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DIY Vintage Desk Makeover

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 it’s painted vintage glory. This furniture piece had seen better days, so it was time for a little DIY.

The desk before the 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 vintage desk makeover

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.

removing the bottom layer of wood on this 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.

The desk without the bottom layer

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.

vintage desk makeover after stripping the top layer of paint off

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.

desk after applying primer
desk after applying primer

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 spray paint.

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.

The only thing left was to unveil it to my daughter!

vintage desk makeover
vintage desk makeover
vintage desk makeover
vintage desk makeover
vintage desk makeover
vintage desk makeover

Side note: Yes, my little daughter 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

a vintage desk makeover

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.


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  1. […] currently has two  black lamps in her bedroom and a sweet little antique desk and chair I refinished about a year ago. Both of those furniture pieces had a dark finish, and I knew I […]

  2. […] gave one of the chairs a good makeover right away with my vintage desk makeover.  Unfortunately, the other chair got pushed to the corner of my garage until today, when I finally […]

  3. […] Vintage Desk Makeover shared by Repurpose and Upcycle […]

  4. […] Vintage Desk Makeover shared by Repurpose and Upcycle […]

  5. […] My Pick – A Vintage Desk Makeover for a Little Princess […]

  6. Wow a major difference from the before! Great makeover and I love the chippy door and the little princess staged with it! Thanks for sharing your project at #fridaysfurniturefix, love having you Lindsey.

  7. laura70ak says:

    That poor little thing–it looks so much better now! Pinned it–thanks for linking up!

  8. […] A Vintage Desk Makeover for a Little Princess by Lindsay […]

  9. What a fantastic job! This will grow with your daughter. The blink of an eye and there will be makeup all over it! xx

  10. satrntgr says:

    I love it when older things get a new life!! This turned out beautifully! 🙂

  11. It looks like everyone loves your desk makeover for makeup. The Blogger’s Pit Stop will feature this post on Friday. Well done again.
    Blogger’s Pit Stop

  12. Judy says:

    What a beautiful transformation. The desk is gorgeous now. I will be featuring this tonight at my Fall into Fall party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I’ve Been Featured button. Thanks.

  13. The Pramshed says:

    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

  14. whatmamaknowsaboutcake says:

    Ah beautiful! I love a desk with history 🙂 What a sweet gift for your daughter.

  15. Pamela Byington says:

    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.

  16. harropaj says:

    The transformation is amazing and you did a fabulous job and your princess is adorable 🙂

  17. Leanna says:

    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.

  18. An amazing transformation, you really are good at seeing the potential in old furniture. I just don’t have this in me! Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  19. Excellent out come, your hard work and smart work have payed off. Lucky little princes to have creative mom.

  20. bonbon says:

    Thanks for sharing at Inspire Me Monday….I wanted to let you know that you are one of my featured picks this week. Come check it out at

  21. What a fabulous transformation! I love that you saw the beauty and the potential in it, it really does look wonderful now, and a really charming touch to a room. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  22. Nige says:

    Fab job it looks awesome Thank you for linking to #ThatFridayLinky Please come back next week

  23. WOw – this looks awesome. What a brilliant transformation. I would love this! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  24. Ann says:

    Great makeover and such a clever use of the vanity organizer! I’m sure your little princess is thrilled!

  25. acraftymix says:

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

  26. Jann Olson says:

    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.

  27. Julie says:

    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.

  28. Loved the colour and the makeover.It’s adorable.

  29. You’re so creative! It looks great! Well done! Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

  30. Helen Gandy says:

    That looks so beautiful, I would buy this!! Popping over from #ThatFridayLinky

  31. playdatesparties says:

    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!

  32. Linda Feray says:

    What a great gift for anyone! Love the finish!

  33. Oh Wow, this is lovely. What a transformation. You are very talented ???? #fortheloveofBLOG

  34. Sheri K. says:

    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!

  35. This looks fab, so professional! #SharingtheBlogLove

  36. Ali B says:

    What a fabulous transformation! You should stop by the Ultimate Pinterest Party on Friday and share a pin to your project!

  37. 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.

  38. What a super cute desk! How cool that you were able to imagine something beautiful from the original desk! And I love that soft pink color too.

  39. Love the desk but not so sure about the chair/stool. #mmbc

  40. Teresa B says:

    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!

  41. K.Rupp says:

    I love the desk now. The color is great and will be perfect for your daughter. Saw your post at the wed. link party. Just pinned:)

  42. Heather Keet says:

    What a fantastic makeover! #fortheloveofBLOG

  43. Very impressive! What a great job! I hope your little princess enjoys it!!

  44. JESS44903 says:

    This looks so amazing!! Love it! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  45. Stefanie S says:

    That is perfect! My girls would love something like that!

  46. Thank you Debra. Now the test will be to keep it semi decent looking until she will actually appreciate it!

  47. Molly says:

    What an amazing transformation


  48. Your makeover is fantastic. Your hard work has certainly paid off! #mmbc

  49. ourrachblogs says:

    Gorgeous. Can you come round mine and do your thing? You’ve clearly got a talent! #mmbc

  50. Such a lovely effect and so stylish, I’d like one! #MMBC