Painted Desk — Before and After

posted by Andrea | 11/7/2010

I got this desk for free!

I know, it doesn’t look like anything too special just yet — but it was EXACTLY what I was looking for, and I can already picture where this desk will fit in our new farmhouse

Plus, I never turn down free wooden furniture!

Obviously, the previous owner didn’t know much about painting — or that it was preferable to remove the hardware {and the drawers} before diving in with two different colors of paint and a VERY heavy hand.

And while I usually don’t spend the time sanding anything, this desk needed it. BAD.

There were lots of raised areas, drips, brush strokes, rough edges, etc. But nothing my little palm sander and some very coarse sandpaper couldn’t handle.

FRUGAL TIP — if you buy full sheets of sandpaper, you can cut 4 smaller rectangles that fit a standard palm sander perfectly.

So, after I removed all the drawers {and numbered them so I knew where to put them back}…

…and removed all the old hardware…

…I started sanding.

It didn’t take long to make a noticeable difference, and the result was a much smoother surface. Totally worth it!

Now for the fun part — painting!

I pulled out my very professional and expensive painting supplies and got to work.

F.Y.I. paper plates and small plastic containers work wonderfully for smaller projects like this desk :)

Oh, and these 4″ foam rollers are my go-to choice every time I paint furniture, cabinet doors, or anything else that needs to be really smooth.  You can pick them up at any hardware store for MUCH cheaper than the full-size rollers.

After 3 coats of Behr flat paint in Swiss Coffee, a little distressing around the edges, and new brushed chrome drawer pulls {Martha Stewart’s line at Lowes}, I have a brand new office area!

Here’s the BEFORE:

{One more time…just for kicks!}

And the AFTER:

I’d say it turned out alright!

See more in-depth painting tips here.

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32 comments

  1. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles

    11/07/2010

    Beautiful! I’ve rescued many desks and bureaus – some were free, and I’ve never paid more than $15 for a piece. I’ve now run out of rooms that need a painted desk. :-) Those peg legs on yours are different – very fun!

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  2. Suesan

    11/07/2010

    You did a great job. That sanding totally paid off.

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  3. Stephanie

    11/07/2010

    Absolutely wonderful, you did a fabulous job!!

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  4. Sarah Reynolds

    11/07/2010

    not much else to say but STUNNING!

    Love your vision.

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  5. she

    11/07/2010

    Oh, your desk turned out just perfectly! Love the look and what a great job you did.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia;)

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  6. Lori E

    11/07/2010

    I turned out more than all right. I wonder if anyone ever sees the metamorphosis of something they no longer wanted and then the kick themselves for not seeing the potential right in front of them.

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  7. Loulou@thelifeofloulou.blogspot.com

    11/07/2010

    I love it…. It’s fabulous…

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  8. momstheword

    11/07/2010

    oooooh, very pretty! I like it much better now, and the door pulls are awesome. I like those little sponge rollers too. I also love your “simply” sign! Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

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  9. Jocelyn

    11/07/2010

    What an amazing makeover! Great job!

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  10. kathy

    11/07/2010

    Your desk is just lovely –I am loving that Swiss Coffee color you used -very nice. -You should be very proud of the results –Kind of like the ugly duck that became a swan .

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  11. Sandy@Life Began in a Garden

    11/07/2010

    Looks great! I have desk in my garage right now that I am working on, unfortunately it is particle board, not solid wood. But it was free! And a coat of paint will make it totally work as my new sewing table. Now I just have to finish it…

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  12. tara

    11/07/2010

    Wow!!!! That looks so great. I am looking for a desk just like this. Lucky :))

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  13. Milehimama

    11/07/2010

    Obviously, the previous owner didn’t know much about painting

    Probably anyone that has ever gotten furniture from me has said those exact words ;)

    Looks great and I bet you’re loving all those drawers!

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  14. Chrissie

    11/07/2010

    Gorgeous transformation! I love the hardware and paint color. You distressed it just right, too!

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  15. Mr. Goodwill Hunting

    11/07/2010

    If its free…its for me. I need to get one of those handy sprayers.
    Great transformation.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

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  16. Pattie @ Olla-Podrida

    11/08/2010

    Wow! What a transformation. I have so many projects I need to tackle that I’m overwhelmed. I really enjoyed watching you turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.

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  17. Kim

    11/08/2010

    What a beautiful job! I love the name of the paint! Sounds yummy!

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  18. Real Housewife in MN

    11/08/2010

    Looks awesome! I love the hardware as well. Nice job!

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  19. Beth @ Wiccan Make Some Too

    11/08/2010

    I’d say it turned out better than just alright! It is an awesome desk now.

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  20. Biljana

    11/08/2010

    Great job, it looks so beautiful, bravo:))
    Greetings from Europe, Biljana

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  21. Judy

    11/08/2010

    Great job. It’s beautiful now. I found you at one of the link parties.

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  22. Becky

    11/08/2010

    Free is fabulous! It’s it amazing what some TLC will do for an old discard. Great job.

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  23. Amanda

    11/08/2010

    I love it! It turned out so nice…your site is a constant source of inspiration to me. I have a wooden desk that is begging for the same treatment….maybe this will finally motivate me to spruce it up.

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  24. Linda

    11/08/2010

    Great find and you made it look wonderful! it is always fun to get freebies and then make them over. Linda

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  25. Marsha

    11/08/2010

    WOW! You did an awesome job. Looks like a brand new piece!

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  26. Momma Mindy

    11/08/2010

    I am AMAZED that you salvaged that desk. What a great vision you had, and the ability to make it happen. Great job. I don’t think I’ll look at things on the curb or in the thrift store the same way after this….it will all be POTENTIAL!

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  27. Rene@BargainHoot

    11/08/2010

    I love this desk and the retro feel!

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  28. Jana

    11/08/2010

    This is awesome!!

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  29. Shannon

    11/12/2010

    Wow! You did an awesome job! I love the word art above the desk. I just re-did my office and am totally taking that idea!

    I’m having a Christmas Card giveaway at my blog… stop by and enter!

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  30. ann @ mylifeasprose

    11/14/2010

    i *love* this!! thanks for the little tips on the rollers… i’m wanting to pick up a goodwill desk and do something similar, and your tips will come in handy! :)

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  31. DIY – Give Your Desk A “Raise” | Brock Design Group

    02/23/2012

    [...] Image via Simple Organized Living [...]

  32. A.

    04/01/2012

    what a great desk/find! how did u end up getting it for free? curb side? can u make a post about getting (or finding!) free furniture?

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