Glam Desk: Whimsy Meets Glamour


This glam desk re-design was as easy as 1,2,3….

Not really….but it sounds good!

In all honesty it was not difficult at all!  And I promise that ANYONE can do this!  I will show you step by step (and maybe too many photos) how you can do this yourself.

Here is a list of all products used:

This post contains affiliate links.

I purchased this desk from a friend who was liquidating her sweet daddy’s estate.  She was thrilled to know that I would dress it up and that  it would be treasured by my client (who I will introduce you to at the end of this post).  It was manufactured by Drexel in the mid 70’s with quality construction!  You can see the leather inset top here….which I have painted over others just like this many times without any issues when using the right products!


I chose to cover the entire piece with a light layer of Shellac to help block any present tannins. (photo below on the left).  I did not want bleed through, which often happens even with the use of a good primer.  This especially happens when painting with lighter colors of any chalk type paint.…which was the re-design plan here for this glam desk

I then applied Vintiques Ultra Guard Primer by Heirloom Traditions Paint to help block any dies that were most likely present in the leather.  This primer is a fabulous product!  I did not use it over the entire desk as I planned to distress in the end and I didn’t want the white exposure.  However….had it been necessary (maybe because of excessive tannin bleed) to cover the entire desk with primer I could have mixed the primer WITH my paint color and this would have worked well too.  I just did not need that sort of coverage with this project.

I then applied my favorite Vintiques color of the moment…which is Tiffany.  It is a gorgeous blend of aqua with a green tint to it that allows it to move into the “turquoise” family….or as this client referred to it….robins egg blue.  It is a playful color yet not too juvenile.  If you are looking for the perfect lighter turquoise…..give it a try…you will love it!  It is also the base of my popular Mermaid Chair (if you missed that post you can see it here).  The Heirloom Traditions Paint company has such a dreamy paint product!  The coverage is fantastic, it requires no prep, it self levels beautifully, adheres like a magnet, is all natural, and made right here in the USA!


I applied two full coats of Tiffany blue.  I then chose Vintiques Chantilly white to color in the three panels on the desk top.  I use a small brush to cut-in…and then fill in the rest of the space with a larger brush.  Again, I applied two full coats.


I then trimmed out the desk with the same Chantilly white.


Including the center of the gorgeous tapered spindle legs.


I then chose to accent every single “square piece” on the desk with my number TWO favorite paint color….. Marilyn’s Lipstick by Heirloom Traditions Paint.  It is just this happy “makes you want to eat it” yummy bright pink paint that is not “in your face” but still commands your attention.


I needed to sand these squares now as I have plans for the squares….and need the distressed look before I can move forward.   The Heirloom Traditions paints distresses with such ease!  This step took less than 2 minutes for all of the pink on the entire desk!


And look!  How gorgeous are those layers?  (I think I may have forgot to mention that when I painted all the trim in Chantilly….I also painted the squares white…for this exact layered look.  The dark that you see is the original wood peeking through…I love it!


I wanted to add a little bit of a feminine flair to this glam desk.  My client is a baby nursery and children’s room designer….and this desk will be used in her studio.  I wanted to appeal to that clientele with a bit of unexpected whimsy.

I chose to use the silicon moulds by Iron Orchid Designs.  These moulds can be used with any form of clay or even chocolate and fondant as food moulds!  You can see here how easy it is to  make these moulds with the Iron Orchid Designs Paper Clay .  You simply press the clay into the mould, level out the back, remove any excess, and remove from tray.

You simply cannot mess this up!  It is so simple and fun!  It makes me feel as if I am in preschool again playing with playdough!  And the results are fabulous!!! I have so many plans for these moulds!


While they were drying I made several of the flowers using the same process.  Look at the detail in this mould….they have such a “high end” look to them!


I set the flowers aside and chose the long mould you see below.  I planned to cut the mould in half to accent each side of the knobs that I had purchased for the glam desk. Again the moulds I use are:  IOD Baroque 2 Vintage Decor Mould , IOD Baroque 5 Vintage Decor Mould and IOD Baroque 6 Vintage Decor Mould.

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I wanted to adhere one flower to the center of each square that I had already distressed.  I used Gorilla Glue for this.  I applied it liberally to the back of each flower and pressed lightly to the desk surface.



My moulds were not dry…it is not necessary to wait for them to dry….and I move fast so this excited me.  I lightly pressed it to the desk and wiped away any excess glue with my finger.


Here we have a nice little row of raw appliques sitting atop every lovely Marilyn’s Lipstick square (ok…so its a rectangle).


Now the angels are a little different story.  I was using one on each side of the desk…and the desk sides are curved!  So I glued AND taped to desk to ensure the appliques dried with the curve to them.  I just used your good ole basic scotch tape.


