Dramatic Desk Makeover (+ $100 Giveaway!)

before and after deskIt’s pretty safe to say that after this furniture makeover, every piece of furniture in my house is at risk of being painted teal. This is probably my favorite furniture makeover I’ve ever done. Before I jump into how I picked the color and fixed up the desk, let me share a bit of the history of this guy. This desk was left in the basement of our house by its previous owners. I can see why. It was in very rough shape. I almost sold it on Craigslist but after giving it a little more thought, I decided against it. This desk was in rough shape but it had so much uniqueness and character. I love the paneling on the sides and all the fun detailed curves. I thought with a little work, it could make a great desk for my little girl’s room.desk before glidden paint What I also didn’t realize about the desk was that it is solid wood. It was the real deal, people. It’s hard to find quality furniture like this anymore. desk before details This pretty little guy needed some TLC fast. The first thing that needed to happen was to give it a good clean up and remove those icky drawer liners. I’m pretty sure they had been in there since the early 80’s. desk drawer before Luckily they peeled off fairly easily. It was very satisfying to rip that ugly plaid out and see the bare wood underneath. fixing drawers before I was also lucky to have a little helper in this process. My two year old would promptly measure the drawers after I had removed the old liners. Good thing. Someone needs to be double checking measurements around here. 🙂 big helper At this point I started to seek out some inspiration for my desk. I have always loved the color teal so I started an inspiration board on Pinterest. More on my color choice later. I found some handles that I loved at Hobby Lobby so I had my dear husband drill some holes that I would need to install those when the painting was done. What’s funny is when I removed the existing handles, I saw that there were already two sets of holes. This told me that this desk had already gotten a makeover in its previous life. Now it was on its third set of handles! drilling holes Oh, and don’t worry. I had help with that too. A two year old is NOT going to miss out on drilling holes in something. big helper2 After all the holes were drilled, I busted out my palm sander and got to work. The desk had tons of bumps, scratches and unevenness so I wanted to try to sand some of those out. I also am a firm believer that paint just sticks better when things are sanded. I used an 80 grit sand paper to start with and then another round with a 120 to smooth it out a bit. I did the most sanding on the top of the desk because that was where the most damage was but other than that I didn’t sand it all down to bare wood. Just roughed it up a bit. sanding sanded down After wiping off all the dust from sanding with a wet rag, I gave the piece a coat of quality primer (that I had leftover from painting our kitchen cabinets). Again, this probably wasn’t necessary but I knew this desk was going to get roughed up a bit in my 2 year old’s room so I wanted the paint to really stick. I let it dry for about 24 hours.  primed Now the fun part begins: PAINT! Thanks to my inspiration board, I had no doubt I wanted to go with a fun teal. The color I ended up going with was Teal Lake by Glidden DUO. I got a quart of it at Home Depot and had plenty leftover. What I really liked about going with Glidden paint is that they didn’t have 50 different teals to pick from. Their simplified color palette made it super easy to pick the right teal. I love that I didn’t waste any time fretting over the different shades. I picked a semi-gloss finish because I wanted a little shine and semi-gloss is pretty durable. glidden paint teal lake I used a 6 inch roller for most of the painting. As soon as I started painting the desk, I fell in love with the color. teal lake blue Using a roller made the paint go on smooth. I did have to use a 2 inch brush to get into the hard to reach areas of the desk though. I would just make sure to smooth my paint strokes out with the roller. The Glidden paint went on smoothly and I was more than happy with how the color was turning out. (Sometimes you never know what it’s going to look like until it’s dried!) painting deskAfter two coats of the paint, I gave it a day to really dry. Meanwhile, I started working on relining those drawers. To make this process go quickly, I measured the bottom of one of the drawers and made a template (since all the drawers were the same shape). template for drawers I had some contact paper that I had previously snagged at a craft store a while back and decided this would work perfectly for this project. Using my template, I cut out 6 rectangles that fit into each drawer. template I wanted the drawers to pop out a little more so I ended up painting the outside of them a light gray color that I had leftover from painting a room a few months ago. It’s always a good idea to keep that extra paint around! drawer Ready to see it all done!? teal lake desk Aren’t those handles cute? They were 50% off too! drawers You can see the semi-gloss finish in this shot. Doesn’t the right paint make such a dramatic difference?desk after I love how the drawers turned out. I love the pop of color on the outside of them, as well as the fun lining paper on the inside. drawers with liners Anyone can do a project like this. Glidden paint can help by walking you through the color picking process (if you need it). They have lots of fun tools on their website to guide you. painted drawers We just got the dresser moved into my little gal’s room. She loves it and we are busy stocking it with toys. finished desk makeover Hope this can inspire you to flip a piece of furniture in the near future. I’m curious, what (if anything) holds you back from giving it a try? By simply commenting on this post you will be entered into a $100 Visa gift card giveaway! Hope to hear from you!

