Desk Makeover with Chalky Finish Paint

Transform a vintage metal desk with Chalky Finish paint from Americana. This post is sponsored by DecoArt, but the project and opinions are 100% mine!

chalk paint desk makeover

drawer pattern_chalky finish paint

I have a love for vintage items. So when I found this mid-century metal desk at a rummage sale a few years ago, I knew it would be mine. I bought it for $20 and left it there until I could figure out how to get the beast home. (These desks are HEAVY by the way.) When my husband finally got it in the house, he vowed he would never move it again.


Three years and one house later, here she is. The paint is chipping off everywhere and it’s not a very nice color. I use this desk every day, but I never thought about painting it until I started seeing all of the awesome furniture makeovers people had been doing with DecoArt’s Chalky Finish paint. This paint is so universal. You can use it on wood, walls, glass, metal, and more! I had never attempted it on metal so I decided to give it a try!

Paint colors_everlasting_innocence_smitten

I knew I wanted the desk to be white, so I used DecoArt’s Chalky Finish paint in Everlasting. To add some graphic interest on the drawers, I created a pattern with the pink color Innocence, and custom color mixes of Everlasting, Innocence, Smitten, and Romance.

Step 1: I cleaned the surface of my desk and removed some leftover adhesive (remember when it was cool to put stickers all over your desk?)

Step 2: I applied the Everlasting Chalky Finish paint with a flat brush, in smooth, even coats. (I allowed for 30 minutes of dry time between coats.)

Step 3: In between coats I sanded the surface with fine 220-300 grit sandpaper to help reduce brush strokes and create a smoother finish. Make sure to wipe down surface or vacuum after sanding!

dipping brush in water

*Chalky Finish painting TIP: If the paint is going on too thick and creating a lot of brushstrokes, dip your brush in water after you dip in your paint. This helped to make my third coat extra smooth.

Step 4: Once the desk was white and pretty, I decided to add a triangle pattern on the drawers. I taped off my pattern with masking tape. Then I painted each section with a different shade of pink. (The middle drawer is Innocence, the top drawer is a mix of Innocence and Everlasting, and the bottom color is a custom mix of Innocence, Smitten, and Romance.) This only took one coat!

painting process_drawers

Step 5: Once the pattern was dry, I removed the tape, and sanded the surface just slightly to smooth it out.

Step 6: I finished off the project by adding a few coats of the Americana Decor Soft Touch Varnish. I decided on this product, rather than wax, because it is really durable to withstand little fingerprints and it gave me the finished look I wanted.

Step 7: I re-attached the hardware and stepped back to enjoy the finished result!

Chalky Finish Paint_desk makeover

mid century desk makeover

chalk paint desk redo

I am so happy every time I look at this desk now. Or sit at it. Or just walk in the room. Why didn’t I do this three years ago?

If you have a piece of furniture sitting around that is begging for a makeover, what are you waiting for? DecoArt is hosting an awesome contest right now and you can enter your furniture makeover for a chance to win $2,000 in cash and other amazing prizes. Visit the DecoArt Chalky Finish website for more paint ideas and inspiration!



Linking up this post with some of our favorites:

*The Party Bunch

*Link Party Palooza

*Creative Collections

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  1. Lisa Kubin says

    This is beautiful! Great job! Love the white and pink and the ombre and the triangles! Just beautiful

  2. says

    Love love this!! You did an awesome job. The triangles are such a great touch. Where did you get that shape shelf on the desk?

  3. says

    I adore this project so much, but my big question is about the Tetris-eqsue shelving organizer on the desk. Did you make those yourselves or did you purchase them and paint them? I was trying to find them on your blog. Thank you so much for your time.


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