I then glued the appliques that I had cut in half to the drawer fronts and then left them all to dry overnight.   Had it been earlier in the day I think I could have begin painting them within an hour…the overnight wait was excessive…but a girls gotta sleep sometimes!


The next day I was ready for my favorite part of the design.  The whimsicality (made up word) of the black and white stripes!  I love black and white stripes!!!  They anchor!  They frame?  They accent!  They blend!  They just rock my world really!  Zadie’s art room has black and white striped walls!  I painted my other daughters dining room in black and white stripes!  I paint them on every piece of furniture that I possibly can! (Get my tip for painting black and white stripes here.)

So the white trim base coat was already in place.  I poured just a bit of my favorite black paint…..Raven by Vintiques….it’s black velvet in a jar!  And “OH YES I DID“!  I painted freehand every single stripe around the desk the top!  You can do this!  I promise!  Look closely at the picture below and check out my little finger resting on the edge of the desk.  This keeps your hand steady!  Use a new brush with sharp edges…and move quickly.  If you  hesitate…you wiggle….just DO IT!  And the beauty is…its “painted by hand” right?  It is not expected to be factory perfect!  Once you finish…and step back to look at it…you overlook all the little imperfections!


Check out the difference below!  Geez!  No brainer…right?

Black and white striped trim deliciousness!


I couldn’t stop the whimsy there on this glam desk …..I KNEW from the get-go that I was going to take the black and white onto these gorgeous legs!  Check it out… comparison!  Boring to BAM!

So the appliques are all in place…and adhered beautifully!  Its time to paint them.  You may wonder why I didn’t paint them before I glued them.  I wanted to paint them ON THE desk so paint would actually have a chance to settle in the gap between the desk and the appliqué itself.  This would help it to appear more cohesive and not appear as an after thought.


Look how gorgeous they are.  And this Heirloom Traditions paint worked with these appliques SO WELL!!!  ONE coat was all they needed.

All of the appliques have been painted and are now drying and I am about to venture into an arena I have never even peeked my head into!!!!  STAMPING!  (well….I’ll admit it was my first time to make moulds too..LOL).  I chose IDO Decor Ink in Soft Blackz.  I had been advised by my good friend Heather of Thicketworks as she is a stamping queen!  Check her gorgeous work out here if you haven’t already.  She creates some crazy-wicked stuff!   She suggested I use a non-porous surface to roll my ink onto my brayer (new tool for this girl).  I used an acrylic tray and VERY LITTLE ink (as in this bottle of Decor Ink – black 3 oz will last you a life time!).  I then rolled the brayer through the ink and was ready to roll it on the stamping surface of the stamp I had chosen for the project.


I chose the jumbo Persephone stamp by IOD (bummed out but it is not available for purchase just yet).  This stamp is so gorgeous and loaded with detail.  The package offers a mirror image of the architectural element (left and right) which was perfect for my project.  The stamp is clear and has a sticky side that is supposed to adhere to the IOD stamping block (THAT I DONT HAVE…so I had to improvise).  I used a clear acrylic artist palette.  Heather explained it was helpful for it to be clear so I could see exactly where I was applying it before I actually pressed it onto the surface of the desk.  So below you see one side of the persephone literally stuck onto my artist palette.  I then rolled my brayer (similar to this one:
Speedball Deluxe 4-Inch Hard Rubber Brayer ) lightly across the exposed (non sticky) side of the stamp….and was ready for a trial run.

(I rarely trial run anything….this is a monumental moment).



Well lookie there!!!!  Below!  Look what I did???  Oh yes ma’am!  I’m a stamper!  LOL!  One trial under my belt…..let’s do this!


I walked right over to that desk….rolled a tad bit more ink over the stamp….looked through that clear acrylic and pressed right down into my Chantilly white paint and my heart was beating so fast I could hardly breathe freaking out like OMG what have I just done!  I gave firm pressure as advised by my stamping queen friend and then carefully lifted it straight up!


And would you look at that!!!!  How gorgeous is that???  I am stunned at the detail!  And the ink literally soaked right into that chalk type paint as if they were meant to be together forever!!!!!  I was so excited that I could barely think straight…and I needed to…because i needed to do this same thing SEVEN more times on this same surface!


And I DID!!!!!  Mmmm Hmmm!  I sho’ did!   Can you say “FANCY just got real FANCIER”?


Again….compare this!  No brainer!  Let’s keep it clean folks….but DAY-UM!

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So with all of that excitement….I couldn’t stop!  I HAD to try out the IOD Friffery Clear Stamp on each side of the desk.  What the heck is “friffery” folks?  I haven’t a clue!  But it look reeeealllly good on my clients desk!!!!


