DIY Graphic Desk Update


Hey, what do you think of my desk?  It makes me smile every time I see it.  It is sitting in my loft/office enticing me to come and do my daily work every time I walk past.  That is a good thing because there are always bills to pay and papers to file and stories to write and email to return.  It has also become Halle’s go-to spot for the nightly homework ritual.  A lovely spot for all of us.

Updating the desk was typical of the rest of my office projects:  I used something I already had and made a few changes along the way.  I started with an old Ikea Malm desk

…and gave it a good cleaning, a very light sanding, and then I brushed on a coat of Gripper Primer from Home Depot. It is definitely the best primer to use when painting slick Ikea-like furniture.  The next step was rolling on two coats of coral paint to just the sides of the desk.  Then came the fun part!  I was inspired by this idea from Design Sponge.

But I used a slightly different technique.  Instead of hand-drawing the lines, I covered the coral paint with Frog Tape, using this image as a guideline for my tape lines.  Then I covered the entire desk with three coats of white semi-gloss paint and four coats of polyurethane.  By the way, I have such a difficult time with polyurethane so if you have any great tips, I would love to hear them.  A few things I have learned along the way:  do not use a roller, use a brush designed specifically for polyurethanes and stains, use steel wool between coats, don’t freak out if there is still specks of dirt on your furniture, try spray-on polyurethane.

After everything had dried well, I gave it extra time to cure because it is a desk and there will be lots of writing going on…it cured for almost a week.  The final step was to dress the desk up with some brass nailheads and casters.


This project was time-consuming, but not too difficult and I LOVE the graphic lines and fresh color.  It was well worth the time and effort and the only cost came from paint, nailheads, casters, and some tape.  Here are some easy instructions if you’re interested in making something similar:

diy desk update

Posted in diy

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