L’évolution of my Free To Me Desk

It all started about two and a half years ago when I was pursuing a Craig’s List ad for a chair.  The route took me through a rather undesirable part of a nearby city.  On my way, I spotted this little French Desk. ON THE SIDEWALK, ALL DRAWERS IN TACT.

French Desk Before

It was currently being used as the neighborhood trash can.  Of course I hauled that thing into my car and drove out of there as fast as you know what.  I was so excited, but I was worried I was going to have to wrestle somebody over their trash receptacle.

After a thorough cleaning, (it hadn’t been treated so nicely), I painted it in Sherwin Williams Alabaster, and an “I have no clue” silver paint.  I put it up for sale for only a month, it didn’t sell.  I decided to take it home for my youngest daughter’s room. She promptly turned it into her “art” station.

French Desk after

Last month she decided to remodel her room, moved all the furniture herself, cleaned out the desk and redecorated.  She is 11.  I have no idea where she gets these ideas from.

Lucky for the desk, I now have access to the most wonderful paint.  CeCe Caldwell’s 100% natural Chalk and Clay based paints have TOTALLY  changed the way I paint.  No, I did not have to go back and sand the whole thing down.  I did not have to prime, I only had to crack open a can of their new color Chesapeake Blue.  A gorgeous Blue/Grey color, with just a hint of violet. Perfect for Spring.

Chesapeake BlueThe inset was painted with Mississippi Mud. The pulls were dry brushed with both colors.  I actually can take very little credit for this desk.  I chose the colors, and my fabulous friend and assistant, “Emma”painted the whole thing!  I love my Emma, I could never go  back to painting all my by lonesome!

I only went in with my sand paper to do a little of the detail work, Emma waxed, buffed it, and I did the pulls.  Chesapeake drawers

It went down to Paris Flea Market this weekend, while I was away at my niece’s wedding.  It actually got dibbed by another consignor who is picking it up tomorrow.

Chesapeake Desk  2

I love that my kicked to the curb desk spent some time in our home as an art station, and is now going to another artist.  The consignor purchasing the desk is the same girl who is painting the mural in our new warehouse space, you can read about that HERE.  From trash to treasure, one artist to another.  Junque has a great life cycle doesn’t it?

Chesapeake Desk

PS I just had to share a couple of photos from the wedding!  My niece was just born when Mark and I met and a baby when we got married.  We feel like she was partly our own child, so this makes it all the more special.

Best friends and cousins, Ali (our recently turned  16 year old) and Britta.  Aren’t they both gorgeous?

Ali and Britta

Britta and husband Travis.  (Back story, our Travis, who is 10 years younger than Britta has always had a “cousin crush” on the beautiful Britta. Only fitting she would marry a Travis!)

Britta and Travis



Sharing my evolution of la desk at these beautiful parties:


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The Honeysuckle Bus Stop

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Tutorials and Tips




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The Shabby Nest

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  1. says

    Ok my dear that desk came out fab. I can see where it would get snatched up quickly. I love the wedding photos. Your daughter is beautiful. Looks like her mom. Have a great week.

  2. Anna says

    I have a desk just like this that has been sitting in my garage since last Fall when I picked it up. I did not know how to paint the top, or if it would even paint. when you initially painted it the first time did you have to sand it down or anything, or just prime and paint. I have not tried CC Caldwell paint yet, but I am thinking I am going to have to get me some for this desk I want in my office.

  3. says

    I can’t believe someone would throw out that desk! And it was given two very different and equally fabulous looks!
    Love the wedding pics, beautiful couple and your daughter is so pretty :)

  4. betsy says

    That is such a sweet little desk. Hard to believe anyone would be so cruel as to use it as a trashcan. It really looks like a Cinderella now!

  5. sharleen says

    Oh so lovely, If ever I found a desk like that I wouldn’t be able to part with it. Love the colours. Yes and what a beautiful bride. Life is so good .

  6. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says

    Love the story of the once trashed little desk. It’s the circle of life in the furniture world! … And Britta loves so happy – what a beautiful bride!

  7. Hetty says

    love the desk transformation – cute details on that desk and I always love two colors on furniture! How nice you showed us some pics of the bride, groom and your daughter. You are blessed Karen!

  8. says

    What a fabulous find. The result is lovely. I like the blue paint on this piece.
    Have a great week,

  9. says

    Lucky desk you spotted it and picked it up!
    I think both finishes are gorgeous. Isn’t Chalk Paint a wonderful thing! Gotta love it.


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