As if all of that excitement isn’t enough….we had one last bit of glam…..the addition of GOLD!  I wanted just a touch…so I used my little bottle of go-to gold leaf paint and my finger tip to just brush the gold onto each applique.


I then brushed the gold onto the tips of each leg and the large rounded part at the top of each leg.

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I even added a touch of gold to each stamp on the top surface.


The project is almost complete…but it looks to perfect!  I wanted a slightly shabby feel to the piece.  This always warms a piece up for me.  It gives it even more dimension and adds a touch of “I’ve been loved” which I like a lot!  So I lightly distressed all edges and trim.  Below you can see a drawer with and without distressing.  What looks best is entirely subjective!


But I almost always choose “lightly distressed”.  I find such beauty in the layers as shown below.


And here it is!!!  Isn’t she gorgeous??  She is protected in two coats of Vintiques Satin Top Coat.  I apply this with a brush and it goes on smoothly with absolutely NO yellowing!  I did dry the ink of the stamps using a heat tool….to make sure there would be no smearing of the ink when applying the top coat.  It went over the ink beautifully without any smearing!

The glam desk front…..


The glam desk back…..


The glam desk top……


The glam desk sides……


Check out sheen of the Vintiques Satin Top Coat in the photo below…..



And what a great view of the mirror-imaged stamps……


Below are photos of all the products (and some affiliate links of these products) used on this glam desk ……. And a quick introduction of my client Sherri,  the brave soul who gave me full artistic rights to the creation of her glam desk (and she is an artist herself so that says A LOT!).



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Vintiques Top Coat


Liquid Leaf

Plaid:Craft Liquid Leaf One Step Leafing Paint, 0.75-Ounce, Classic Gold


 Prima Marketing 814991 Iron Orchid Designs Paper Clay, White



Prima Marketing 814366 Friffery Iron Orchid Designs Decor Stamps, Clear


Decor Ink – black 3 oz
Meet Sherri Schuchart…..


Sherri is the creative genius behind Jack and Jill Interiors.  She has an adorable design studio located in Pennsylvania…along with a nationwide clientele.  She has 17 years of design experience in creating memorable nurseries and children’s rooms.  I am honored to have worked with her on this project.  I have no doubt we will work together again in the near future.  This glam desk was designed specifically for this studio you see below…and I can’t wait to see photos of it in its new home!  Thank you Sherri!




And as always…..

I thank every one of you for your loyalty and support of my painting adventures!

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Keep it fancy friends!




PS  – If you love this whimsical desk and want one for yourself, please go to my Etsy shop!

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  1. Susan McNeill says:

    Tracey ~ I love your step by step instructions. You really make “fancy” a special word. Always love your work!!

  2. Well, to begin with: Sherri of Jack and Jill Interiors has EXCELLENT taste!

    This extravaganza of a desk is a perfect compliment to the beautiful office we get to catch a glimpse of here.

    Holy cow, Tracey – you’ve taken my breath away with this masterpiece. From your color palette to the unexpected and playful appliques, to your MASTERFUL stamping technique, it all coalesces into a bejewelled and bedazzling fanfare of FUN.

    Whatever you’re drinkin’, I’ll have 6 of please! XOXO

    • Thank you Heather! Doesn’t she though??? That Sherri has quite the eye…and it was intimidating to me when working on the desk! But she was a doll…and so easy to work with! I can only hope this desk does her adorable studio justice! And Heather….can I hire you to blog for me??? You use the most amazing words! I just paint!

  3. Tracey- you are a creative genius, girl! I squealed with delight when I saw the photos of my new desk and I simply can not wait for it to be delivered! Every artist on my street is going to be JEALOUS!!! This desk will be the centerpiece of my design and art studio.
    We will most definitely be working together again.

  4. Susan Mocker says:

    Such a great piece. I’ll have to look into the ink for stamping. Adds such a nice touch. Fun, as always!

  5. This is just Fantastic! So whimsical and funky! Love it all!


  1. […] Lets talk about these molds and why I chose to add them.  As adorable as this Repurposed Cigar Box is….when I covered it entirely in white paint it just became so boring!!  The legs are beautiful…but the box itself lost all dimension when I covered the decoupaged paper on the top.  I really felt when I added the painting designs and detail that it would be enough…but it just wasn’t.  So I broke out my trusty molds by Iron Orchid Designs.  These silicone molds are SO much fun to work with.  They also offer a paper clay that is super easy for beginners in molds like myself.  I used that Paper Clay to make these.  You can arrange the molds to make your own designs….which is what I did here.  I combined three different molds to make this appliqué: Baroque No.2 , Baroque No.4 and Baroque No.6 . You can purchase both the clay and the molds from my affiliate links and you get many uses out of them! And for a more detailed tutorial on how to make and apply the molds to your furniture check out this glam desk project. […]

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