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7 Makeover Ideas For Old Desks

Desks come in all shapes, styles, and sizes. My best makeover ideas for old desks can be used on desks of all types!

French Provincial Desk Makeover. with two tone paint

Today is Furniture Fixer Upper Day and in December every year we shake things up a bit. We each feature one or more of our projects from years past and a favorite project from each of our friends.

The links to the furniture tour are at the end of the post.

I picked two desks projects from long ago to showcase and you guys probably haven’t seen them. One project is from 2012 and one is from 2014.

Click any pink text link to view the entire project tutorial……

Paint Ideas For Old Desks

vanity to paint

The French Provincial desk or (vanity)  came from my favorite junk shop (where else!). I had the vintage bench seat in my furniture stash so I paired it with the desk.

French Provincial Desk Makeover

Vintage French Provincial Desk or Vanity

My intention was to paint it a really soft pink. I mixed together a couple of Valspar samples (love those sample sizes) and I decided that the color was too bright.

I went to work trying to get a look I liked. I first painted the two drawers on either side an off-white with a touch of pink paint thrown in. That didn’t work so I painted the top of the desk the lighter pink color too.

Still not working for me so I did a light whitewash over the bright pink color. Perfect!

desk makeover before

The next project is one of my all time favorites and I completed the makeover in 2012. The desk came from the Nashville Flea Market.

Decoupage Makeover Ideas For Old Desks

Decoupage Desk

By looking at the photo above you guys can probably figure out why it’s a favorite. Love those bold colors.

This desk was a lot of work. I removed the original hardware and filled the holes then drilled new holes for a single knob on each drawer. I then painted the desk inside and out.

The fabric on the front of the drawers is cut from a $3.99 Goodwill curtain panel. I decoupaged it to the drawer fronts carefully, working out the bubbles from underneath the fabric. To seal the fabric I applied 3 coats of Mod Podge.

Now it’s time to share my favorite desk projects from my Furniture Fixer Upper team mates.

Desk with transfer from Prima Marketing in French Ceramics

Estate Sale Desk Makeover

Christy always does amazing furniture makeovers with white paint. She decorated this desk with a gorgeous transfer on the drawers.

I first saw the desk I thought the drawer fronts were covered in decoupaged fabric. The blue colors in the floral pattern are too pretty.

duncan phyfe desk by Girl in the Garage

French Decoupage Desk

Jen’s dark gray desk is accented with French design scrapbook paper on the drawer fronts. I like the various designs and I see this desk all over Pinterest.

Geometric Stenciled Arborite Retro Dining Table

Painted Arborite Table

This project by Marie is at the top of my favorites list. Everything about this table-turned-desk is perfect. I love the gold spray painted legs, the bold stenciled top, the turquoise drawer…..everything.

Just the Woods Painted desk with espresso stained top

Espresso Stained Desk Top

Kandice stained the top of this desk Espresso and the contrast of  light paint on the body is perfection.


Salvaged Sewing Desk Makeover

Denise did a lot of work on the damaged sewing machine desk. She put on a new top and who knows what else. I love, love, love the wood knobs and the stained legs against the spring apricot color.

Find My Desk Painted Blue with a Redesign by Prima Transfer here.

Which piece caught your eye? Leave a note if you have time then visit my Furniture Fixer Upper friends by clicking the pink text links below the “before” makeovers photo collage….

See the furniture makeovers using paint, stencils, and furniture transfers on the blog

Girl In The Garage
Confessions Of A Serial Diyer
Just The Woods
The Interior Frugalista
Salvaged Inspirations
Petticoat Junktion (you are here)

As always, thanks for being here and have a great rest of the week, Kathy

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. I really like the black and white decoupaged and the polka dot desks. The others are pretty but like you I like color and contrast!

  2. These are all so great, Kathy! I love the pink one you did especially! Merry Christmas, my friend! XOXO

  3. I feel like I’ve been following your makeovers forever but I don’t remember that pale pink desk! Thanks for sharing all these fantastic desk makeover ideas – have a wonderful Christmas Kathy! xo

  4. How did I miss that awesome polka dot desk? So glad you reshared it with us today because it’s so stink’n cute! Love your gorgeous desk eye candy round-up! Wishing you and your family a beautiful Christmas, Kathy! xo

  5. I’m in love with your pink French Provincial Kathy! I’m a sucker for FP pieces because it was the first real bedroom set I had as a girl. You did an amazing job and love the inspiring round-up! XO