annie sloan chalk paint, desk remodel


It’s been slim pickings as far as finding pets to photograph the last few weeks and my inspiration has dried up a little, so what better way to boost it again than to do something creative but in an entirely different field.

Enter stage left, my old pine desk. I bought this desk over 20 years ago with money my Dad sent me when I announced that I was leaving my corporate job and going into business on my own, my Mom had just come into some money and she too gave me a lump sum with which I managed to buy a brand new Fiat Uno, so I was all set to go out and face the big wide world.  I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing at the time and the enormous chance I was taking as a single mother of a 10 year old boy, quitting my job and striking out on my own.  Some people said it was “very brave” of me but I can assure you it had less to do with courage and more to do with stupidity and not really thinking things through.

First order of business, I set off in search of an affordable desk and the moment I clapped eyes on this baby, I fell in love with it.

Before and after pine desk, annie sloan chalk paint

My cash and I swiftly parted ways and I happily carted my purchase home to my 2 bed roomed flat, which immediately turned my lounge/dining room into a lounge/dining room/office.

I didn’t know it at the time but in retrospect I realise now that the desk symbolized freedom, independence and a determination not to fail or give up.

It pleases me to say that while my business has changed over the years from a “promotional gift & umbrella supplier” to “massage therapist & reflexologist” and now “pet photographer”  I have never found the need to go back and work for an employer in the corporate workplace again.

My little desk has travelled far and wide, from the East Rand to the North of Johannesburg, on to Grand Bay first and then St Antoine – Mauritius, back to South Africa and Mossel Bay and finally come to rest here in our beautiful Custard Cottage in the little village of Sedgefield, Western Cape.

It was looking the worse for wear and needed a major face-lift.  What to do? What to do?

Annie Sloan Chalk paint and soft wax

I was so inspired by my friend Char who had done such a beautiful refinishing  job on her chest of drawers that I determined to do something similar.  A couple of hours on the internet (thank you Google) where I discovered the amazing Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (no priming or sanding, just slap it right on) and Annie Sloan Soft Wax.  Both the paint and the wax have a bit of a learning curve attached to them so I watched a couple of tutorials (thank you: You Tube, The Purple Painted lady and Eco Chic boutique), bought some beautiful crystal knobs while I was in the Big City and I was ready to begin my project, albeit with some trepidation.

I was keen to do a personalized graphic on the desk and found both the camera graphic and the inspiration for the personalized French Typography from a fantastic website called The Graphics Fairy, which has an extensive collection of furniture and home decor graphics, for FREE!

annie sloan, the graphics fairy, vintage camera graphic, desk revamp

I decided to do the logo in French because after all our surname “du Toit” is French and means “of the roof”.  I know, don’t ask it’s a long story.  It took simply ages to do the graphic and I did run into some smudging problems using the wax over it and ended up having to paint a glaze over the graphic first.  If I ever do this again I will use water-colour pencil for the outline, Annie Sloan paint for filling in the graphic or simply use a water slide decal.

annie sloan, the graphics fairy, vintage camera graphic, desk revamp

The wax really transforms the look of the piece, it makes the colour more vibrant and gives the paint a soft velvety look and feel, simply gorgeous and well worth the time and effort.

annie sloan, the graphics fairy, vintage camera graphic, desk revamp

I love those crystal knobs…

annie sloan, the graphics fairy, vintage camera graphic, desk revamp

Next week I go looking for pets..

All my love

moi ♥



  1. So this is where Remo gets his talent from! Absolutely stunning transformation Moi. You have been truly blessed with a incredible gift. What a delightful story my friend. You are such an inspiration. Miss you and miss our chats too!


  2. Wow!!!! I see you found the gem “Annie Sloane”. The desk looks amazing! Love the handles 😉 finishes it off beautifully! What’s next? xx


    1. Thanks Char, thinking of doing my antique carriage clock and the coffee table, waiting for the colour French Linen to come in also trying to find a supplier for “shellac” in SA will prob need it for the clock.


    1. Thanks Mands we love our Custard Cottage, please bring my fave cupcakes when you come. The desk is in my little office/alcove with the window on my left, when you came to visit I was sitting with the window on my right, how observant of you 🙂



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