before & after: pretty painted furniture part II

Our second pretty painted-furniture piece today is this gorgeous metallic herringbone desk by restoration expert Ann Marie of Twice Lovely. It’s incredible what some elbow grease and a good wood stain can do for damaged wood, and if you can believe it, the pattern on this desk was drawn freehand with a simple metallic paint pen! I absolutely love this idea; I’ll have to convince Grace and Amy that something in the new D*S office gets this metallic herringbone treatment. I’m guessing it won’t be too hard to persuade them :) Great work, Ann Marie! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Read the full post after the jump!

Time: 4 hours

Cost: $12 for new hardware, $10 in other supplies already on hand (Minwax Dark Walnut Stain, Satin Verathane Poly, Black Satin Spray Paint, Silver Paint Pen)

Basic Steps:

1. Sand the finish on the body of the desk down to the raw wood with an orbital sander and by hand.

2. Apply two coats of Minwax Dark Walnut Stain to the raw wood.

3. Apply Satin Finish Verathane Poly over the stain.

4. Spray the drawers with Black Satin Spray Paint.

5. Draw vertical lines with a pencil as a guide for the herringbone design.

6. Freehand draw the vertical lines with a silver paint pen.

7. Freehand draw the diagonal ticking with the silver paint pen.

8. Add new hardware.

My advice is to stay loose and don’t stress when drawing the herringbone. The imperfections and variations in your spacing are what give it the organic and loose feel that sets this pattern apart from the very measured and geometric chevron. — Ann Marie

  1. Thanks so much, Kate, for the lovely feature!

  2. Jena C says:

    This is absolutely amazing!! Gorgeous!

  3. Maureen says:


  4. Solana says:

    Such a beautiful transformation! I’m going out and buying a silver paint pen immediately!

  5. Melody says:

    Phenomenal! Love this…and it actually looks like something *I* could do myself.

  6. Leslie says:

    Beautiful! I love seeing old furniture get a new lease on life!

  7. reeve says:

    WOW! I can’t believe that’s done with a paint pen!!

  8. Emma says:

    This is beautiful! I love the pattern.

  9. Jesse says:

    This is wonderful! So inspiring

  10. Trina says:

    I love this! Simple but perfect for the piece.

  11. MABSOOTA says:

    Just out of curiosity, how long did it take to draw those lines? I’m impressed the whole thing was done in 4 hours!

  12. Rachel Tatem says:

    What an amazing change!

  13. Beautiful! I’m so glad it’s become more popular to combine bare wood with painted surfaces. I’ve always loved that look.

  14. Shayna says:

    Wow, that’s great! Could/should you apply the poly coat over the painted surface as well or might that cause it to streak? I painted the frame of a chair and have been getting some nicks because I didn’t clear coat it.

  15. Lauren Clark says:

    Saving this one in my files for future DIY projects – love the pattern!

  16. Oh my goodness! This is one of my favourite makeovers EVER! Pinning it right now :)

  17. Naomi says:

    Favorite DIY ever.

  18. This is so cool. Never would have thought to use silver or white or gold pens in this way (only used to use them to make hearts in my journals). Fun.

  19. carly says:

    I LOVE this so much!

  20. LOVE THIS! all i need now is this pattern in a wallpaper! Anybody know of wallpaper similar to this?

  21. Anthea Grob says:

    THe combo of pattern with stained wood, play together so nicely.

  22. Sarah says:

    This is great! Love the freehand line quality.

  23. Germaine Austin says:


  24. Dalma says:

    If I were a chair, I’d want to MARRY this desk!

  25. Molly says:

    I love the tactile response I get from look at this desk, so lovely!

  26. Erin says:

    Oh, I love this! How lovely! Wonderful work.

  27. storybeader says:

    what a difference! And I love the color of the stain!

  28. Carol Corr says:

    Bravo, I love that you kept the wood. Love the modern twist and the not overpowering choice of print. They both work together. I must say, I rarely like the revamps shown here and your is the BEST! I loved so much that this is the first time I’ve written here!

  29. Daphne Collins says:

    Thank you for such an inspirational outside-the-box redo. It is so warm and period appropriate – reminds me of a 40’s wool herringbone man’s overcoat with the brown leather buttons. Lovely!

  30. Evita says:

    It’s Pinned for the win! Seriously, this is wonderful.

  31. Kylie says:

    This is so crazy. I found this exact desk at Salvation Army, and did a very similar transformation on it!
    I love the herringbone, so creative!

  32. B! says:

    Super pretty! Filed into my ‘ideas’ folder.

  33. l degeorge says:

    Sometimes things should not be messed with. This desk is one of those things. Just refinishing it would have been lovely. Writing on it with a pen feels disrespectful to me.

  34. sarah says:

    This looks amazing! seriously inspired, will definatley try this out somewhere.

  35. Carlos says:

    Nice restoration job there! If I may add, I think putting some gold leaf gilding would enhance the beauty of the furniture more.

  36. Ash says:

    I LOVE THIS. I am so afraid of staining wood but this has got me inspired… first thing tomorrow morning I will be going to op-shops/eBay sourcing a new desk! Fab!

  37. Julia Mark says:

    I can’t believe how simple that pattern was to create.

  38. Melissa says:

    I have a small table in this same era and design and I wanted to keep some of the beautiful wood while adding some pop… this will also hold up better with kids than something with paper on the front like I was thinking of doing. THANK YOU for the direction that I haven’t had for a year!

  39. lissou says:

    Simple technique but the result is so cool!

  40. Hall says:

    Well that’s really tribal. I like it :)


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