how to paint a desk



Painting a desk is a great way to refresh your workspace. It adds color and personality to any room, plus it's easy to do yourself! In this tutorial, we'll walk through how to paint a desk with one or two coats of paint.

What you will need

When you're ready to paint, follow these steps:

  • First, gather all the supplies you'll need. You will need:

  • Paint of the color of your choice (for example, white)

  • A paintbrush of the appropriate size and shape (for example, a flat brush)

  • Safety equipment such as goggles and gloves (optional but recommended)

  • Once you have gathered all your supplies, carefully prepare your desk for painting by removing dust with a vacuum cleaner. If there are any stains or discolorations on the surface that can't be removed with water or soap and water alone, sand them lightly with fine sandpaper until they're gone. Then clean off any dust from sanding with damp cloths or rags; dry well before moving onto next step.* Next Use masking tape to protect parts of the desk's surface that should not be painted -- for example its edges or handholes if applicable -- then apply two coats using light strokes going in one direction only (horizontal lines). Let each coat dry completely before applying another one over it; remember that this process may take several hours depending on how thickly applied each coat is so make sure you have enough time available before starting.* When finished painting let stand overnight before moving back into place!

Prepping your desk

Before you begin painting your desk, it's important to do a little prep work. First, remove any drawers or hardware from your desk and set them aside (you can store them in a box until the project is finished). Next, clean up any dust or debris that might be on your desktop with a tack cloth.

After you've got everything nice and tidy, use a paint scraper to remove any old paint from the surface of the wood this will ensure that you have a smooth surface for applying new paint. Then take out your sanding block and go over all surfaces of the wood so that there aren't any rough patches left behind by chipped off pieces of old varnish.

Paint your desk

To paint your desk, you'll need:

  • A paintbrush

  • A can of primer and two cans of paint in colors that you like (I used one gray and one green)

To start, prep the surface by cleaning it with soap and water. Then use a brush to apply the primer this will create a smooth surface on which to apply the first coat of paint. Let the primer dry overnight, then use a roller (or brush) to apply your chosen color(s). Finally, let both coats dry for at least 24 hours before sanding off any bubbles or bumps with a sanding block.

Protecting your desk

To protect your desk during painting, you’ll need to cover it with a plastic sheet. Plastic sheets are available at hardware stores and home improvement centers. Secure the plastic sheet to the surface of your desk with tape. Use masking tape for larger surfaces (like the top of your desk) or painters’ tape for smaller details (like around the edges). Use painter’s tape on corners to protect against chipping while painting.

Learn how to paint a desk so it will look great for the long term!

Learn how to paint a desk so it will look great for the long term!

This article will show you how to prep your desk, and then how to paint it. Along with that, we'll talk about protecting your investment and keeping your desk looking great for years.


So now that you know how to paint a desk and protect it, you can make your own custom piece of furniture. It will be unique and beautiful!


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Tanvir Wormald
Tanvir Wormald
Tanvir Wormald has been a computer scientist for over 25 years and has experience in both industry and academia. He is an expert in lidar (light detection and ranging) technology, which he continues to develop and enhance as a contributor to the open source software Real-time Imaging Library project. He also has experience in data analytics, particularly machine learning, probability theory, and graph theory. Tanvir was named one of the "Most Influential People in Computer Science" by the ACM SIGPLAN conference in 2016.