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  1. Tabathia B says

    The lack of motivation is holding me back

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  2. steven weber says

    The thing that holds me back is my time management… I don’t have time!

  3. Thomas Murphy says

    Being busy and not having enough free time holds me back.

  4. Tamara says

    I love doing furniture makeovers! We bought a desk that looks very similar to yours, and we painted it black. Although, sometime I’d like to do something a bit more colorful and bold. 🙂

  5. Amanda Sakovitz says

    Patience holds me back. Usually everything I do comes out messy looking lol.

  6. Betty C says

    Most of the furniture I have is solid wood and I’m always afraid that I will hate it if I paint it. I do love the look of maple and cherry wood..

  7. Cori Westphal says

    Usually price holds me back! We’re on a tight budget, so all of the projects I’d like to do our usually on the back burner!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  8. anna pry says

    ive been looking for a second-hand desk and dresser that needs a little tlc, but as soon as i find the right ones i’ll be doing my own mini makeover 🙂

  9. WHITNEY says

    We don’t have much room in our house to be able to do these projects. I live in a small condominium.

  10. LAMusing says

    I do painting projects all the time! The great thing about paint is if you don’t like the result you can just do it over again 🙂

  11. Norma says

    My age and arthritis generally hold me back.

  12. maria cantu says

    Beautifu color.

  13. Abby Millar says

    I’m so anxious to make over some of our furniture pieces, but with 3 littles running around, I’m positive I will start and not finish. 🙂 Not yet anyway. Seasons right?

  14. Debbie B says

    great transformation – i don’t seem to have the vision to tackle such projects

  15. Kerry says

    What holds me back is the time and mess of doing a project and not knowing if it will even turn out the way I want.

  16. Neiddy says

    shared on twitter -https://twitter.com/neiddy_ruiz/status/499698619855826944

  17. Neiddy says

    Finding time to tackle of the projects I’d like to do is the biggest issue for me.

  18. Mia says

    I’ve never really thought about repainting old furniture. Yours look great!

  19. Shannon says

    Dramatic improvement! I’m sitting on a chair right now that I repainted!

  20. Shannon says

    That turned out great! What holds me back is money…and fear of messing up!

  21. Madeline says

    I’d like to paint a stand we have in our bathroom. It has gotten a bit yellow over the years and would look so much better with a new coat! What holds me back is pure procrastination. I will get to it eventually!

  22. Ashley H says

    Time and the fact that I am not very creative.

  23. Elle says

    I painted an older bookcase that was a hand me down a few years ago a lavender color. I love it and now it’s filled with books.

  24. Susan Smith says

    The only thing that holds me back is a place to spray paint a piece of furniture.

  25. Amy says

    I honestly think the space (to air out the pieces) keeps me from starting a project =) I’m also afraid that i’ll be so slow I won’t be able to finish, I’m not the most handy or crafty lol

  26. Cheryl says

    My daughter’s dresser & desk — it needs stripped first and that scares me. But this has inspired me!

  27. shelly peterson says

    I’m not a very handy person and have never done a project like this before. sanding looks like a lot of work.
    cshell090869 at aol dot com

  28. Tina M says

    The only thing that holds me back is I don’t know if i can finish it.

  29. Amy S says

    I love how that turned out! I’ve painted furniture before, but the only thing that will hold me back or make me apprehensive about a project is somehow messing things up!

  30. Barbara Montag says

    I’d like to repaint a dresser and nightstand.
    I’m hesitant to do it because I haven’t done much painting.
    Love how yours looks!
    thank you

  31. Jessie C. says


  32. Jessie C. says

    I love painting project, the only thing holds me back is the cleanup after.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  33. Erika W. says

    I recently did a makeover on my husband’s bachelor days nightstands. The only thing holding me back from redoing our computer desk is my lack of motivation. Maybe once school starts back up and I have more free time!

  34. Melissa M says

    Time, I can never find the time.

