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A Painted Antique Desk Makes the Grade

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Hello, friends!  Today I’m revealing a project that I’m really excited about.  It’s a painted antique desk with some gorgeous details.  It took lots of products to bring it to its full potential, and several days to complete, but here it is in all its glory.

For a full tutorial on how to refinish furniture, go here. 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. For full disclosure, go here.

There are so many details on this piece.  Somewhere, several decades ago, a talented carpenter spent many hours building it.

painted antique desk

The full view of the painted desk, curvy legs and all.  It’s currently residing in my retail space, looking for a new home to live in.  🙂

The before shot.  It has great bones, all the original hardware was here, and all the drawers are dove-tailed and work well, but it definitely needed a facelift.  

painted antique desk

A closeup of the center drawer after it got refreshed.  The pulls got a slight facelift and the whole piece got a coat of paint.  Then I dry brushed the drawers and body of the desk with a lighter color. 

painted antique desk

I highlighted some of the detailed areas and the hardware with metallic paint, applying it with my fingertips.

refinished antique desk top

The top got completely refinished.  It was sanded and stripped down to the bare wood, and then I applied stain and polyurethane over that.

refinished antique desk top

The edge was a little more difficult to work on, but it was refinished as well.

painted antique desk refinished top

Another closeup of some of the details.

A “before” shot of the top.  You can see the reason why it needed refinishing!  But I just couldn’t bear to paint it once I saw the design in the wood.

refinished antique desk top

The refinished top.  Now you can see why I didn’t paint it.  It would be a crime to cover this up!

So what do you think?  Did this painted antique desk make the grade?  Or does it need to go back and get schooled?

Thanks for stopping by and seeing my latest project!  

Products used – 

To see my full tutorial on how I refinished the top, go here.



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    1. Thanks, Holly! It had such pretty lines and I really wanted to accentuate them. Heading over to see your home tour now!

  1. A beautiful reveal! I love the after – and so glad you left the top unpainted, what gorgeous graining.

    Some pieces look better painted, while others look better unpainted – but this was definitely a match made in heaven with both types of finishes.

    I've no doubt it will soon find a happy home! A+++

    1. Thanks, Erica! I agree, somtimes painting is a good choice, but other times it just isn't right. This one deserved both! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Thanks, Kathy! I hope to have a post with all the supplies and techniques very soon. As you know, those posts are very time consuming! Thanks for dropping by!

    1. Thanks, Tina. It really get a complete makeover! Thanks for stopping by! Nice to hear from you! ~ Angie

  2. It is just gorgeous, Angie! You did an amazing job! Oh, and I think it WOULD be a crime to paint over that beautiful top! Good call!!


    1. Thanks, Lisa! Nope, I just couldn't bear to cover up that gorgeous wood! Thanks for dropping by! ~ Angie

    1. Thanks, Shanna! So glad you like it! I always love the way you paint your furniture pieces.

  3. wow! that's gorgeous! it needs my new home. wait, i have to have a new home first! ;0D how much are you asking for it and where is your retail shop??

    1. Thanks, Shelley! New home, old home, apartment, whatever…it would happy to go home with you! It's for sale at $395, and my space is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Let me know if you have any other questions! Thanks for visiting. ~ Angie

  4. I saw this beautiful desk on Pinterest. Had to come over and say what an amazing job you did giving it a new life. Gorgeous! I'm now a new follower. 😀

  5. This is so beautiful! Glad to see you were able to save the top. It would have been a shame to cover up that wood grain…Really well done!

    1. Thanks, Robin. Yes, it would have been a shame to paint over that gorgeous wood grain! Thanks for stopping by! ~ Angie

    1. Thanks, Maureen. It always makes the job easier when the piece has good lines! Thanks for stopping by! ~ Angie

  6. Can you tell us what kind of paint you used and the method of applying it? Also, did you sand it at all; did you use chalk paint? I'm planning n doing 2 pcs. similar to this color and need a little advice!

  7. I'm planning on doing 2 pcs. in similar color to the desk, so I have a few questions if you don't mind. Did you use chalk pain? If not, what kind of paint did you use? You don't have to tell the brand if you don't want. Did you sand it at all before painting? What method did you apply silver paint with (brush & what kind of bristles, etc.). I'd really appreciate your help because I can't afford to mess these pieces up!! Thx so much, your work is lovely on all your pieces!

    1. Hi, Susan! I'm so glad you like the piece! I'm working on a post where I reveal all the products and procedures used on this project. I hope to have it posted in the next week. Hopefully you can wait that long for the details! Thanks so much for dropping by and taking the time to comment and ask specific questions! ~ Angie

  8. This is a gorgeous piece! I have a very similar buffet that I got yesterday. Waiting for her to tell me what color she wants to be..I love how you left the top unpainted. Sure hope mine has this graining underneath the Yuk..

    1. Thanks, Naomi! I hope your piece has nice wood detail as well! It's not too hard to refinish…just time consuming! Good luck with your project! And thanks for stopping by and leaving a oomment! ~ Angie

  9. Angie, you did a fantastic job on this desk! I LOVE it very much. Actually a little jealous. I am your newest follower. I found you at North End Loft. Please head over to Cloches and Lavender and follow along. The projects will start soon enough, we are building a new home and I will be posting about it and then projects will follow. Thank you.


    1. Thanks, Cynthia! I'm so glad you like it! But there's no need to be jealous! Thanks for following. Headed over to check out your blog now. I always love to see projects! ~ Angie

  10. It's beautiful Angie! Very nice job. That before picture is really sad…so yes it goes to the front of the class.

    1. Thanks, Karen! Yes, it was pretty sad when I started on it. I think it's much happier now! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! ~ Angie

  11. Hey, I just saw this on West Furniture Revival! Congrats on the feature! We must party at the same places. The desk is gorgeous!

    1. Hey Elisha! Thanks! I guess great minds think alike, or at least visit the same sites! 🙂 Thanks for dropping by. ~ Angie

    1. Thanks, Pamela! I can't wait to see what you do with your secretary! Thanks for visiting. ~ Angie

  12. Just perfect! Grey with a stained top is one of my favorite combinations! Beautiful work! Congratulations on the MMS feature! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Danielle! I'm loving the combination as well. And congrats on your feature as well! ~ Angie

  13. I am in LOVE with this piece, it's gorgeous! By the way, I met you at Haven – we were at the same table during the painting class 🙂
    ~Katie @ Upcycled Treasures

    1. Thanks, Katie! Yes, I remember meeting you! That was a great class, wasn't it? Thanks for dropping by! ~ Angie

  14. Angie,

    Wow, I can't believe you did that!
    I'm still so flabbergasted at the before and after photos.

    The color of the paint is stunning. WHat a great choice you made!!

    You totally transformed this piece!

    Color does make such a difference, doesnt it?



  15. LOVE that color ~ perfection on that piece! I'm featuring your desk in this week's Power of Paint Party Spotlight.

    1. Thank you so much, Maryann! I'm so excited to get featured on your site! I love that you appreciate the "power of paint". There's nothing else like it to transform a space or a piece of furniture. Thanks again. ~ Angie

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