before and after

before & after: barb’s desk + dresser

by Grace Bonney

barb’s makeovers at knack studios always have fun little unexpected details in them. this dresser, painted blue, has a decoupaged number surface that looks like its made from bingo cards or some sort of numbered paper with a great red and blue font. i’ve been moving away from decoupage in my home for the past few years, but this piece is really fun. it makes me want to dredge up some old papers and see what needs a new look…

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)]

CLICK HERE for barb’s grey + floral desk makeover after the jump!

barb always picks the prettiest papers to finish her pieces and this desk “clarabelle” got a great flower print to finish off the drawer fronts. i’ve always lined the inside, and not outside, of my drawers so maybe i’ll have to rethink the exterior the next time my desk needs an update. great work, barb!

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  • Wow! I LOVE the dresser top, although both pieces are wonderful. I’m always amazed at how clever people are in the blog world.

    amy @ mango + palm

  • I don’t know that I would have thought to do a furniture piece in decoupage but now that I’ve seen it done (and done well), I think I’m going to have to give it a spin.

    The desk looks great too. I guess you can’t go wrong with gray these days. It is everywhere (in a good way).

  • Love these makeovers! I have an old wooden desk that I hope to transform one day… actually I’ve already transformed it from a crappy looking white desk to a beautifully stained natural one. But now I’m feeling like shabby chic-ing it a bit! Thanks for the inspiration!


  • Love both of these. That desk is the perfect shade of pale gray. I would love to know the brand & color of the gray paint, could you share?

  • yay! what a beautiful color! i have always wanted things that were THAT color! when i learned to crochet, Belle gave me one of her crochet hooks and i loved it so much! Next, my sister and brother in-law gave me a retro, aqua blue recipe box. THEN my mother bought me a beautiful vanity for my bedroom! in THAT color! wow. its wonderful! i just can’t get over that color! simply glorious.

  • what a sweet little surprise miss grace! thank you for the feature ! xo

    the top of the turquoise piece is actually old vintage calendars….but they have been mistaken for bingo cards on more than one occasion…..and I’m perfectly ok with that! I had a lot of fun with this piece!

    the sculptures on the wall behind the piece are a combination of some newspaper flowers that I made….think tissue paper pom poms but with newspaper….and then the moose head was made for me by my friend mollie of royal buffet {http://www.etsy.com/shop/royalbuffet} who makes the sweetest paper confections around! I love mr moose!

    ..the paint color is forde abby by ralph lauren …

    thank you all for the lovely feedback!


  • Love the desk! I want to do the same thing to a dresser I just picked up at a garage sale. Can I use plain paper or should it be wallpaper? Suggestions on the adhesive? Thanks

  • i love the gray dresser with the flowers onthe front. i am in the process of moving and looking for new ways to change and update
    my old furniture because i have been disabled for the past 10yrs.,and with a child still at home,well let[just say we are way below the poverty line].but that’s now what i would like to know.i was wondering is if you might be able to give me some suggestions ,you seei iwant to do that only with gerbera daisies.
    barbara hopkins

  • Beautiful work. Love the pattern you’ve chosen. Great idea!!!! I also love redo furniture using decoupage. I am just finishing an armoire and I will post in my blog which is being updated. Regards, Claudia

  • jillian + barbara…

    …you can use wallpaper or regular paper. this actual piece is wrapping paper sheets applied with modge podge and then 3 coats of water based poly over the top….

    have fun with your projects!

    ….and thank you to all of you for the sweet comments :)

    xo knack

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