Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Painting a Wooden Desk with Latex Paint

Hello there!

10 days in the countdown till we leave for our 2 year stint in Illinois. I'm beginning to get really nervous about this move, but it will be good for us.

I am really excited about today's post! I finished this desk this past Sunday. So its a really recent one. I'm very proud of it. 

Basil investigating the new desk

We picked this up the from airman's attic. It wasn't actually in the donation center because of the bad shape it was in. But the volunteers at the attic said I could take it if I can fix it up. Well, I'm always up for a challenge. Also, Randy said we could get it because our current desk is a very cheap particle board thing that needs to find a new home. 

Current Desk Space - Yuck 

The desk had two busted drawers when we picked it up, very scratched, full of spiders, and unbelievably dirty. Despite all of this, Randy and I finished this project more quickly than any of our other big projects. I think we were excited to find the diamond in the rough, and unearth the potential of this solid, neglected, desk. Best part about this is that it was free, and we had mostly everything to fix it up already. It was a very low cost project for us because we had most of the supplies on hand.

The first thing I did was sand it down using my Genesis Oscillating Tool. I used about 80 grit sandpaper with it. This thing is wonderful. It makes the sanding process go by so much quicker. Its cheap as far as multi-tools go. If you buy it from Walmart its only going to cost you about thirty dollars. We just wanted to try something like this, before investing in a nice and expensive one. We will probably upgrade in the next year or so. Once you're done sanding, use a clean damp cloth to wipe all the dust off the piece. You want a clean and dust free surface to paint on.

The next thing I did was put 2 light coats of Zinsser Bulls Eye primer and sealer on it. I used a 4 inch "cabinet and door" sponge paint roller from Walmart  to apply it.
I painted a coat, let it dry for 4 hours, sanded it, then painted another coat, and let that one dry over night. This is the best brand of primer you can buy in my opinion. If you have this, you can even paint laminate. But that's for another post.

 There is something that I do every time I go to a store that sells paint. I browse the mistints. This Valspar paint I got a 13 dollar discount on- and its a color I absolutely love. This particular can of valspar is pretty much the best money can buy. I only used half the can on the desk, so the paint cost for the desk was $1.25. Pretty good if you ask me. I used the same kind of sponge paint roller to roll on the paint. When rolling paint into furniture, it is very important to only roll in one direction. So if you are rolling up and down, only roll up and down, or else lines will show up in your finished project.

So the desk is painted, but we still have the busted drawers to worry about. Also, I wanted to do something to make this desk pop a little bit, so I painted the sides of the drawers a sunny yellow.

 It started to rain though, and I was working on the front porch. I would paint, but even after 2 hours, it was still sticky and not getting any dryer. So it was time to be classy as heck.
Yes, I dried my drawers with my very own hair dryer

 We got a very thin board from Lowes and Randy using our handy dandy Genesis Oscillating Tool with the saw attachment cut out pieces to place inside the broken drawers to cover the gaping holes.
We had to be quick before it started raining again

Voila! Its fixed

 We just glued the pieces into the bottoms of the drawers and they looked as good as new. I painted them and we let them dry over night before putting them with the rest of the desk.

So here it is. The before and after. Randy and I aren't going to put handles on the drawers until we get to Illinois  just because we need to focus on packing and getting everything together now instead of playing with furniture. We love love this desk! Its definitely an upgrade from our horrible black desk we had before. And its really going to help our living room look more complete and together.

Thank you for reading, until next time



  1. Nothing beats free for a solid piece of furniture! I was wondering how you were going to fix the drawers, too...love how you painted the sides yellow.
    We moved this summer into our first house and have yet to unpack 75% of our stuff...so I feel for you and your move! Best of luck!!!! :)

    1. Yeah, moving really disrupts any sense of organization or sanity a home has. Randy is in the air force, so we will be moving quite a bit, but hopefully we can make every place feel like home =] And thank you! I just love yellow, so I wanted to hide a little in this desk!

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