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How To Paint A Vintage Desk With Dixie Belle Paint

This desk makeover was such fun, and the new look is amazing. I teamed up with four of my favorite furniture painters and Dixie Belle Paint to showcase the new Dixie Belle Cottage Collection of paints.


Vintage Queen Anne style desk

Now for my tutorial. I bought the vintage Queen Anne style desk at a local shop for $75. I fell in love with the slightly rounded drawer fronts and the legs. 

Boss from Dixie Belle is used to prevent stain bleed thru

The first order of business was to clean the desk really well using Simple Green. Next, I had a few worries about the stained finish. Sometimes, the original stain on furniture will bleed through the paint. And this desk has a reddish stain that tends to bleed.

So, just in case, I applied two coats of Dixie Belle Boss, which will stop bleed thru and block odors. I just found this product, and I sometimes get stinky furniture. Now I know how to get rid of the odor!

Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint, color Cucumber Ice

Boss dried clear and to a matte finish, a great base for paint. The paint color I chose for the desk is Cucumber Ice, Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint, from the Cottage Collection. The color is white with a very, very slight hint of green. I was provided with products from Dixie Belle Paint for this project.

Dixie Belle Paint Brush

I got a brand new paint brush! The tapered edges make it easy to get into every nook and cranny.

how to paint furniture

Before painting the drawers, I applied painter’s tape to the edges where the drawer front meets the sides so I would have nice clean paint lines. We don’t want paint on the sides of the drawer.

deciding on knobs for furniture makeover

I was really wishy-washy about the knobs. The desk needed stand-out knobs and a little something else for pizazz. I tried all kinds of knobs.

My first pick was the knob on the top drawer with a metallic gold design and birds. The idea was to add a stenciled design in gold to match the knob but that sounded a little too fru fru. I then tried out the black knob with a gold rim. No go there either.

how to select knobs for furniture

Then I found the crystal knobs with a blue and green floral design. They looked too blah, and at this point, after standing back and taking a good look at the desk, I decided the middle drawer needed knobs.

measure furniture for knob placement

I measured and marked spots for a pair of knobs on the middle desk drawer.

Drill holes for furniture knobs

Then I drilled the screw holes. This process is not difficult at all and will make a big difference in the look of the desk.

Belles and Whistles Silkscreen design Roses from Dixie Belle

I decided to use a silkscreen stencil to add a bit of color to the desk. The only decision was how much of the design to use and where to put it. The silkscreen stencil is Belles and Whistles Roses from Dixie Belle. There are three sheets of different designs in the package.

Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paints, English Ivy and Peacock

I chose Dixie Belle English Ivy and Dixie Belle Peacock for the stenciled design. I have a thing for green and blue. I painted a small bench in the Peacock color a few months ago.

how to use a silkscreen stencil

I selected a small design from the stencil sheets and cut the design from the sheets to make it easier to work with. I

first stenciled the top of the desk leg where it meets the body of the desk. I did not like that at all. You guys have no idea about the issues we DIYers go through when painting furniture. It is not always cut and dried. 

I finally decided to add a small design to one corner of each drawer. The stencil is sticky so you don’t need tape or anything. Just press it down firmly onto the surface you are stenciling.

how to apply paint to a silkscreen stencil

Then paint over the silkscreen. A silkscreen is totally different from a regular stencil. On a regular stencil, you want to dab on a little bit of paint or swirl it on but for a silkscreen stencil, you need to brush paint over it with a paint brush. Use enough paint to cover the screen area completely but do not gunk it on. 

silkscreen stencil

Peel the silkscreen away from the painted surface right away. Do not let the paint dry.

Queen Anne desk stool to paint

The desk didn’t have a chair or stool so I went on the hunt. It took me two days of shopping at local thrift stores to find a stool similar in style to the desk. The price was a little steep at $40.

One of the deciding factors on the purchase was the green vinyl-covered seat. It perfectly matched the English Ivy color I used in the stenciled design. That saved me from choosing a fabric to recover the seat and doing the work.

Dixie Belle think a ma jig

I painted the stool base the same color as the desk then used the Belles and Whistles Thing-A-Ma-Jig to faux distress the edges of the stool. To do this, I applied paint to the underside of the Thing-A-Ma-Jig using a small paint brush.

Then I dabbed most of the paint off on a paper towel. Next, I ran “the thing” over the edges of the stool. You can see in the photo how this leaves a thin line of paint on the stool. It is necessary to brush more paint on “the thing” as you work. 

Terra Seal from Dixie Belle Paint for sealing paint

One last step. To protect the painted desk and stool, I brushed on one coat of Dixie Belle Terra Seal, matte finish.

Dixie Belle Paint Desk Project Makeover

Ta-Dah! Doesn’t the desk and stool look fantastic? Sometimes I surprise myself.

how to choose the correct knobs for furniture

There is a fine line when it comes to adding details to a painted piece. Too much stuff and the piece looks tacky, too little and it looks unfinished. 

how to paint a vintage desk with Dixie Belle Paint and use a Silkscreen Stencil

I think I hit the mark just right on the stenciled design. And finally, the turquoise knobs I bought at Hobby Lobby are perfect.

vintage desk and stool painted with Dixie Belle Paint

A last-minute touch was the stenciled design on the middle drawer. I thought I was all finished but that space between the two knobs on the drawer was too big and too bare.

vintage desk DIY paint makeover with Dixie Belle Paint

Patting myself on the back for this one. Some of you will give me a hard time for painting the vintage desk but the new look is light and fresh.

how to paint a desk with Dixie Belle Paint

I can’t believe I lucked up on the stool with the green vinyl seat cover. The vinyl was in good condition too, with no rips or stains.

(this Giveaway has ended) I want to thank Dixie Belle Paint for this amazing giveaway. Enter to win the $250 prize to shop your favorite Dixie Belle Products! They have so many great products and $250 will buy a lot of paints, brushes, and other supplies! One winner per blogger, so visit all five bloggers. #dbcottagecollection

Now it’s time to take the furniture tour. Just click the links below the “before makeovers” photo collage…..

furniture painted with Dixie Belle Paint

View all the Dixie Belle Paint projects:
English Ivy Dresser Makeover – Salvaged Inspirations
French Provincial Makeover – Confessions of a Serial DIYer
Flea Market Furniture Flip – Reinvented Delaware
Chalk Painted End Tables – A Ray of Sunlight
Painted Desk – Petticoat Junktion (you are here)

Thanks for being here, Kathy  Sign up to receive Petticoat Junktion emails here.

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Kathy, I haven’t been able to locate the “giveaway” winners name. I read and reread the post. Have I just missed it?
    Thank you so much

  2. Awesome Kathy. I can see it used as a vanity with an old, round antique mirror over it of my mom’s that I inherited. The mirror even has an etched design on the bottom left of it similar to your stenciled design. I do have mom’s old desk and it is serving as a vanity and now I’m thinking of painting it since yours turned out so beautiful.

  3. Woah! That looks so much better than before….and I like old dark stately pieces like that! You did a great job on the minimal stencil and those knobs. Really intuitive on the middle drawer too. The knobs and stencil look great and completes it.

  4. Hi Kathy! It was great to see you a paint that I use. I lo e you painted furniture but I will ne er use latex paint so it was refreshing to see you use DB.

  5. This vintage desk turned out AWESOME Kathy! The color is beautiful and the icing on the cake is the floral design and those knobs! Pinned! XOXO

  6. Great job! You showcased many Dixie Belle products here. Thank you for sharing how you used each item on this piece. 👏🏻👏🏻