Desk/Table Makeover

For the past 6 months I’ve been working on creating a “studio” area in my house where I can film blog videos and have a MUCH nicer space to work on projects than my cramped basement.  Its almost done, and one of the key pieces for the space is my work table.

I purchased this as a desk and chair combo on Craigslist a few months ago; the lines were perfect but the finish, well….the 80s are calling.


The rest of the room is pale gray and white (I will do a post on the full remodel when its all finished) and while I definitely  wanted the majority of the room to be neutral, I wanted some contrast on the table, so I chose AHAH One Step Paint in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” for the top, and my go to “Bauhaus Buff” for the legs.  I also liked the idea of a dark top because it won’t show dirt or scuffs as much as a light color. I tend to get carried away sometimes and forget about things like drop cloths.

The other main piece of furniture in the room is a display shelf that I used to have in the shop – its white, french country and distressed (left side of the photo), so I wanted it to coordinate.


After getting the paint on, the table was still looking really new.  I wanted it to look old. I’d heard about glazing but had yet to try the technique, so I decided to  take a chance and make this piece the guinea pig. I picked up some glaze the last time we were in Bellingham at Lowe’s – Valspar makes one that a lot of other bloggers seem to use.*


I grabbed some Minwax stain in dark walnut and mixed it with some of the glaze in a plastic container until it was sort of light mud colored (no other way to describe it).  Then I just brushed it on in workable sections, let it sit for 30 seconds or so and then wiped it off with a clean, dry rag.  Voila, perfectly aged paint.  After some releasing of the day’s frustrations with distressing tools and sandpaper, the table was ready for wax.

I tried the new Amy Howard “Mind Your Own Beeswax“; one coat on the legs and two on the top, letting it dry in between, to get a good protective finish.


I love it some much I keep walking into the room and flipping the light on to stare at it – dorky, I know.

Just a quick note on the hardware, I always like to use the existing hardware if I can, in this case it was shiny brass, so I sprayed it with Tremclad Hammered in Silver, let it dry, blotted it with watered down black One Step paint, and then dark waxed to finished. Total work time about 15 minutes, easy.

*Amy Howard came out with a new glaze called “Glazed Over” about a week after I purchased the Valspar, and after I had just ordered a huge shipment from Memphis, so we’ll have to wait a few more months before we bring it in, but know it is coming eventually!

2 thoughts on “Desk/Table Makeover

  1. That beautiful! I have a huge dining table that is damaged from something hot that was done awhile ago and I’m thinking maybe you have an idea for this!
    I was going to sell it as it is a lot of work to do. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Liz,

      If you like the table and would like to keep it I would definitely paint it. You may even want to consider painting the top and leaving the legs their natural wood color, a lot less work and can be a great look. The paint is so easy to work with, you could get it done in a weekend. I would recommend the matte sealer for the top to really protect against spills etc. Feel free to email me ([email protected]) a photo of the table and the room its in if you want a more specific recommendation .


Leave a Reply