A Renewed Desk

| |

There is something rewarding about finishing a piece of furniture.  I enjoy seeing something that really needs love turn into something beautiful.  It is most rewarding because there is so much effort, sweat, and sometimes tears that go into it.  I have realized that no one needs new furniture, they just need to renew the old and give it a fresh, new update.  

This desk was one of those Craigslist finds that needed a little TLC.  I did pay more than I wanted at $125.00, but the look was exactly what I was searching for.  I also know that it is less expensive than buying new, and I don’t know if I would find exactly what I want new and in my price range.

This is the finished piece

Refinishing a desk

and here is where I started…

Antique Desk Makeover

It was scratched and extremely dirty,

Desk Scratches

but I loved the lines, hardware, and size of this desk. 

Not to mention, it would fit perfectly in my son’s room. 

I have seen this two-tone paint application done all over blogland, but Beth from Home Stories A to Z really inspired me with her boy’s dresser.  You can see her dresser here.  It inspired me to give the two-tone look a try.

We purchased a paint sprayer at Harbor Freight Tools and wanted to try it out with this project.  I will share sprayer tips with you in a future post.

Because this desk was extremely dirty, (gummy to the touch – yuck!), it had to be cleaned thoroughly before the primer could be applied.TSP Substitute

I used Klean-Strip TSP Substitute.  It worked well to get the

gummy, greasy, residue off of the desk. 

After it was sparkling clean, I removed the hardware and started working on the drawers.

They were scratched and didn’t have that “glow” that I wanted,

Scratch on Wooden Drawer

so Old English came to the rescue this time.

Cover Scratched Wood

I think it did a fabulous job! 

Old English Scratch Cover

It was super easy to use… 

Quickly the scratches seemed to disappear and the drawers were given that

“glow” I was looking for.

The body of the desk was primed.  I have found when painting dark wood white it is helpful to prime the surface first. It really helps with bleed through and gives better paint coverage.

After priming, paint was applied using one of my favorite whites –

Winter White by Benjamin Moore. 

The swatch appears grey, but it is a white with a grey undertone.  Very nice.

Two coats was the magic number here.  I have to tell you, I really like the paint spray gun!  It makes it much easier to apply in a short period of time.  I still love hand painting as it is great for creating texture and layering.

After painting I lightly distressed – I didn’t want to overdo here.

Light Distressing on Desk

Now the drawers sparkle…

Desk drawers

The scratches have disappeared…

Refinishing a desk

Now it is ready to use. 

It cleaned up nicely, don’t you think?

The first piece is complete for my son’s room!

If you missed it… I am in the process of giving my son’s room a facelift – a “Kid to Teen Room”. I started the design process with a sneak peek of a mood boardThen created a floor plan and gave a tutorial on how to draft a floor plan. Next I showed the vision of my room with choosing colors and drawing elevations for the room.    I also found a great find for his bed.  I have more goodies in store and am almost finished with his room.  Currently I am working on pieces and will share them with you as soon as they are completed. When all of the pieces are finished, I will do a final room reveal. I cannot wait to share it with you!



Similar Posts


  1. Such a beauty, Angie! I’m finding that it’s more and more difficult to find a decent piece of furniture (that isn’t outrageously expensive). I guess it’s due to the DIY movement. The desk looks wonderful, though with it’s beautiful wood. And I really love the two toned look, too.

    1. Thank you! It is hard to find the good ones at a decent price. Sometimes I get lucky though, the DIY world makes it harder, but then again there is definitely an adrenaline rush when you find a piece at a great price. 🙂

  2. Hi, ran across your project thru Miss Mustard Seed. Your dresser came out lovely, will really look wonderful in your Sons room. Not to take away from what great work you’ve done, as a matter of fact, I have one quite similar that belonged to my my Grandmother, she had it for ever. Over her last few years with us (she lived to be 97), it was quite abused due to her using it more as a night stand close to her bed, thus water stains, and not being able to take care of as it once had been. I always told her I wanted it one day. It has a beautiful mirror that is quite ornate that goes with it. It was such a lady like dresser, where I played dress-up, so the memories are there. My problem is there is some veneer missing on the bottom sides. I thought since there is no way I could attempt to repair it kike it should be nor can I afford a pro to do it, that painting it white but keeping the top and the drawers in its natural state might could work. I’m just scared I might ruin it! You are my first person to ever ask suggestions from, in this attempt. What do you think, could I perhaps sand the veneer to somewhat a smooth enough match that when painted it might not be noticeable? Thank you for any helpful suggestions you might offer a very novice furniture painter!

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I am so glad you found me via Miss Mustard Seed. Thank you so much for your nice compliments.

      It sounds like this piece of furniture is very special to you and I love that you are going to keep it and try to renew it. 97 is amazing! The cool thing is, even if you do paint it or change it a bit, the memories will still be there for you. I would like to see a picture of your dresser if you wouldn’t mind sending it to my email. Slipcoveredgreyatgmaildotcom. I have worked with veneer where I have sanded it all off to get to the bare wood, and I have patched areas too. A picture would help me determine how I would tackle it and possibly give you some advice on how to renew it to your liking. You can do it! I am so glad you are going to give it a try!

      1. Awesome, yes I will take some pictures and send. I don’t have the mirror yet. We picked it up from my Mom’s recently, and was afraid to bring the mirror at the same time (space was maxed out!). But I can at least get pics of the dresser it’s self, and the patches of veneer missing. Thanks so much for your kind reply!!

        1. Lisa, I just sent you a message via email. Let me know if you didn’t get it. Your dresser is going to look beautiful – I love the lines! I am excited to see it finished!

  3. Hi Angie, I love this look and you did an awesome job, love all the original hardware too. I recently did a post on this type of finish because I’ve been looking for the perfect project piece. Haven’t found it yet. Visiting from MMS

    1. Thanks so much Kathy! I have to head over and check out your post. You will know when you see that special piece – sometimes I search and search and when I am not looking is when I find it. 🙂 I will look forward to seeing yours when you find it and it is complete. Thanks so much for visiting!

  4. What a beautiful makeover! You totally sold me on Old English scratch cover too! I’ve got a side table begging to be lovely again. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *