Wednesday, February 6, 2013

DIY Desk Re-do: From Trash to Treasure!

As I've mentioned before, one of my favorite hobbies is refinishing old furniture!  I love seeing each piece come to life after a transformation!  This project was one that almost didn't happen, but after seeing how beautiful it turned out, I'm so glad it did!

I'll spare you the details on where we got this desk, because it's kind of a long story,  but we didn't pay a dime for it!

This is what it looked like when we brought it home...

Ugh!  I can't lie, it was pretty nasty looking.

**If you aren't sure about the difference between supplies, sanders, etc... see my post HERE**

First Things First!  SANDING!  

The first thing we did was sand it down using our hand sander.  Brian took over this part of the project since I was consumed with "Motherly Duties", so I can't comment on what grit he used, but I'm pretty sure it was 60 or 80.  The idea is just to "rough up" the surface layer.  You want to make sure you aren't scratching it all up or trying to sand off more than necessary!  

Tack Cloth is My New Best Friend!

Next, we wiped it down good with tack cloth.  If you are going to be sanding anything down, I HIGHLY recommend having tack cloth on hand!  It's super cheap and gets the job done.

Primer Isn't Always Necessary If you Sand Properly!  

We skipped primer and went straight to paint.  If we weren't painting this desk black, I probably would have used a primer just to help coat the darkness of the finish, but I personally think primer is a waste of time when going from dark to darker!  If you have sanded well enough, there is no reason the paint shouldn't adhere. 

Quality Paint Makes a Difference! 

I can tell you from experience, that quality paint makes all the difference when refinishing furniture.  I have done projects with just cheap interior wall paint, and I've done projects with pre-mixed higher quality paints.  For this project we used a pre-mixed black Valspar paint. Since I'm not home, I'll have to update with the actual paint we used later!

Don't Skip the Sealer! 

It's important to seal your project!  We use a spray-on, Valspar clear semi-gloss.  It goes on so nicely and finishes off the project.  It makes wiping it down easier too!  You definitely don't want to finish this step.

Finish With Affordable Hardware!

Hobby Lobby is usually my go-to spot for new hardware.  It's incredebly cheap, usually $3 a piece, and they have a huge selection.  However, they didn't have the sleek, silver finish I was looking for, so we headed to Target.  Luckily they had what we wanted for about the same cost!

FINALLY My Vision Came to Life!  

It turned out perfect!  Even Brian, who really, REALLY didn't want to bring this desk home admitted that he was glad I talked him into it! 

More projects to come!



  1. It looks wonderful! It's amazing what a good paint job can do for an old, worn out piece. Nice transformation!

  2. I love this! I have an old desk that needs about the same amount of work and I wasn't sure if I could pull it off...but maybe it's possible. :)

  3. Thanks! It's definitely possible! You don't even want to see the mess my garage is in right now for my current project. A little bit of paint thinner revealed years of terrible paint jobs on one hutch alone. I still shudder at the thought! HA!