DECOR & DIY, DIY, Home & Garden

Before and After: An ombre painted desk using DIY chalked paint

From the moment I saw all those ombre painted desks floating around Pinterest, I just knew that I had to try it for myself. Luckily for me, I was able to line up the perfect project for myself: a desk for my daughter! When I told my mom about my plan, she very kindly offered me my childhood desk. I knew that it would be perfect for what I wanted, so I accepted it immediately. I wasn’t going to give her a chance to change her mind!

For this project, I had very specific ideas for what I wanted and how I wanted this ombre painted desk to look. I wanted it to be a statement piece in an already over the top room and I knew exactly what types of colours I needed to use to get there. The challenge here was that these colours didn’t currently exist in any retail store chalk paint. I had to make my own!

Making my own Chalked Paint:

I used this recipe from Natalie at My Vintage Porch (if you’re not following her on Instagram, you are missing out!).

First thing I did was take myself over to my favourite paint store, Paint & Decor – I have a love affair with their hypoallergenic, eco-friendly paint and their service is top notch. Since I had an idea of the colours that I was looking, Alfred took me over to what I have termed their “Big Book of Colour” and patiently showed me all my options. So many options! I eventually picked my 3 colours and Alfred mixed them up for me in the required matt (flat) finish.

Paint and Decor colour chart example - Ombre painted Desk - Sawdust and High Heels
One of Paint and Decor’s colour charts – I finally made my selection 🙂

The next task on my list was to find the key ingredient of calcium carbonate. Let me tell you: I struggled to find it! I googled and googled and came up with nothing; I went on to Instagram Stories to whinge and whine that I couldn’t find any hoping someone would be able to help me; even called several pharmacies in my area. Niks. Nothing. Nada!

Around the time I was on Pinterest looking for alternative recipes (and finding nothing that I liked), I received a link from Hubs to a Gumtree ad. Apparently I don’t know how to google properly – he had watched my stories and had found the magic ingredient within about 2 minutes. I let him gloat – I was just too happy to have located some!

The process to make the DIY chalked paint

Grab the recipe from Natalie’s blog post and check out the quick video I put together to show how I made it:

Right, back to the desk and without any further ado: Here is my Before & After!


My poor old desk was really looking worse for wear in her brown and dingy glory! I can’t even being to guess at her age, but you can see that she has been through some rough patches!

Ombre painted desk using DIY chalk paint - before - Sawdust and High Heels
Those drawer handles are rather beaten up, along with the rest of the desk.
Ombre painted desk using DIY chalk paint - before 2 - Sawdust and High Heels
The top is just as battered, she definitely needed some TLC!


And here she is after – all tarted up looking like the belle of the ball!

Ombre painted desk using DIY chalk paint - Sawdust and High Heels (5)
Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful?!
Ombre painted desk using DIY chalk paint - Sawdust and High Heels (6)
I’m really loving how she fits into the space. Yes, my daughter’s room is over the top, but if you can’t be OTT in a kid’s or teen’s room, then where can you be OTT?!
Ombre painted desk using DIY chalk paint - Sawdust and High Heels (9)
A view from the top, I really love how it turned out! Oh, and what do you think of the horse night light that Hubs made for her?!

I got so carried away when I was painting the actual piece, that I didn’t get around to taking any photos or videos of the process! I also had no idea what I was doing, so was really concentrating on trying to create the look that I was looking for. To remedy this, I will put together a quick blog post on the method/technique that I used to create the look; I will link back to this post once it’s up!

Tell me, do you love this layered and blended look? Or are you perhaps a chippy aficionado? A shabby chic chick? I would love to hear from you!

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