DIY Vintage Desk Makeover

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Do you have a project or a piece of furniture that you need to refinish but you just haven’t decided what you want to do with it?  I originally thought I would strip it to the original wood, and keep it raw, but I quickly lost interest once I realized how many paint layers were involved.  This is the story behind a little vintage desk I picked up on Craigslist a few months ago.  This desk sat in my garage staring at me, until I received a sample color of paint from Kilz and I was suddenly inspired to create a desk for my daughter. This began my DIY vintage desk makeover for my little Princess.

vintage desk makeover

Below is the “before” picture of what the old desk looked like in all her painted vintage glory. This furniture piece had seen her better days, so it was time for a little DIY.

vintage desk makeover

Before the vintage desk makeover, this furniture piece was a mess with layers and layers of paint and stain that needed to be removed.

The first thing I did was remove the bottom layer of wood. I’m not sure what the purpose of this was, but it was obviously added later.

vintage desk makeover

This is what the vintage desk looked like after I removed the bottom level. Now I could start to see the potential in this furniture makeover.

vintage desk makeover

My next step is my most unfavorable step; Stripping all the layers of paint and stain from the wood.

In order to strip the old desk, I used an easy technique where I cover the desk in paint stripper and saran wrap. Yep, I really meant saran wrap. If you want to see more details on this technique click HERE.

vintage desk makeover

The picture above is after I’ve removed the saran wrap, lightly scraped the wood, and wiped the paint stripper off with mineral spirits.

The next step is more scraping and then lots of wood sanding.

After I completed a little more sanding, I decided to prime the desk before painting it because I did not remove all the old paint. Will priming prevent the old paint from chipping? No, but it will help. And honestly, the look I’m going for is a vintage desk makeover, not a new makeover.

A vintage desk makeover A vintage desk makeover

If you look closely at the top, it still looks rough. I wasn’t pleased with it so I decided to sand the top of the vintage desk down a little more.

After the sanding was complete, it was time to paint! The color that inspired me to complete this project is called Peach Glamour by Kilz.  I knew immediately when I opened the sample what I would do with it. I’m not big on bold colors (which you probably know). This paint color is very neutral and bright with a hint of pink, perfect for a little girl.

peach glamour

This desk came with a chair, but to say I wasn’t pleased with it would be an understatement. Craigslist came to the rescue again and I found these vintage swivel chairs that matched the style of my desk.

A vintage desk makeover

The chair was in decent condition, but the bar stool bottom area needed a coat of spray paint. I decided to spray it in an oil rubbed bronze color.

After the base was sprayed, I painted the actual chair the same color to match the desk.

Then I had to figure out what to do with the “hole” in the middle of the table that I can only assume used to be a drawer. I found a bathroom vanity organizer that fit perfectly, all I had to do was spray paint it the same color as the base of the chair.

A vintage desk makeover

After all the painting was complete, I knew I wanted to lightly “age” or “antique” the pink finish.

After I completed the “antique finish,” I decided my vintage desk makeover was complete.

The only thing left was to unveil it to my little princess.

vintage desk makeover

vintage desk makeover

vintage desk makeover

vintage desk makeover

vintage desk makeover

vintage desk makeover

Side note: Yes, my little princess is two. No, I don’t condone lots of makeup use and “primping” to my toddler, but she asked for her own space to do “makeup” just like mommy. Well, what could I say? She was basically asking me to complete a new furniture makeover project! It just happened to be that I had the desk in the garage just waiting for me to refinish it (haha, as you can see I jump to any excuse to bring new furniture to life).

a vintage desk makeover for a little princess

If you enjoyed this post I would love for you to Pin the picture below to Pinterest or you can see it HERE.  Thanks friends!

a vintage desk makeover

If you want to see more furniture posts like this click HERE.

Interested in learning about Chalk Paint vs. Milk Paint?   I’ve laid it all out in a blog post.

P.S. this desk has been given another makeover since we moved to our Rustic Beach Cottage. See more details below:

Vintage Chic desk makeover

As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ve been inspired.


56 thoughts on “DIY Vintage Desk Makeover

  1. it’s amazing, you did a wonderful job. My daughter would love a desk like that (and I would too). Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

  2. Oh this is so cute. I love seeing the before and after pictures and reading about how you changed it into a treasure. I have painted a few pieces of furniture and been so pleased with them. A little paint can really change a piece.

  3. Thanks so much for joining us at the To Grandma’s House We Go link party. Your link has been pinned! Please join us again next Wednesday! Cheers!

  4. What a pretty desk! The video tutorial is so helpful, I’ve always been nervous to antique furniture because it just looked so easy to mess it up. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  5. This is just beautiful. What a lovely transformation. I assume those extra bits at the bottom were added for a computer stack or printer maybe? How gorgeous that it has a whole new life now. Thanks so much for stopping by at Handmade Monday to share this with us.

  6. The desk turned out wonderful and little princess is darling! Thanks for sharing with SYC. I’m sure it’s not intentional, but I’m not seeing a link back to the party.

  7. It looks gorgeous Lindsey. Everything from the new “drawer” to the beautiful, soft pink color you chose. Bet your Princess is super impressed

  8. Your little princess is darling with her beautiful curls. What a huge transformation, the desk is gorgeous and I love that you painted it white. Great job.

  9. Very nice. Have you ever used Unicorn Spit? It is a water base stain that has incredible colors. They are on Facebook, tons of examples.

  10. That desk looks gorgeous and I can imagine it was hard work stripping back all the layers of paint. Well done for persevering and getting it done, and thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

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