Desk Makeover

When my hubby and I got married, we gave away his beloved black faux leather bachelor sofas and sold my blue and white girly-patterned sofa. Then we purchased a new gender-neutral sectional, black T’V stand, and eventually, the matching desk.  Fast forward several years and he now gladly let’s me make all décor-related decisions. (I mean he did let me chop up our sectional…really you should take a look at that if you haven’t already.) I think he just wants me to be happy, so he doesn’t have to listen to me complain but I really don’t think he could care less.

If you missed my how-to for slipcovering armless chairs the other day, I was talking about how I wanted to lighten the feel of our living room.  The slipcovers turned out great and really helped in brightening our living space, but I knew I wanted to do more, so… I decided to paint our monstrosity of a desk. Here is what it looked like before:

Desk before

I chose this desk for all the storage since it was acting as our entire office. But it’s so large and being black, it was like a deep dark hole that was sucking the life out of that side of our living room.

It took me several days  and a dozen Cadbury eggs to get through this makeover, but I finally finished it!

Desk Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint

I need to get Mr. Muscles to move it the left a smidge, but other than that I am loving the lighter feel of it.

I didn’t realize what a challenge this would be to paint with all those cubbies and angles. I used DIY Chalk Paint and Annie Sloan’s clear wax. (FYI for those in my area {Southeastern VA}, Delightful Digs on London Bridge Rd now stocks Annie Sloan products. I used to have to drive almost an hour to purchase her products before!)

Desk Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint

I used a mixture of glass and mercury glass knobs, mostly because I didn’t have enough on hand to keep them consistent. I am liking the eclectic mixture though.

Glass knob


Mercury Glass Knob


Desk Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint

I only gently sanded the edges and raised areas since this is a newer piece.

Desk Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint

I wish I could keep it pretty and clutter free…

Desk Makeover


Desk Makeover

But all good things must come to an end, I guess… still looks so much better than before. One of the things I  love about this desk is the soft glow of the lights in the upper cabinet area.

Desk Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint

Those are some of my photo albums stacked in the cabinets. I have SO many, and I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t ordered prints off my computer in over a year!

Desk Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint

Remember my desk chair I redid last Spring? It is one of my most popular posts, probably because the before was so u-g-l-y! It is holding up fantastically!

Desk Chair Makeover

Another before…so dark

Desk Makeover

And the so much better after…

Desk Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint

This whole side of the room feels softer and lighter.

Desk Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint

The only thing that would make me love this more is if it were sitting on my new hardwood floors. Unfortunately we have an outdoor repair that’s costing a few thousand dollars so my floors will have to wait a while longer. In the meantime, paint is cheap…and I’ve already found my next victim. 🙂

Desk Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint






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  1. Looks great! I can imagine that it took quite a while to paint this large piece but was quite worth the effort. I love the lights in the top of this piece. I think I’d want a rest after this job! 🙂

  2. Donna Lee says

    Love the desk, wish mine was that big and white. I keep saying I’m going to try painting this one I have. Think I’m hoping I can find a cheap white one.

    • Thanks, Donna! I kept trying not to look in the direction of my desk as it has been begging to be painted for a while, but I finally broke down and tackled it. Now I’m SO glad it’s done! Have a great weekend!

  3. This looks wonderful! A much prettier place to work now. I hope you’re not like me; I cannot keep my desk clear. It’s covered with papers, my calendar, and other ephemera (messy stuff). 🙂

    • Thanks, Ellen! I’m the same way…I try to keep things organized, but inevitably things just start to collect there. I couldn’t believe how much junk had accumulated as I started to clear it out to prepare for paint!

  4. Christy, It’s amazing what paint can do! The desk was pretty, but now it pops! Awesome transformation!

  5. Looks great! I have yet to try chalk paint but I do have a few items here that could use some freshening up! Be proud – your desk looks amazing!

  6. Ruth Anne says

    Love the transformation!

  7. I love it. It really looks like a different desk altogether 🙂 love those vandle sconces as well.

    Easter Blessings xo…

  8. I LOVE it!! I am so inspired to do this to my entire office of oak furniture. I just don’t know if I have enough in my energy account to actually finish anything. I imagine it was at least a 9 on an effort expenditure scale. How many hours would you estimate it took to finish.

    • I’m so glad you like it, Sherry! This could probably easily be done in a couple of days. I wasn’t able to work on it continuously and it took me three.

  9. It’s so pretty, love how it turned out!!

  10. What an amazing change. I really love it.

  11. That had to have been a beast to do, it was totally worth it though! It looks fabulous!

  12. That is just beautiful Christy! I totally agree with the whole black hole thing! What a difference!!
    Hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend!

    • Thanks, Nancy! It’s been sitting there mocking me forever and I finally decided to just tackle it already! Hope you and your hubby have a blessed Easter too! XO

  13. Nice change, Christy! And your chair re-do is fabulous…one thing that I’m seeing though is the addition of some white paint to the hmmm… “tubing mechanism”??? whatchmacallit under the seat….it’s a little distracting to your otherwise gorgeous chair re-do!
    Hugs & Happy Easter

    • Thanks, JP. That black piece is actually a plastic cylinder thingy that moves up and down. It wasn’t as noticeable when my desk was black, but you might be right. Might need to touch that up a bit. 🙂

  14. Whoa! What a difference white paint can make! Now I’m encouraged to makeover our very dark office with something light and bright!

