Before and After: Vintage Desk

This vintage desk was such a fun project, it was a free desk passed to me from a family friend. I’m the second owner of it and it was in the worst possible shape. Chipped laminate and veneer, rough plywood edges and chewed up legs. I could see past all of this stuff, I saw awesome legs, great hardware and so much potential.

I knew I could give it a new life with a little bit of sanding and a few coats of paint. The thing with vintage pieces is that you have to accept the bits of character you can’t change, even after patching and sanding there still may be some bumps and dents, but again it’s all part of the character of the piece.

I started by patching any obvious holes, then sanded them down. I find even after doing an initial patch and sand, you still can’t see all of the scratches on the surface, so I usually do a thin coat of primer on the entire piece and this brings out any defects. Once the primer is dry, I go back in and patch any areas that are really obvious, sand them down and apply another 2 coats of primer.

Once the surface was dry, I applied 2-3 coats of Benjamin Moore Advance in Mantis Green and Snowfall White.

The legs are stained using Danish Oil, because I wanted to see some wood grain and have more of a natural look to the piece. Plus you can’t go wrong with mint green, white and wood!
Here’s a few shots of Andrew sanding the legs down to raw wood so they could be coated with Danish Oil.

I dipped the tips of the legs in the same Mantis Green paint I used on the drawer fronts to add a little bit of fun to the overall look, plus the plated brass feet were in horrible shape so it was necessary to do something to them because they couldn’t be saved.
Here’s the final result:

About the contributor:
Nicole Phillips is a Vancouver based Graphic Designer and blogger.
You can learn more about her at or follow her creative side:

Jan Halvarson


Erica Kelly said...

The dipped mint feet were a nice touch.

iHanna said...

It looks just awesome!

sarah nadine said...

love it!

Sarah Jane said...

I love a good before & after and this one is truly amazing! I love that you kept the legs wood and added a fun touch with the turquoise paint selection. All & all amazing. Love

rchjava-ed said...

Beautifully done; I like the colors a lot, and you made the whole look fresh and young.

I have a question though because I am new at this. I am just wondering why you chose paint over using spray paint. Thank you for the reply.