How to Refinish/Repaint a Desk

zoey-and-desk-350x200Whether you want to repair the finish on an old desk or give it a brand new look, refinishing or repainting a desk is both easy and fun. In just six easy steps, you’ll have a brand new desk that will add a unique touch to your office or work space. Before you begin, you’ll want to prepare the desk for its face lift. You’ll want to remove the drawers and any hardware before moving the desk to a well-ventilated area. Painting and refinishing can be messy, so you’ll also want to make sure to protect your work area with drop cloths.

Step 1: Strip the Finish

Many hardware stores carry chemicals or stripping compounds made specifically to remove the stain or paint from the wood. Always make sure to test the stripping agent on a small area of the desk. Once you’ve selecting a good stripping agent, you’ll need to let the agent set before using a scraper to remove the paint or varnish. If the agent contained paraffin or wax, you’ll want to use turpentine to clean the wood before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Clean and Repair the Surface

If you want to repair any scratches or damages to the surface, apply wood putty into the crack. Use a putty scraper to remove any access putty to give the desk an even surface. You’ll also want to give the desk a wipe down with a lint-free cloth to remove any dust.

Step 3: Sand

Next, you’ll need to sand the wood with a piece of fine sandpaper. The sandpaper needs to be rough enough to remove any final remaining paint or varnish that the chemical stripper did not remove, but not enough to damage the wood. An electric sander can be used to make the job go more quickly. Give the desk a final wipe down to remove any dust or debris left behind by the sandpaper.

Step 4: Test the Finish

Before applying the stain to your desk, you may want to test the color on either a piece of test wood or apply a small sample to an area of the desk that isn’t visible. This way, you can decide if you like the color before applying it to your desk. If you don’t like the color, you can simply choose another and you won’t need to start completely over.

Step 5: Apply the Paint or Stain

If you choose to paint your desk, apply your paint of choice with a paintbrush. You may need several layers to get the exact color that you want. Make sure to let each paint coat dry before applying the next, otherwise, you may end up with uneven splotches on your desk surface. If you want to stain your desk, liberally apply the stain by painting with the grain of the wood. Allow the stain to soak for a few minutes before wiping it away with a cloth. The longer that the stain is allowed to soak, the darker the color your desk will be. Allow each coat to fully dry before adding the next.

Step 6: Adding Varnish

If you want the desk to look brand new, you can add a layer of varnish once the final coat of paint or stain has dried. This will give your desk a healthy shine, which will make it look brand new.

Enjoy Your Handiwork

When the paint or stain has dried and any hardware has been replaced, make sure to step back and enjoy your handiwork. There’s nothing quite like completing a project that you will get to use and enjoy.

Have you repainted or refinished any of your furniture in your home recently?

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