Thrift Diving
Thrift Diving
  • Hometalker
  • Silver Spring, MD

BEFORE & AFTER: A DIY Desk Makeover From the 1980’s


Please tell me, dear reader, would you have left this piece of wood furniture untouched?
Don’t answer that.
It wasn’t until I was looking at a picture of it and the realization hit me:
It’s the color O-R-A-N-G-E!
And if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I generally hate orange.
Yep, you can throw in dated, orange wood tones into that category, too.
Yes, it had great bones…great legs… Call it sexy, if you want.
But the color was all wrong.
What this beauty needed with an upgrade to the 21st century.
Now…..let me show you how I completed this DIY desk makeover from the thrift store!
before after a diy desk makeover from the 1980 s, painted furniture
STEP 1: Clean, Baby, Clean!
With all furniture makeovers, you’ve got to clean them first. Even though I planned to sand the top, it’s always a good idea to wipe down the whole thing. I use Simple Green for cleaning down my furniture makeovers.
before after a diy desk makeover from the 1980 s, painted furniture
STEP 2: Get Your Sand On
I’ve used chemical strippers before, yes. And while there’s something so satisfying about scraping gunk off of wood, have you ever seen the mess it makes??
So usually, when I want to strip something, I break out the ‘ole sander and sand it down.
before after a diy desk makeover from the 1980 s, painted furniture
STEP 3: Wipe On….Wipe Off
When I re-stain something, I usually apply it pretty liberally, then wipe off immediately with lint-free cloths.
It usually isn’t as dark as I would like, so I do a second coat.
Here, you can see how it looks when all the stain.
before after a diy desk makeover from the 1980 s, painted furniture
STEP 4: Break Open the Paint!
Typically, when using Beyond Paint, they recommend using a paint roller so it minimizes brush strokes. When you get to corners, you can use a paint brush to smush the paint into those cracks and crevices.
However, since this desk body was full of so many angles and cracks and crevices, I decided to use the paint brush instead.
before after a diy desk makeover from the 1980 s, painted furniture
AFTER
Now, seeing how it looks after I got my hands on it, I can’t believe I was even considering not painting and restaining it!
before after a diy desk makeover from the 1980 s, painted furniture
If you want to see the detailed step by step process on how I completed this project and what I did to protect the top part of this desk, you can visit my blog. See you at the comment section.

Suggested materials:

  • Beyond Paint
  • Orbit sander with 60-, 100-, and 220-grit sandpapers

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Jeri Walker
    on Nov 30, 2016

    where do you purchase the Beyond paint???? Is it a chalk paint?

    • Michelle
      on Jan 11, 2017

      Lowes valspar furniture or cabinet pain is self leveling (no brush marks) and you do not have to sand first. Just clean with good cleaner. I used TSP

  • Janice Peterson
    on Dec 1, 2016

    why not sand the legs and stain them same as top? just asking because I do find what you did attractive.

  • Pippa
    on Dec 3, 2016

    Hello there What is Simple Green please ? I live in the UK and never heard of it thankyou

    • Eil3352033
      on Jan 18, 2017

      It's a gentle cleanser, comes in various types of cleaning aid, is environmentally gentle and is also available in Canada

Join the conversation

2 of 48 comments
  • Tmzorn79
    on Jan 23, 2017

    I have a traditional desk (drawers on both sides with a knee hole center) with a leather insert on top. I want to update; it's boring.

  • Maureen
    on Feb 16, 2017

    Beautiful!! You did an awesome job!!

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