Fix It

Upcycled Desk with Hardware

I usually wait for a 50% off day at Salvation Army to buy furniture, but when I saw this desk I knew it wouldn’t still be around by the time there was a sale and I snatched it up for $24.99. Still not a bad price. The gold metal feet and unique legs had me sold.


All the drawers had a speedily-done contact paper job, but luckily they pulled right out.


Remove drawers and hardware.

You can use chalk paint if you want to skip the priming and sanding part. The downside to chalk paint is the finish. I wanted a slightly more glossy finish than chalk paint gives for this desk. Chalk paint + a more glossy top coat is another option. I sanded the entire thing with an orbital sander and 120 sandpaper. Follow that up with a 220 to get it even more smooth. You don’t have to sand all the gloss off; just take a couple minutes to go over the entire thing and scuff it up.

My orbital Rigid sander has gotten me through sanding 2 full sets of kitchen cabinets, 6 sets of bathroom cabinets and dozens and dozens of furniture projects. I love it.


Tape wherever you don’t want paint to get.


I grabbed this primer at Lowe’s on the recommendation of an employee and I have loved it. Keys to a great primer are “stainblocking” and “bonding.” The only thing I didn’t love was that it was around $30.

2 coats of primer

For everything I paint I use the “brush & roll” method. If you need more detail on this, check out my accent table tutorial.

Set your furniture on top of some scrap wood so you can paint the base or feet.

In between coats, put the brush and roller in a plastic bag and put it in the fridge to keep them from drying out.


While waiting for your piece to dry between coats you can spray paint all the hardware. I used Rustoleum gold hammered spray paint for the hardware on this desk.

Make sure when you spray you are about 12 inches from whatever you’re spraying and move your hand side to side as you spray so you don’t get drips. 2 light coats are better than 1 thick coat.


L-shaped brackets painted on a paper plate.


Screw into a cereal box to keep handles and knobs standing while you spray them.


Easy way to stand all the screws up to spray the tops.


Shield so I could spray paint the feet.

There were cylindrical metal coverings on the feet of this desk. They were removable, but I couldn’t get this one off so I set up a shield so the spray paint wouldn’t get anywhere else.

You can tape off the legs, set up a shield and spray paint the feet if you want the gold-dipped look.



Sherwin Williams “Creamy” in satin. This paint isn’t very glossy, which is good for a farmhouse piece, but for this glam-style desk I wish I would’ve gone with a higher gloss like Rustoleum’s Heirloom White.



You can use whatever the protective coat of your choice is. I used Rustoleum protective enamel. I’ve loved using this instead of trying to make sure I don’t get any bubbles when I apply a coat of poly. I sprayed this on the hardware as well to help protect it from chipping.



You can find L-shaped brackets at the hardware store for a few bucks.

Put L-shaped brackets on and trace where you’re going to drill the holes.


Drill holes.


Screw brackets on.

You’re done!




Have you done a similar project or added hardware to furniture? Share your pictures in the comments! Do you have any other painting tips to share? Comment:)


    1. Thanks Denise! The spray painting only takes a minute, my kids always want to use a screwdriver to do the hardware for me, and sanding only takes a few minutes. Most of the time is waiting between coats to dry, but actual labor time is probably under 2 hours.

  1. What an amazing desk transformation! I especially love your handy tip for how to spray paint screws. That’s clever! 🙂 The white and gold desk looks great. Awesome job and tuturial. Thanks for sharing your post at the #HomeMattersParty this week!

  2. It’s perfect and those L brackets fit right in! Love hearing what kind of primer you use. I feel like I’ve used so many different kinds and there’s always bleed through problems. Always 😉 Thank you for sharing this with us at Funtastic Friday! Pinning

  3. Half of our garage is taken up by perfect makeover projects waiting to happen, and I know my little ones would love nothing more than helping along with hammers and nails. But my anxiety levels shoot to the roof as soon as they get closer to the mildest of DIY tool. I’m impressed by your ability of seeing potential in the most conventional objects, it’s a true gift. #twinklytuesday

    1. Thanks Diego! I am always a bit nervous when the kids start helping. Paint is the safest (compared to power tools, haha) because they can’t hurt themselves and it’s so easy to fix if they mess up. For my younger kids I’m right by them holding the drill, etc., but my older 2 are good with it now.

    1. Thanks Cathy! It’s really a project anybody can do. For anyone that has known me for a long time it’s really funny to them that I can do things like this at all…I’m not a naturally creative or crafty person. Drawing or painting a picture is so not my thing, but painting furniture? That I can do. It’s so forgiving. Anytime I mess something up I can paint right over it until I end up with something I like:)

  4. Wow, loving what you did. It turned out just perfect! Thanks for sharing this at the Dishing it & Digging it Link Party. We loved reading it.

    Have great night Sara 🙂

  5. Beautiful transformation! Looks like I should go to the Salvation Army Store more often. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, have a great weekend.

  6. Hi! I’m one of the co-hosts from the Welcome Home Wednesdays Link Up. I am absolutely in love with the way your desk turned out. It’s so classic but with a pop. I love the gold hardware you added to the bottom corners, it makes it look so expensive! Beautiful work. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Hi Sara! You did such a wonderful job on this desk. I love your attention to detail, lovely work! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Dishing It & Digging It & congratulations on being featured this week 🙂

  8. Hi Sara,
    I love the desk! It is so modern looking! ( the desk definetly got upgraded)! Thanks for sharing, awesome tips.

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