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How To Spray Paint A Metal Desk

I used spray paint on a metal desk I picked up in Arkansas. It was the perfect choice. I very, very, seldom use spray paint on furniture but it’s just what the metal desk called for.

find joy stencil from FolkArt 3

Blue and orange are one of my favorite color combinations. The colors are also perfect for the granddaughters bedroom.

metal school desk

The school desk looked a little sad when I purchased it. The price was $12.50. Not too bad.

furniture fixer uppers with 6 diy furniture bloggers 600


How To Spray Paint A Metal Desk

The makeover was really simple and I have all the details for you. My partners in crime, aka The Fixer Upper Girls, have projects today too. The links are at the bottom of the post.

gum on desk

  1. Clean the Desk

I really hated to share this disgusting stuff  but it was part of the makeover. Remember chewing gum in school? And not wanting to get caught? Where did the gum go? Yep, on the desk somewhere. There was gum stuck on every surface of the desk. Be thankful I didn’t show you the REALLY disgusting photos.

filling holes with putty

 2. Repair Holes And Scratches

I scraped and cleaned and scraped and cleaned some more. Then I filled a few holes on the front of the desk with wood filler.

sanding putty smooth

The wood filler will shrink as it dries. Once dry sand the filler flush with the desk surface. If the filler is pitted or has shrunk too much then add more filler and repeat the process until you can sand the filler nice and smooth and flush with the surface of the desk.

ready to paint

 3. Cover Areas You Don’t Wish To Paint

The silver metal tips on the legs were scratched up but I did like them. I taped over the legs so they would stay as is. I also liked the orange panel on the back so it got taped and papered.

Rustoleum Spray Paint

  4. Spray Paint The Desk

I used RustOleum Ultra Cover in Satin Lagoon to paint the desk. It took about 10 minutes to spray paint the desk. I applied several thin coats of the paint working around all sides. The paint will run if you spray a heavy coat all at once.

sanding paint

There were two pieces of clear scotch tape on the table surface that I missed when cleaning it. They sure showed up after a coat of spray paint. I grabbed a piece of sandpaper and sanded them off. The spray paint covered the sanded areas very well.

finging joy stencil and acrylic paints for project

    5. Add A Stencil To The Painted Metal Desk

I usually manage to screw something up before a project is completed and this time was no different. I video taped the whole stencil project. Where is the video you ask? I accidentally deleted the videos before saving them to my computer. I may have said a few bad words. Video is a tedious process. I added the “find joy” stencil to the top of the desk using various colors on the stencil for depth.

I used spray paint on the metal desk by Petticoat JUnktion

All done. I’m glad I left the back panel as is. The orange pops against the blue and is a nice surprise.

spray paint a metal desk

I hope my granddaughters always find the joy in life. I’m working hard on that myself.

I spray painted the metal desk with Rustoleum paint by Petticoat Junktion 1

Sofi didn’t like the desk. Well, that’s not true. She doesn’t like change and she wanted the other piece of furniture back. No problem. I kept the orange and white piece that was in her room. Just moved it to another bedroom. Now I’ll be moving it back.

metal desk spray painted with Rustoleum blue paint

The liner on the bottom shelf is a colorful page from an old book/atlas. Remember to think outside of the box.

blue and orange painted furniture 1

That’s it for me. Do you like the blue and orange? Have you used spray paint on furniture?

How to spray paint a metal desk by Petticoat Junktion

Be sure and visit my friends. Just click the pink text links below the “before” collage.

Furniture Fixer Upper June before collage

1. Just The Woods
2. The Interior Frugalista
3. Confessions Of A Serial Diyer
4. Girl In The Garage

Products used in this makeover, Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.
Rustoleum Spray Paint – Lagoon
Wood Filler
Painters Tape
(Read my affiliate disclosure policy.)

Have a great day!

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. Love the new look and the bright blue. Haha Sofi reminds me of my boys – I can work hard on a surprise for them and then usually get complaints after. Kids, go figure. 🙂

  2. Sometimes spray paint is the answer. With metal, and with all the hard-to-reach places, it really does work best. That’s a beautiful color.

  3. When I saw the makeover, I immediately thought of Sofi’s room at your house – the colors are perfect. Too bad she didn’t like it. I was happy to see you kept the original orange color on the front and then added your signature pop of color – the combination is so pretty!

  4. Love the bold pops of color on this fun desk, Kathy! XO

  5. That is one of my all-time favorite RustOleum colors, Kathy. That desk is so absolutely retro cool!!

  6. Kathy, this desk is beautiful. No bad words needed, the photos do a beautiful job of explaining your process. The stenciled “find JOY” is perfect. It really is a great desk and now it has a new and beautiful life.