Ten Steps to Refinishing a Desk- For the Indecisive

Step 1- Scour different antique malls, garage sales and estate sales until you find the perfect  desk. Hem and haw over the piece, because you can’t make up your mind. Take a picture and the measurements, put it on hold and head home to stew over it for a few hours. Get a phone call that someone else is interested in buying it. Someone else wants it? Now you will HAVE to have it.

Cute, right? It just needs to be updated.
Cute, right? It just needs to be updated.

 

Step 2: Leave the desk in the entrance of your home for a solid week before deciding that you should probably choose a paint color. Then spend an extra three days picking out the color of your dreams, just to choose an oops paint. It’s so much cheaper.

Step 3: Get the energy up and a nice enough day, to drag the darn thing to your backyard. Sand the wood by hand with a medium grade, block sander. Just enough to rough it up, not enough to make divots in the wood. That would mean more work and more time. No good.

Sanded desk and block sander with handle. So hard to get in those little spots, but worth it!
Sanded desk and block sander with handle. So hard to get in those little spots, but worth it!

Step 4: Clean off the dusty furniture with a nearly dry washcloth. Prime the desk with a white primer. Or be lazy like me and buy a paint and primer in one. This stuff is AMAZING!

Step 5: Paint all of the infuriatingly small parts first. Outlining the entire piece and covering the legs. Don’t forget to paint all sides of the legs, or it will look dreadful.

Getting there. Pat yourself on the back.
Getting there. Pat yourself on the back.

Step 6: Fill in the intimidating empty space, in large sweeping strokes. Don’t glob the paint on or it will drip everywhere and you will have to sand down and start over. You do not want to have to start over.

Step 7: Allow the desk to dry for a couple of hours. Now, do it all again. Ugh. I know. Repaint every nook and cranny. Every part is now covered and there are no drip marks. Right? Repaint the open spaces in between. Beware making too many obvious brush strokes, they may show later.

All painted and pretty.
All painted and pretty.

Step 8: Let this beast dry overnight. Perhaps pick a time when pollen isn’t blowing everywhere, it WILL stick to the paint. Contemplate starting all over and using the paint color you originally wanted. Nah, you’ll just redo the entire room to match the desk…that should be easier. (Here is the shade my mom and I made recently to begin the redecorating)

Almost finished. I just have to put it on the board and hang it...Someday soon, I'm sure.
Almost finished. I just have to put it on the board and hang it…Someday soon, I’m sure.

Step 9: Drag your lazy bum back outside to apply a clear polyurethane coat over it. This is an important step. If you fail to complete this part, your desk will get scratches.

Step 10: Your friends will be so impressed they will help you decorate it with an adorable tiny hat, a cool clock and some books. Add some funky hardware and a contemporary chair. TAA DAAAA! You now have the cutest desk ever.

Sweet new set up! Now I just need to repaint the room, get new blinds, a new lamp and hang the cornice board.
Sweet new set up! Now I just need to repaint the room, get new blinds, a new lamp and hang the cornice board.

 

 

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33 thoughts on “Ten Steps to Refinishing a Desk- For the Indecisive

    1. I don’t know. If we were shopping and I admired a pair of earring and then you did the same…I would want them more. Of course, I would graciously let you get purchase them…maybe.

      I know the BEST tiny hat maker!

      1. Sure you would. And I would graciously decline them, because that is how refined and gracious we both are.

        Oh, did I make that hat? How ungracious of me to toot my own horn.

      2. Toot! Toot!

        Anyone out there in the market for a teeny tiny desk hat? I make really cute ones for writers….

        Okay, I’m done plugging my nonexistent hat making business.

      1. Go into your dashboard and look under settings. There is a section for “sharing” You will see all the possible social media buttons that can be enabled.

  1. I’m impressed, but my preferred version has just one step: 1) Entice Lindsay to Texas with enough money, tasty food and beverages that she does it for you! 🙂

  2. OK, to be honest, when I first saw the desk, I was mortified you would think to actually paint it. Every time I have tried to paint an old piece of real furniture, I wish I hadn’t. But when I saw your finished desk, I was really pleasantly surprised. You did a great job and it looks fantastic. You got your mom’s talent!

    1. I know, I was worried as well. I wanted a vintage desk in a contemporary color. Voila! It worked…It must be in thanks to my mom teaching me. She is so good at it! I think she was glad I didn’t call her to try and make her do it. The cornice board on the other hand…

  3. Great read and a lovely transformation!! The phone call that someone else is interested in buying it must be standard sale strategy 🙂

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