Vintage Desk Refinish

4 Materials
5 Hours

I love vintage desks. They often have a lot of beautiful wood detail and often are made of solid wood, not particle board. Follow along to learn how I refinished this old desk!

I started by pulling all of the drawers out, taking the pulls off and scuff sanding the entire dresser, then I used my power sander with a 120 grit sand paper to sand down the top. Be sure to wipe off all of the sanding dust before you start to prime or paint. I often use an old duster then I use an old t-shirt with a bit of acetone to get the rest of the debris off of the piece.

I painted the desk and drawers first, then I stained the remaining drawers and the top of the desk. I did this in case the top got any paint on it it would be easier to sand off paint than a dark stain!

I loved the original gold knobs so much I left them!

Overall this was an easy flip, and I was able to do the entire thing in one uninterrupted afternoon!

It started as a classic solid dark brown all around. I gave it a good scuff sanding and used my orbital sander for the top.

The drawers had a beautiful curved front! I removed the hardware and scuff sanded these as well. *Used 120 grit sand paper then for the top 3 drawers I decided to power sand them a bit more so I could apply a gel stain to them!

I painted the body of the desk and the drawers at the same time. I used my favorite blue, Rustoleum Anvil Grey! This project took 2 cans of the Rustoleum Chalk Spray Paint.

I used Minwax Gel Stain in Mahogany on the top and the drawers. Gel stain in great for surfaces that are a little damaged or may need to be a little more durable. *The knobs were already gold and I loved the way they popped against the blues and the dark stain that I left them!

Here is the finished piece!

Suggested materials:

  • Rustoleum Chalk Paint in Avil Grey   (Lowe's)
  • Gel Stain   (Lowe's)
  • 120 Sanding block   (Lowe's)
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Frequently asked questions

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  1 question
  • Jim49191929 Jim49191929 on Aug 07, 2021

    Alyssa C. Is Anvil grey more blue than grey? and where did you buy it? We are near Wichita, Ks and can not find it anywhere and we like the color. Want it in a spray can.


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