How Can a Desk Be Painted?


Quick Answer

Paint a wooden desk by removing any hardware and handles, cleaning the finish, sanding the surface, priming and applying paint. Apply a second coat of paint if the old color shows through the first coat or you desire a darker shade.

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Full Answer

  1. Remove the hardware

    Take off any handles, knobs and hinges with a screwdriver. Set them aside so you don't lose them.

  2. Clean the desk

    Grab a bucket, and mix several tablespoons of vegetable oil-based cleaner with water for a painted desk, or use trisodium phosphate if the desk is unpainted wood. Put on a pair of rubber gloves, and soak a rag in the mixture. Wipe down the entire desk, and allow it to dry.

  3. Sand the desk

    Sand the entire desk with 220-grit sandpaper. Use 100-grit for areas with chipped paint or places where the varnish seems difficult to remove. Wipe down the desk to remove the sawdust.

  4. Apply the primer

    Apply two light coats of primer with a medium-sized paintbrush. Allow the primer to dry.

  5. Paint the desk

    Beginning at the top of the desk, apply paint with a medium or small paintbrush. Work your way down until all areas are covered. Use the same process for painting the sides of the desk. Allow the paint to dry, and add another coat as needed. Allow the final coat to dry thoroughly.

  6. Replace the hardware

    Use a screwdriver to reattach all hardware and handles.

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