Sewing Desk Makeover {with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint}

My aunt recently gave me a sewing desk that used to belong to her mother. While I don’t know how to sew {yet}, I decided that giving this old & worn-out sewing desk a fabulous makeover might give me the push I needed to sit down and start sewing. Or so I’m hoping…

I knew I was going to put this sewing desk in my craft room/home office. Ya know, the one with the stenciled yellow walls?

But rather than just painting the sewing desk plain white, I decided to play off the yellow walls a bit. So I removed all the hardware and got to work!

To start off I used my Purdy paint brush to give the entire desk a coat of Canary Yellow latex paint from Krylon mixed with a bit of Old White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (it was the only white paint I had on hand so this was a complete experiment which seemed to work pretty well). I painted everything EXCEPT the top of the desk.

I didn’t worry about getting the coverage absolutely perfect since I had a plan for the final look.

Next I coated the entire desk in two coats of Old White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, including the untouched top.

I sanded the edges down so the wood came through the top of the sewing desk…

and then everywhere I had painted yellow on the desk first had this beautiful color peeking through!

So, what do you think of the final sewing desk?

I kept the original hardware, just cleaned it up a bit! I love how it looks against the white paint.

And TADA! Here’s the sewing machine! Yeah… like I said, I don’t know how to sew in the least. BUT it was one of my New Year’s resolutions so goshdarnit I’m going to learn!

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I don’t need anything fancy as a beginner so this sewing machine will suit me just fine. Wish me luck!

sewing desk makeover


  1. says

    Your desk turned out SO well! I bet it is a totally different experience sewing at your newly “prettified” desk! I’m not sure if “prettified” is a real word, but it seems to work here! Have a good one!

  2. says

    Erin, that turned out so good! I’m hoping to get Annie Sloan Chalk paint for a project soon {or maybe attempt at making my own chalk paint}. I really want to learn how to sew too! Maybe you can teach me once you learn :)

  3. says

    Erin this looks fantastic! I have sewing desk envy right now-my craft/sewing desk consists of a fold out table from Costco :( I love the color and it goes with your room perfectly!

    Great Job!


  4. says

    That looks exactly like the one my mother-in-law gave me. I don’t know how to sew either and hopefully, this year I will learn. I never thought of painting it, but it’s definitely on my To Do list now.

  5. Carri Wright says

    I love your desk, you are quite talented. I am 54 and just starting to teach myself to sew. I want to learn to quilt and sew my own clothes. It’s never too late. I’m sure you’ll do great. I love all the things you do ..very talented. =)

    • howtonestforless says

      That would be cool, Bri! I know what you mean about intimidation. Here’s a little secret… I still haven’t opened mine!!! I don’t even know how to thread it :)

      • JennieD says

        @ Bri & Erin! ~ Ladies what are you waiting for? I’ve got 2 sewing machines now. my Dad had bought my Aunt’s very old model Singer 404 that she used to use in making quilts. I used that one till it broke down on me one day, had to go out & buy another ‘newer’ model Singer 6235. In school we had to take a sewing class for ‘Home Economics’ but back then I wasn’t really interested in it. Only when I was pregnant with my son, did my interest for sewing peak again. My mom & I made maternity smocks, etc. I made various outfits for my son & then later when I had my daughter, I made her Baptismal gown & cap. That was a lot of fun! Sewing is another one of my passions that I use as a sanity outlet! You two have fun when you finally “open” up those machines.

  6. says

    LOVE it! And that sewing desk is a dream! Hang on to it! They don’t make them like that anymore. You should definitely learn to sew…it’s tons of fun and the possibilities are endless!

  7. says

    You did a wonderful job. I love the soft yellow. What a dreamy sewing table to learn to sew on! You will be making some beautiful creations!


  8. says

    The sewing desk looks lovely. I don’t have one. I have to open and close my machine each time I use it and sit it on a table or desk. I have sewn for year and years. I used to make everything, but stopped years ago when material became too expensive. Now I buy remnants and sometimes copy something I absolutely cannot afford.

    But sewing is relatively easy if you follow the directions to the letter. At times, they might not appear to make sense, but they. I once spent a whole night saying this will not work. Finally, I just went ahead and did what it said. The dress I was making turned out beautiful. I loved it.

    • howtonestforless says

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Shirley!! You really give me hope in learning how to sew. I can’t thank you enough :)

  9. says

    Well I love how it turned out! What a fun yellow room you have. Good luck in learning to sew! I taught myself a few years ago, and I am hooked. I love it, and sew at least once a week. It’s not as hard as it seems, I promise! :)

  10. says

    What a great transformation! My grandmother just gave me her old sewing cabinet and I want to refinish it… this just turned out so great!
    PS- I’ve started a Blog Hop- would love for you to stop by and join in.

  11. says

    FANTASTIC! I love the paint treatment, the yellow is a lovely addition to the desk. Good luck with your sewing adventures! I picked it up last year and have to say, I’m slightly addicted (nothing more than straight-line projects, though…still learning!)

    • howtonestforless says

      Thanks Meg! I can’t wait to get started. Learning how to sew even straight-line projects would be perfect for me :)

  12. says

    That desk is amazing! You do such a good job. I started sewing only six months ago and I love it! Come on over to my blog as it is beginner friendly!

  13. Mary Light says

    The sewing machine cabinet looks great. I wish I had a cabinet like that. I love the drawers on the side to keep stuff in reach. Did you wax the piece after you were done?

  14. says

    What a great turnout! This is beautiful. I love how soft the yellow looks peeking through. You did a fantastic job. Thanks so much for sharing with us. I’m working on some furiture transformations myself right now. I hope they turn out as nice as yours! Wish me luck!

  15. says

    Hi Erin! This is my first time dropping by your blog, and I’ll be back. You did a great job with the sewing looks great and I loved the idea of painting it yellow first to let that be the color showing through when you distressed it :)

  16. JennieD says

    Hi Erin! I loved what you did with the sewing desk that you inherited. I also have a wooden sewing desk that came with the old Singer 404 model sewing machine that my Dad had bought off my Uncle many years ago. My Dad had bought the machine & table for me after my Aunt had passed away. I think my sewing desk is way older than yours is, because even the drawer pulls are made out of wood. I think I will have to put “refinishing” my sewing desk on my list of “DIY projects. Mine opens up like yours does, except the pins to hold the machine on the inside are broken, so my machine just sits on top of the sewing desk.

  17. josie says

    Hi I wanted ask if you used a wax over the chalk paint. I have an old sewing cabinet that i want to use chalk paint and a dark wax on but not sure how well it will hold up to use so just curious.

    • says

      It depends. Sometimes I like the chippy look so I don’t wax. If I want it more durable, then I definitely wax. I’ve also found that Belle Craie brand of chalk paint wears a little better than Annie Sloan chalk paint. Hope that helps!

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