Gold and Kacha Inspired: French Provincial Desk Makeover

This makeover started with a creamy off white French Provincial style desk I found at my local Restore. I immediately got inspired to do a bold color with gold accents! I’m often more of a neutral color gal, but this sweet desk or vanity whatever it may be just called for something much bolder.

So I opted to use Black Cherry Paint, Gold Accents and the Kacha Modern Moroccan Stencil for extra Pizzazz in the French Provincial Desk Makeover! If you need more information on additional ways to accent painted furniture check out my post on Furniture Transfers and Stencils

French Provincial Desk Makeover

In this post I’ll share my basic steps in getting to the finished design and some tips for you if you decide to do a similar project. If you love gold you’ll love this design. Me, I’m a sucker for gold accents, especially when combined with a bold deep rich color.

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To Start: The Original French Provincial Desk

As I said I found this desk at my local Restore. The desk is solid wood, made by Dixie Furniture, but has a slick type laminate finish. It had goldish accents on it also. It however needed an updated look.

The desk thankfully though was fairly solid. I gave it a good cleaning, as is always the first step in any furniture makeover. To clean, I use Dixie Belle White Lightening Cleaner in hot water.

The French Provincial Makeover Process

Step 1: Primer

Next up is priming the desk. Because of the slick laminate finish primer is needed to get the paint to adhere. The surface was in good shape so I didn’t want to sand.

To prime, I used Wise Owl Stain Eliminating Primer in Clear. I should have used the gray primer to help eliminate the need for so many coats of paint.

Sometimes when using a dark color, it is best to prime with gray. To get a good bond, I used two coats of the Wise Owl Primer.

French Provincial Desk Makeover Wise Owl Primer

Step 2: Paint

Okay this paint color is just gorgeous! So bold and rich. I had seem some makeovers featuring the color on Instagram and just had to try it.

I chose to use Wise Owl because of the color and I like the convenience of a primer, paint and topcoat all-in-one product, so I chose Wise Owl One Hour Enamel In Black Cherry.

Because I primed with clear rather than gray and the paint had to cover white, it took three to four coats of this paint to get adequate coverage. But the outcome was worth it! Just such a gorgeous rich color! I adore this color truly.

To apply the paint I used my Dixie Belle Synthetic Brush in Flat Medium and Flat small. These are some of most used and favorite brushes.

This paint has very low odor, and a smooth consistently. It is also very self leveling which helps. The paint also dries to a rock hard very durable finish. I am not sure I would use this paint on furniture again, but I think to say for sure I would need to try a lighter color.

But I would recommend this paint for cabinets and doors, anything really where a durable solid well-protected finish is needed. I feel like it is very scratch resistant.

Step 3: Gold Accents

Now let’s talk about gold. Oh, how I love gold accenting on furniture. Especially with this rich deep color. Amazing.

To accent the piece I used Lemon Gold Posh Chalk Pigment applied with an artist brush. First you mix some of the powder pigment with the satin topcoat product to make a liquid paste, like a paint consistency.

This pigment powder is so rich! Then you can paint it on where you want it with an artist brush. Whatever size or type of brush you need to get into the grooves and edging.

Posh Chalk Lemon Gold Pigment for the gold accenting

Step 4: The Stenciled Top

Okay, next up is the stenciled desk top. To really add some gold I opted to stencil a gold design on this desktop. The Decor Stencil by Kacha and Redesign With Prima in Modern Moroccan was perfect!

Anyway, maybe it was just an excuse to use this stencil I had purchased! One of my favorite mediums to use in stenciling is the Metallic Acrylic Paint also by Redesign With Prima. And you’ll never guess which color is my favorite . . . yep, gold or Goldenrod as this color is officially called.

To stencil you can use a stenciling brush, sponge, or paint roller. I happen to have the Redesign With Prima Stencil Roller so I used that. It work perfectly to apply the right amount of paint.

The true key to stenciling is not to overload your brush or roller, always wipe or roll of excess before applying to the stencil. Better to do several light colors than put it on to heavy and have it smudge the crisp design details.

Kacha Modern Moroccan Stencil

Step 5: Topcoat

This step in the makeover is not really necessary, but anytime I do a stencil on a tabletop I prefer to provide an extra layer of protection. For this, Wise Owl Varnish Topcoat in Satin worked perfectly.

I applied it using the same synthetic brush I used for the paint application. but you can also apply with a sponge or roller. I did three total coats of topcoat on the desktop only.

Step 6: Updating the Hardware

So, part of the charm of this French Provincial style is the hardware and how it perfectly matches the rounded feminine edges of the furniture piece. So of course I planned to use the original hardware.

However you know I wanted it gold of course to match the accents. First I cleaned the hardware with dish soap and water and then primed with a small art brush and two coats of Dixie Belle Slick Stick bonding primer in white.

Original French Provincial Hardware and gold decor wax to update
Gold French Provincial Hardware using Redesign With Prima Decor Wax

To get the gold color there are a few options including spray paint, Posh Chalk pigment painted, metallic acrylic paint, and colored wax. I had the Redesign With Prima Décor Wax on hand in the color Eternal which is the perfect gold to match the other accents, so I went ahead and used it. I applied with a small brush to get into the details and once dry buffed with a soft cloth.

Before and After French Provincial Desk Makeover
Black Cherry Painted French Provincial Desk With Cute Vanity Stool to Match

Other Blog Posts Featuring Makeovers with Gold Accents

Summary: An Elegant French Provincial Desk Makeover in A Bold Black Cherry Color with Gold Accents

Finally, I’ll say that I know this bold “black cherry” color isn’t for everyone, but I adore it! And the gold just gives that pop and elegance that this rich color calls for!

I found the most adorable vanity stool at my local Ross store and believe it or not, it so perfectly matched the black cherry color. Like it was meant to be!

So, I’d love to know your thoughts on this French Provincial desk makeover! And I hope it inspires you to use a little gold and be bold in your next project!

Happy Painting!

XOXO, Abbey


  1. hi Abbey! it definitely is a bold color but it’s the perfect color to use the gold with. it is an amazing statement piece! Great job!!

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