Queen Anne Desk Paint Makeover

Today, I’m sharing another project that was completed at Andrea’s house in the sunroom.  Namely, painting that Queen Anne desk and chair that was in the room.  She has oodles of Queen Anne, as I’ve mentioned before.  Many of you agree that this mass produced older furniture looks great updated and some of you are purists that would never paint Queen Anne.  I’m NOT a purist, so I say paint away if furniture is no longer to your liking and painting it will make you love it again.

Andrea now loves her desk more than ever and changing out the fabric on the seat was another great update!  I know you all enjoyed seeing the sunroom makeover last week, it sure was fun to see that room come to life as I knew it could.

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Here’s the desk before against the brick wall.  It’s all wood, but needed an update.

maison blanche

I’ve been working with Maison Blanche paints and they have some lovely colors to choose from, so we used Oyster, a pretty creamy white.  I do love the Satin varnish they offer too, really protects the paint after use. I would much rather use varnish on my projects than the heavily distressed look with wax.  Maison Blanche is a chalky paint and very easy to work with.  Chalk paints do need something on top to protect the finish and so they don’t feel chalky, so I prefer the Satin varnish, which gives it a little sheen.

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Andrea snapped this pic right after painting.

You don’t have to sand when you use chalk paints, so that is a big advantage.  David painted this desk, so I wasn’t there to see it being painted, but we used the same method as the console table I shared with you.  Rollers and paintbrushes were used.  This won’t be a perfectly smooth finish, but it looks good when completed and is a great way to update old pieces.  I’m a big believer in paint!

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And here’s the desk in place, as I showed the sunroom makeover last week.  Looks really good in here now.

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Adding a pretty new fabric to the chair seat was simple and easy.  If you’ve never recovered a chair seat before, I did a tutorial on that years ago.  It’s as simple as cutting the fabric and using a staple gun, pulling the fabric taut.  You can see this pic was before we went shopping for new lamps. We will reuse that pineapple lamp somewhere else.

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Changing fabrics totally changes the look of the chair as well.

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Close up of the desk.  Oops, I see a little touchup is needed under the lip of the desk.

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Andrea had a little stool for this space that she recovered and added some fringe trim. I think we are going to paint the legs of the chairs and this stool in the same Oyster white.

And that’s a look at how the desk and chair were updated for Andrea’s sunroom space.  It looks so good out there an they told me they are spending way more time in this space now. I can imagine it would be such a good place to read a book and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning with all that light streaming in.

Got some old pieces you’d like to refresh?  Give paint a try!

Note:  This post sponsored by Maison Blanche paint, all opinions my own. 

- Rhoda


  1. I remember the debate about pro and con painting the Queen Anne. To me , it looks so much better refreshed like this!

  2. I’m mostly a purist, but I don’t mind when pieces are painted white or black. I can’t get behind other colors though. When I see colored, painted furniture I think it looks fake and unnatural. It looks like kid furniture or dollhouse furniture to me. Actual wood stain, white, or black look like real furniture…like grown up furniture… The room the furniture lives in matters, too. To me you can get away with more whimsical pieces and colors on a porch. This desk I like. The console table in the foyer hurts my heart, LOL!

    But if others love brightly painted Queen Anne and it means they will get more use out of their pieces, then by all means they should go for it.

  3. Lorraine says:

    I like a mixture of painted and stained wood. Queen Anne furniture has such a formal look and painting it gives it a more up to date easy living look. Good job! I think once you add pillows to the Queen Anne wing chairs it will help soften them, too.

  4. We have so many pieces of furniture that could stand to be “refreshed” with paint. We have that yucky oak furniture — all the same — dark and I want some pizazz!! I’ll have to look into the brand you used.

  5. Jan Siar says:

    I admit I’m a purist. However, this makeover does brighten up and freshen up the area. I may have to reconsider my bias. Maybe I’ll try it with an old secretary I have that has gotten pretty banged up, dinged and damaged over the years.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Love, love, love the transformation! Definitely intrigued by this brand of paint containing varnish as opposed to using the wax afterwards. Love the color you chose.

    Can you share more information about the fabric used on the seat of the chair and ottoman?

  7. Wonderful updates Rhoda! Glad to hear that you’ll be painting the legs of the wing chairs and stool as well. I noticed the dark cherry legs in your reveal of the sunroom and didn’t care for them, so I think painting them will absolutely finish the sunroom!

  8. My rule of thumb is…if the piece has value (true antique) or is of substantial wood, I don’t paint. I will refinish instead. If it’s a cheaper piece, then by all means, paint it! But, like someone else commented, if it enables someone to get more use out of a piece, do what ya gotta do.

    I have a couple of mahogany pieces I inherited from my grandmother that I would never, ever paint. Not mahogany veneer. Substantial pieces. I think one was actually my great-grandmother’s.

    • Brandye, I totally agree! I have some beautiful mahogany pieces and real antiques, over 100 years old that I would never paint. But Queen Anne has been reproduced in each decade for years and it’s not priceless stuff.

  9. Love how the desk turned out and the sunroom looks fantastic! Also, really like the look of the recovered chair. Very pretty!

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