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Free Ultimate Furniture Painting Guide

Elegance in White and Gold: Italian Florentine Desk Makeover

Well folks.....this may be a first! We've gone from WHITE to WHITE! My least favorite color to paint just broke me!

I am in LOVE with this white and gold desk makeover with an Italian Florentine finish!!!

white and gold Italian Florentine desk makeover by Traceys Fancy


If you are a new reader, hello and welcome to the Fancy Fam! With over a decade of furniture painting experience, I can honestly say that sharing my projects through this blog is still my favorite way to inspire! I've got years worth of fun and creative ways to update your home decor and furniture through paint! If this sounds like something you'd like to have delivered to you every Sunday be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter here!


A little interesting backstory....

One day while shopping in my local Home Goods with Zadie, I hear a woman say...."Oh my gosh you are Tracey's Fancy!"

Yes....that is ME (as Zadie is instantly horrified and embarrassed...LOL).

She asked if I accepted custom orders of which I told her....they are my favorite thing to do!

We exchanged numbers and before I knew it I had a factory finish white desk in my shop just waiting to be Fancy-fied!

The Design Ideas and Inspiration Piece...

My client came to me with specific requests and inspiration photos. You can see one she provided below.

Italian Florentine inspiration desk

She wanted an old world look with white and gold only.

She specifically asked that it not look yellow.....but a true off-white.

So let's get started!

But FIRST...the before!

Before I start painting any piece, I always thoroughly clean the piece and determine if it will need a primer coat. Learn all about how I prep furniture for chalk paint HERE!

white desk before painting makeover

The baked on finish on this piece was very slick and I hesitated to invest any of my time into it without priming first with Slick Stick. I applied two full coats of Slick Stick following the directions on the jar.

Supplies Used: White & Gold Desk Makeover

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White and Gold Italian Florentine Desk Makeover

The Old World Florentine look usually appears as if furniture has traveled through time with layer upon layer of paint exposed.

Adding Texture for the Old World Florentine Look

To achieve this Florentine look, I chose to use a texture additive with my white paint.

I added close to two scoops of Sea Spray to 16 ounces of my favorite white paint called Fluff.

I stirred well and allowed it to set up for about five minutes before applying it to the table. I attempted to apply this with a roller but quickly saw this wasn't going to work.

I applied the textured paint with the oval round brush in a stippling/stamping motion to allow for peaks to form that would add to the textured look. I did two full coats just like this.

Stippling technique with white paint on edge of desk

Once I was finished adding the last textured layer and had allowed it to "set up" for about 20 minutes....I followed up with the large Big Daddy natural brush in cross hatch motions to sort of tamp down the peaks that had formed and to add yet another layer of cross hatch pattern to the mix.

I did this all over the entire desk and allowed to dry overnight.

Looking for a Slightly Warmer Tone

The desk was now a gorgeous soft white with a gray undertone but my client really wanted an off-white warmer look.

So I added a single coat of the very versatile and neutral color called Drop Cloth (I believe it is Dixie Belle's top selling color).

A jar of Drop Cloth paint in front of a white desk

I applied this coat using a worn out premium chip brush also using the cross hatch method.

The natural bristles of the brush and the cross hatch motion add yet another layer of texture to this finish. This gives it the look of a plaster finish and is so gorgeous!

Stippling technique with white paint on edge of desk

Creating an Aged Look with Dark Wax

When the piece was fully dry I applied a single coat of Top Coat Satin in preparation for my plan to use a dark wax to age the desk. The top coat seals the paint and keeps the paint from grabbing too much of the dark wax. I want dark wax to age it and settle gently into the texture but I don't want the entire piece to turn brown. The top coat makes this possible.

Once dry I began to apply the Best Dang Wax in brown to all the under-skirting and legs.

jar of best dang wax in brown in from of white desk

I used the French Tip brush as it really helps to get into the crevices and around the trim pieces. I apply the wax quite heavily and wipe away the excess using a damp cloth.

applying wax to under side of desk

Just look how it instantly aged the desk without making it look dirty.

up close of corner of white desk with gold and brown highlights

I am already in love!

Aging the Top *Flat* Surface

Now for the scary part! The top flat surface. Using dark wax on a large flat surface can be challenging. My tips to you are:

1. Always apply top coat first.

2. Apply in circular pattern.

3. Wipe away with damp rag in circular pattern.

4. Follow with long wiping motions from left to right....until the finish is even and in the color you want.

Now for my favorite part.....Gold Application!

I am using a Posh Pigment antique gold mica powder that I mix with Top Coat in gloss. I apply this liquid mixture to every surface that I want in gold....using a small craft brush.

The gold looks amazing over the heavily textured finish and it is the finishing touch that brings forth the final Italian Florentine look!

white and gold Italian Florentine desk makeover by Traceys Fancy

The Finished Look: White and Gold Italian Florentine Desk Makeover

I love this desk!

white and gold Italian Florentine desk makeover by Traceys Fancy

It is white and I love it!

white and gold Italian Florentine desk makeover by Traceys Fancy

I couldn't keep my hands off of it while photographing it. I'm a texture girl and this desk delivers the texture!

white and gold Italian Florentine desk makeover by Traceys Fancy

My client was so incredibly happy......and that makes the SIX layers worth it!

More Inspiration: Painted Desks

As always, I like to bring you additional pieces for inspiration. Have a peek at these unique custom desks that I've created over the years!

Click on any photo below for more up-close photos and all the design details


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white and gold Italian Florentine desk makeover by Traceys Fancy

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