Colorful French desk: finding beauty in chaos

by | Nov 28, 2020

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I’m calling this colorful French desk #beautyinchaos.

I relate to that statement in so many ways!  Chaos is around us every single day…..on all levels……and it is entirely up to us to find the good in it.

Colorful French desk with black and white stripes by Tracey's Fancy #beautyinchaos
  • @TraceysFancy
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  • @TraceysFancy
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I designed this desk around this adorable self-adhesive print by Bubblegum Yum.  I was instantly drawn to the black and white stripes….but also to the surprised look in the big blue eyes!  I feel like I walk around with this look on my face daily…..being caught off-guard by the hour with the shifting and moving of family, work, politics, and the world in general! 

Colorful French desk with black and white stripes by Tracey's Fancy #beautyinchaos
  • @TraceysFancy
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I call that chaos….. beautiful chaos!

I pulled the colors from the artwork and chose to keep the “chaos” of color on just one side of this desk.  Almost as if it’s tucked away for only the owner to enjoy!

Colorful French desk with black and white stripes by Tracey's Fancy #beautyinchaos
  • @TraceysFancy
  • Pinterest
  • @TraceysFancy
  • Pinterest

I knew the other three sides would be adorned with the crisp and orderly layout of black and white stripes….in true Tracey’s Fancy fashion!  

Colorful French desk with black and white stripes by Tracey's Fancy #beautyinchaos
  • @TraceysFancy
  • Pinterest
  • @TraceysFancy
  • Pinterest

Let’s talk paint finish details now…..as many of you are eager to give this same look a try!

I cleaned the french-style desk with White Lightning and primed the entire piece in a single coat of BOSS grey and let dry.

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I then painted the piece in two coats of Fluff….my favorite soft white by Dixie Belle Paint.

The colorful chaos technique cannot really be explained.  However, I did paint it on live video which is now a playlist on YouTube.  Below is the first in a six-part series. Click HERE to see the FULL 6-PART step-by-step playlist.

You can watch this painting technique (part 2 &3 on my YouTube playlist) and repeat it on your own project!

It’s a VERY easy technique…..I promise you can do it!

As usual…I have listed all the paint colors that I used to paint the colorful side in the shop section below.

I am in love with the finish on this little colorful French desk!

The up-close shots I am sharing with you here show how the colors overlap and ever so slightly blend together to create their own color in the transition.  I didn’t intend to paint a version of a sunset…but it sure has sunset/sunrise vibes….which is totally fine by me! 

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You may also have noticed the direction the paint is brushed on.  I purposely applied the paint in different directions…..allowing movement to go both up and down and left to right.  This gives it more of a canvas art appearance.

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I added my favorite bendable WoodUBend molds to the center drawer as well as the lower corners of the knee-hole opening.  They add just the right amount of visual interest as well as a great place to feature a bit of gold shimmer! 

Colorful French desk with black and white stripes by Tracey's Fancy #beautyinchaos
  • @TraceysFancy
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I used Dixie Belle’s gemstone mousse in gold to lightly dust the molds as well as highlight the outer edges of all the drawers and lower trim. 

I also used the mousse to fully refresh the original hardware.  It is very opaque and applies to hardware easily.  I just paint it….let dry…..and spray with an acrylic high gloss topcoat to seal.

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And finally…..I did choose to feature stripes in the knee-hole of the desk…..as an unexpected surprise…..with a stark difference in style and color.

Colorful French desk with black and white stripes by Tracey's Fancy #beautyinchaos
  • @TraceysFancy
  • Pinterest
  • @TraceysFancy
  • Pinterest

So let’s talk more about stripes!  Did I say how much I love them??  I love them in all colors…but especially black and white.

First I applied the self-adhesive print to the back of the desk.  This was my first time to use one and it was surprisingly easy to do…..just peel and stick!

Unfortunately, the print did not cover this section of the desk….so I chose to just continue the stripe pattern with paint!

Colorful French desk with black and white stripes by Tracey's Fancy #beautyinchaos
  • @TraceysFancy
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The colors black and white come in all shades…..and my Caviar (black) and Fluff (white) did not match up with the print.  So I painted it!  I used my black to paint over the black stripe…and my white to do the same. 

I then chose my stripe pattern and design…..taped it off…..and continued with these same colors.  And there you go!  Even the orderly stripes got a little dose of chaos!

Colorful French desk with black and white stripes by Tracey's Fancy #beautyinchaos
  • @TraceysFancy
  • Pinterest
  • @TraceysFancy
  • Pinterest

I carried a basic horizontal stripe around both sides of the desk.

Colorful French desk with black and white stripes by Tracey's Fancy #beautyinchaos
  • @TraceysFancy
  • Pinterest
  • @TraceysFancy
  • Pinterest

I then chose to freshen up with one last coat of Fluff white for the trim, skirt, legs, and even the top surface. 

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I never intended to keep these white….but I really love the crisp look.  And I feel as though it really sets the stage for both the adhesive art AND the paint technique in its full-color spectrum on the front!

I sealed this desk in two coats of Dixie Belle’s clear coat in satin

Behold her beauty…..for it is quite chaotic!

I had a BLAST creating this colorful French desk! #beautyinchaos Watch the whole creative process HERE on my YouTube playlist.

More Desk Inspirations

Interested in a different look for your desk? Don’t miss my beach cottage desk or pink & teal glam desk or this blast-from-the-past black glamorous desk. And as always…scroll through the looks below and click on any photo for detailed steps, products used, and additional photos.

Shop: Colorful French Desk

The products listed here are what I used for this project!  Dixie Belle Paint company offers amazing products that will make all of your projects successful no matter what your skill level! Just click on any of the products shown below!  You can also find my favorite products and tools in my Amazon influencer list here.

Here’s how it works…these products are attached to my name. When you purchase by clicking from my blog…..then Dixie Belle offers a kickback to me for referring you!  It doesn’t cost you any more to use my links….and the support helps me to bring you new projects!  So I thank you in advance!!!

See you next week!

XOXO, 

Tracey

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Colorful French desk with black and white stripes by Tracey's Fancy #beautyinchaos
  • @TraceysFancy
  • Pinterest
Colorful French desk with black and white stripes by Tracey's Fancy #beautyinchaos
  • @TraceysFancy
  • Pinterest

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