DIY Projects- Refurbished Desk

This weekend I crossed another DIY project off my list. It was a gorgeous weekend in the Twin Cities. So beautiful that I got my first sunburn of the season, from working in the yard! Serves me right, I didn’t even think about suntan lotion. This DIY refurbished desk is a perfect for the new house we are working on turning into a home.

Check out the before and after. This piece started as a mustard yellow desk that was in the garage in my husband’s previous house, think giant man cave/ bachelor pad. I saved it from the dumpster by promising I could work magic. It needed a bit of TLC and some serious elbow grease.

Step 1. Remove all the hardware and, if necessary, disassemble your piece of furniture. In my case besides removing a few drawers, I just had this cool retro 1950’s hardware to remove.

Step 2. Soak the hardware in vinegar, warm water and some platinum dawn dish soap. Trust me it works, magic at removing grime.

Step 3. Sand, sand, sand… depending on your piece of furniture this could take quite a bit of time. I spent a good hour sanding the dated yellow paint and cleaning up some of the splinters and rough patches.

Step 4. Patch the nicks in the furniture. If I was going to do a distressed look, I would skip the patching and leave the piece worn. Make sure you are using a good quality patching material, for wood, make sure to use a good wood putty.

Step 5. Sand again, this time you need to even out those patches, make sure that they are smooth and don’t stand out from the original piece. This will help hide those imperfections, and make your pieces look professional.

Step 6. Wash your piece well with water and just a little soap.  If you leave dust or dirt on your piece and try to paint, the paint won’t stick. Which could result in a bad paint job or some peeling and chipping after a short period of time.

Step 7. After your piece is clean and dry, apply at least two coats of paint. This little number took three coats to cover the big bird yellow, but totally worth it. Looking for some inexpensive paint ideas, check the “mistake” section at your local paint store. I got a quart of premium paint in a simple gray for $2. What a steal.

Step 8. Once completely dry assemble your furniture and add the old hardware, or upgrade to new!


And done! That hard work paid off big time, this desk is perfect in the basement hallway, for storing games and cards. It fit the wall perfectly and will look amazing once I paint the walls. I am thinking a dark grey-blue. What do you think?

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