Desk Makeover with Parisian Flair | The Interior Frugalista: Desk Makeover with Parisian Flair
Desk Makeover with Parisian Flair | The Interior Frugalista

February 19, 2015

Desk Makeover with Parisian Flair

Last summer I picked this desk up at a neighbor's garage sale for a song. Several weeks later I discovered a wooden chair sitting in our back yard, compliments of the same neighbor. Running out of room bursting at the seams with furniture awaiting makeovers I finally dusted them off and got to work unifying them with a makeover with Parisian flair.

Desk and Chair Makeover Before and After

You can see in the photo below that the top had seen it's better days.  I discovered a few messages carved into the wood by former students.

Desk Makeover Before

I hummed and hawed about sanding it back down to it's natural finish but that would have required taking it outside.  At the time the temperatures were ranging around -26°C (that's around -14°F) and there was no way in H.E. Double Hockey Sticks I opted to stay warm indoors by patching the scratches and painting the top.

Desk Makeover with drawer fronts chalk painted with Pebble Beach

I painted the entire desk with a mixture of Old White and Pure White chalk paint.  The drawer fronts were painted with the color Pebble Beach (a grey).

Desk Makeover After Left Side of Desk

I added some distressing along the edges.  

Desk Makeover After Right Side of Desk

Then I decided this table needed a little French goodness and so I headed over to The Graphics Fairy and found a fitting French Ephemera Graphic.

Desk Makeover with French Postal Graphic on the top

But here's where the fun came in. As I was tracing the graphic it became difficult to superimpose because some parts of the original image were worn. Deciphering the cursive French handwriting was also a challenge. Wanting to accurately transfer the image I did some creative Googling (is that a word)?

After a lot of digging I managed to figure out that the circular date stamp was postmarked on November 2, 1837 in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, a city in Northern France with a mileage stamp of 643 (I wonder where it came from)?

It was addressed to Madame Sugat at 9 Rue Neuve in St. Denis, a northern suburb of Paris.

The oval stamp on the top left says Bonne Frères Boulange S•M.  I'm going to assume that is the name of the post office - Good Brother's in Boulange-Sur-Mur.

I'd love to hear from anyone well versed in Marcophily to confirm if I am correct?  Regardless it was a little eerie tracing the handwriting of someone who was alive 177 years ago!

Desk Makeover with close up of French Postal Graphic on the top

I always like to add an element of surprise when the drawers are opened and thought this Old World Map wrapping paper was perfect.

Desk Makeover with Old World Map lined drawers View 1

Desk Makeover with Old World Map lined drawers View 2

Most likely the bottom of this awesome double drawer won't be seen once hanging file folders are in place but I gave it some paper goodness too.

Desk Makeover with Old World Map lined drawers View 3

Instead of replacing the Vintage Chippendale Bat Wing Drawer Pulls I spray painted them (don't hate on me).

Desk Makeover with Vintage Chippendale Bat Wing Drawer Pulls

...and distressed them with sandpaper to reveal some of the original finish underneath.

Desk Makeover with painted Vintage Chippendale Bat Wing Drawer Pulls

I wish I had room for this in my house...but then I say that after every makeover.

Desk Makeover After with White and Grey chalk paint

Now for that chair that mysteriously appeared in my back yard.  It looks like it originally was stained in a cherry color but had been spray painted grey.  Unfortunately fortunately for me (the reason it landed in my yard) was that it was full of paint drips.  I forgot to take a picture before taking the power sander to it.

Wooden Chair makeover

To unify the chair with the desk I painted it in the same colors and distressed it along the edges.

Wooden Chair unified with chalk paint to match a wooden desk

Then I transferred the same French Postal Graphic in a smaller size onto the seat.

Wooden Chair received same French Postal Graphic as the top of a wooden desk

Now they look like they've always been a matching set!

Wooden Desk and Wooden Chair receive makeover using chalk paint and a French graphic

If any of you know anything about old postmarks I'd love to learn more about the one on this envelope dated back to 1837!


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