  15. Great transformation! ! Really makes the room bright! !!

  16. It’s beautiful! And I LOVE the lighting in the upper cabinets. And you have quite a nice selections of knobs there. 😉


  17. Wow! What an improvement. It looks great white.

  18. The desk looks awesome!!! and it’s inspired me to paint my computer armoire. I know those things are out of style but I have to keep it because I work from home and need to be able to close things up. I can’t wait to get started painting it. Thanks for the inspiration

  19. This is a glorious transformation, my friend! I’m getting ready to do a desk makeover myself, so this is MAJORLY inspiring for me. P.S. Where did you find mercury knobs? Did you spray them with looking-glass paint yourself? I’m in love!

    • Thanks, Lauren! This desk has been silently mocking me forever, so I finally broke down and painted it. SO glad it’s done! The knobs came from Hobby Lobby last year. The closest one to us is two hours away, so we took a trip specifically for hardware and bought a bunch. Love me some mercury glass! Hope you and your hubby have a happy Easter! 🙂

  20. I love your make over. What a weight challenge for you. Glad you some muscle.

  21. Another amazing transformation!! This was quite the tackle… not many would be brave enough to take it on. It looks so good and I love how it brightens that corner!!

  22. Love it!!! You did a great job on this piece. The knobs are just icing on the gorgeous cake!

  23. Christy!!!!!! My goodness this is beautiful. I LOVE it!!!

    Your still my idol. 😉


  24. Fabulous makeover, Christy. And now I’m off to see that desk chair post. I’ve been wanting to do something like that with my chair. Keep these great projects coming! ~ Nancy

  25. WOW!! Amazing transformation..I have a black Entertainment center that I so badly want to paint white and this just makes me want to do it now!! .Come link up to Centerpiece Wednesday and share this post with us

    • This one has been taunting me for some time and I just decided to get it over with! It’s so much lighter in that corner now. Thanks for the invite, all linked up 🙂

  26. found you on Liz Marie’s linky party….love this makeover, love your style!! You appear to be a neutral addict like me….looking forward to following you!

  27. Ummm … this makeover is FABULOUS!!! I am SO not a fan of black furniture (even though I had a bunch in college). The white is perfect. Those knobs are so fun. And I love that you distressed it!! Oh … and that chair is also great!! Thanks for linking up last weekend at DIY Sunday Showcase. I’m featuring this beauty tomorrow! Have a great rest of you week!

  28. Awesome! What a great makeover. If only I could convince my boyfriend to like white furniture then I would probably do the same thing… maybe someday!

  29. WOW! Such a transformation. Love it… I have slowly been painting all my old black pieces white now… such a pretty fresh feel. Have a fabulous weekend!!

    • It’s funny because when I bought this, I liked the lines of it and in the back of my mind, I was thinking it would be pretty if I painted it ha ha. I am so ready to lighten everything up and make it more “me”. The black was a compromise. Now I know my hubby would rather have a happy wife 🙂

  30. Boy, what a difference a coat of paint makes! I love your choice of color for this desk. The knobs are totally perfect. Thank you for sharing.

  31. I really like what you did with this desk. I especially like the material used to cover the chair and how something you did a while back goes so well with this desk now. Love it…thanks for sharing!

  32. Such a transformation! It’s amazing how the color change really changes the look of the desk. Love it’s new lighter style and the mix of hardware is wonderful too!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Pieced Pastimes

  33. The desk looks amazing. I love that there is just hints of distressing. It adds more character to the piece.

  34. I LOVE the desk. Can I ask where you got it? It would look so pretty in my house if I can find someone to paint it for me!

  35. Wow!!! So beautiful. I love the mix of knobs too. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Wow, this looks wonderful!!!

  37. It’s amazing what a layer of paint can do. No rally, it’s amazing. All the ugly furniture I ignored. I deliberately go looking for ugly furniture now & like to kid myself I’m the only one who knows the secret. Just paint it.

  38. Looks amazing, Christy. The chair is the perfect addition to the new look!

  39. Wow what a difference. I have been wanting to do something different with my desk even though I have only had it for 2 years. This post gives me hope. Thank you for sharing. I found your site by way of Abby over at Justagirlandherblog. I am super excited to see what is next with all the makeovers you all are doing. I have an office I have been dying to make over and this gives me hope.

    • So glad you found me, Trina! I was really on the fence about painting my desk since it was only a few years old, but I am SO glad I did! It really opens up this corner! Come back and visit soon! XO

  40. Great job! I love posts like this because I’m encouraged to go garage sale-ing and find a piece I like and fix it up to use it in my own house. A desk like this would be perfect in my living room.

    • Thanks, Alissa! This desk is the most used spot in my living room. It allows me to be at my computer, but still be near my kids 🙂

      • That’s what I have to do also. But, I need to figure out a way to make it for 2 computers as my older kids have to use the computer for most of their homework. I’m trying to figure out a plan… maybe have my husband build a double desk/bookshelf. I’m not sure. I’m still working on it. Thankfully there’s Pinterest and others like you who share. 🙂

  41. I just love your desk make-over, it really transforms the entire piece! Great Job!

  42. What a beautiful transformation, you gave me a great idea, I don`t like clutter in a desk, so I need to get a piece of furniture like in the top of your desk that will hold all my stuff. Lol. Thank you, it is really cute.

  43. It turned out gorgeous!! I so love that it is so light and elegant!! Great job!!
    You’ve inspired me to get rid of all my black furniture!! haha!!
    Smiles and hug,


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