  35. patricia c. says

    I am waiting to find the right piece that needs a makeover. Most of the furniture I come across at yard sales don’t have anything unique about them.

  36. Eliz says

    What keeps me from doing a project like this: I have a few unfinished projects that we lug from one home to the next (it’s been years) and I should probably finish those before I take on a new one!!!

  37. Liz says

    Haha!! Motivation, not modulation!

  38. Liz says

    I actually have started doing this too! Time and modulation are my biggest obstacles!

  39. Bonnie N says

    Oh my goodness, it’s simply DARLING!! Good work!

  40. Joni S. says

    I LOVE this! A fresh coat of paint and some elbow grease will do wonders for a project. Nice job!

  41. Carla S says

    The things that hold me back are the big mess and I have no idea what I’m doing or where to start.I don’t like using saws, either.

  42. Dandi D says

    I have an end table that I’d like to refinish, but I’m waiting until we get moved to start it.

  43. Erika says

    I just don’t have a lot of extra time, but we recently finished a coffee table, and it was so satisfying!

  44. rachel says

    Mainly time! With a newborn, just regular life is hard enough. 🙂

  45. Ellie W says

    Fear of totally ruining something is what holds me up from tackling most DIY projects.

  46. steven weber says

    I work way too many hours and when I get home I just want to relax.

  47. Kristen says

    I always think maybe I’ll forget a step (like drilling the new holes before painting) but most everything can be fixed anyway!

  48. latanya says

    not being very good at diy projects

  49. christine mayfield says

    Time and fear of failure holds me back from flipping

  50. DinT says

    Mostly time is what is holding me back from getting DIY projects started.

  51. D Schmidt says

    I am not a very crafty person and I am always concerned I will do a dreadful job of it.

  52. Jaclyn Reynolds says

    What holds me back is that we don’t have alot of room in our home. I’m not sure where I would put a finished product! 😀

  53. Lisa Brown says

    i am not a creative genius when it comes to decorating/improvements the house or anything. i do have a iron table that needs work, but i don’t have a clue as what to really do with it.

  54. Ashley Dawson says

    Fun makeover! I love to redo furniture, and time and energy are the only things holding me back right now. 🙂 I’ve got some awesome doors I’ve got great plans for, if I can just stay awake during naptime to work on them!

  55. Ashley C says

    I’m a perfectionist and so instead of failing or having a project not turn out exactly the way I want it to, I tend to avoid and not attempt things!


  56. I suppose I worry that I’ll make a big gloppy mess that I cannot sand out, thereby wasting whatever I was trying to improve upon.

  57. Donna says

    love this transformation, just what I need to do with a few pieces of furniture

  58. Lauren says

    Thanks for your step by step instructions. I need to get on the bandwagon.

  59. stephanie says

    im not good at diy

  60. Nicole Dz says

    Maybe the lack of experience hold me back or not having much confidence that it will come out good.

  61. Elena says

    what holds me back is that I am not a DIY person at all

  62. Laura A says

    The only thing that holds me back is a place and space to spray paint a piece of furniture!

  63. Mami2jcn says


  64. Mami2jcn says

    Laziness holds me back!

  65. Natalie says

    To be honest the thing that holds me back the most is that it won’t be perfect. I am a perfectionist and it prevents me from starting a lot of projects.

  66. Holli says

    Love the scalloped bits! It’s so sweet

  67. Nothing holds me back except for the 462 other things I need to be doing in any given day.

  68. Lisa says

    I just am afraid of starting a project and not being able to figure it out or finish it and be stuck with a piece of junk that I can’t ‘makeover’

  69. Margot C says

    Nothing holds me back but sheer laziness, and that’s the truth. We are moving though so I have this hope that when I get to my new house I will be a new person who paints things! I hope so. I LOVE that desk!

  70. heather says

    I love doing projects like this one. I love to paint and to do DIY projects the only thing that holds me back is time and money. I sure hope I win this one I love Glidden products.

  71. Diane says

    I LOVE the color! Now I just need to find an old piece of furniture to do this to!

  72. Kelley Wampler says

    I love this! When I saw it in your house I was immediately drawn to it. Inspires me to get going on the couple of furniture projects that need paining around here 🙂

  73. Kelly D says

    The only thing that holds me back from refinishing me furniture or doing these types of projects is that I have a hard time envisioning the final results and choosing the right color.