahogany veneer is on top of a pieced poplar top. This is totally normal and isn’t a bad thing. I had hoped to find matching wood, but this is definitely normal for pieces of this era. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still solid, but I had hoped for matching wood for staining purposes. Not to worry, I’m still very excited at this canvas.
First, to get this underway, I pull out my paint.
I apply two coats of this beautifully soft antique white letting cure in between coats. Once that is done, I apply a color called Basketry to the detail parts.
Last, but not least, I add time-worn distressing followed by a hand-rubbed wax finish. This adds a soft glow while also creating a protective finish.
Here is our gorgeous vintage lady all dressed up and ready for many more years.
I’m truly smitten with the outcome. I could have went many ways with it in color, but I want to create a subtle beauty that doesn’t need to boast gilded details. Also, notice I left the brass pulls and knobs in their muted patina.
The details took quite some time, but it was all worth it. The accent paint showcases the carvings beautifully, especially on those cabriole legs.
In addition, I’m excited to say that the desk was sold before even listing it in my online shop. That allows me to give a generous portion to my friend, Mandy, and her Paid in Full Ministry towards their purchase of a building.
Also, do pin and share my French provincial kidney desk makeover to inspire others to give DIY a try.
Up next, this misfit chicken needs to find a new purpose. Don’t you think? See the new chicken life HERE.