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Gray Painted Desk with Espresso Stain Top

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Gray Painted Desk with Espresso Stain Top Vintage. Give your vintage desk a classy furniture makeover. This painted desk is looking like new with a neutral gray chalk paint and dark stain. Painted furniture takes your old desk and makes it new again. 

I adore a vintage desk makeover. Of all the painted furniture projects that I work on, I think that a painted desk makeover is up there in my top 5. But they don’t come without challenges. This vintage desk, for example, has a very scratched up top and is not in the best of shape. 

Materials Needed / Source List:

Disclosure: This painted desk post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here for my full disclosure policy.

Staging / Home Decor

The Before – Unfinished Vintage Desk

This desk was brought in by my customer for a makeover. It is a great looking desk but definitely needs a little cosmetic work due to wear and age. It’s older than me, and I’m sure I could use a little cosmetic work myself ;).


The top of this desk is pretty scratched up, but that’s nothing a little sunshine and my favorite electric sander can’t handle. vintage-desk-with-damaged-top

Using an electric sander rather than a sanding block or paper sanding by hand makes all the difference in the world when you have extensive scratches or damage like this. before-and-after-sanding

The rest of the piece prepped for paint by hand sanding and cleaning. This is my process for How To Prep Painted Furniture. The hardware is simply cleaned with a little soapy water and an old toothbrush. Doing this gets the dust bunnies off while preserving the natural patina on the original hardwareclean-hardware-with-soap

The Process – Painting a Vintage Desk

A rich espresso stain is added to the top of the desk. This is after one coat. Click here to find a detailed tutorial on How to Apply Wood Stain to coat stain, teak wood stain, espresso stain

After the second coat of wood stain is applied the bottom of the desk along with the drawers are hand painted in a soft cloudy gray paint. You can find great paint and stain options online HEREwork-in-progress, painted a vintage desk, chalk paint, pure home paint

Once complete, this gray-painted desk is distressed to perfection to bring just enough attention to the details. Lastly, the top is given added protection with a clear satin protective sealer. The rest of the painted gray body was sealed with both matte and satin clear protective sealer (for no particular reason).

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The Result – Gray Painted Desk

This once scratched desk has been given a second chance and is looking gorgeous.

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For more painted furniture before and after projects, and makeovers, make sure to check out all of my chalk paint furniture tutorials with over 90 projects here: The Ultimate Guide for Stunning Painted Furniture Ideas

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For more fabulous desk makeovers make sure to check out Ten Amazing Vintage Desk Makeovers.

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  1. The new finish and paint are fantastic! You did a great job.

  2. I love the way this desk turned out. It’s absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Talk of the Town.


  3. A classic pairing of stain and paint you can never go wrong, beautiful piece Kandice! Thanks for sharing at Fridays Furniture Fix!

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