My Vintage Desk Restoration


I have been talking about doing a Vintage Desk Restoration With Chalk Paint for so long. I was desperate to get my own little workspace. Somewhere I could store my things, my very own creative space. Just for me, with no football, homework and all those other distractions that put me off working.

Steps to take to restore a vintage desk with chalk paint
up-cycling an old unloved desk with chalk paint

Finding The Right Desk On Ebay For A Vintage Desk Restoration

I had been looking for ages when I spotted this vintage desk on eBay. Which was perfect exactly what I wanted. And was lucky enough to win with my bid and had the bureau sat in my lounge within a week.

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I had spent some time scouring Pinterest for images of vintage inspired desks and had finally decided exactly how I wanted my desk to look. Thus decided on a vintage cream distressed exterior to match the rest of the furniture in our lounge. My only dilemma here was how to tie all the pieces in together.

How To Complete A Vintage Desk Restoration

Sanding And Painting The Desk

Choose your colours thinking of the final look you want to achieve, but also creating a contrast. For the interior  of the desk I wanted a super girly, feminine space so decided on duck egg blue and a vintage floral pattern, with a soft antique chalk effect white for the outside.

Start by sanding the whole cabinet to remove the veneer and make the surfaces porous, dont leave any shiny bits as the paint will peel off. Also ensure you get into all the corners as those are the areas that will be harder to paint if they aren’t porous.

Apply the wood base coat first, make sure they base coat covers well and you dont miss any areas, this is the most important step so take your time here and allow it to dry properly.

Now apply two coats of chalk paint, allowing each coat to dry in between coats. Initially the result looked patchy, however the key to a great chalk paint result is the wax finish.

 How I have transformed a dull old desk by up-cycling it

Before applying the final wax we sanded areas to create the distressed effect I wanted to achieve, and then waxed. After two coats the wax seems to lift the paint and its appearance, thus making finished result looks almost to a professional standard, aged but modern.

Choosing Ceramic Door Knobs To Finnish The Look Of The Vintage Desk Restoration

The desk was finished off with Trinca Ferro ceramic door knobs. This was the biggest decision I had to make for the whole project.

Trinca Ferro offer a huge selection of absolutely gorgeous door knobs. I chose a mix of 3, to use on the existing furniture in my lounge, thus tying all the pieces together.

My Vintage Desk Restoration with chalk paint, and how I have transformed a dull old desk by up-cycling

And lastly I chose a vintage floral oil cloth to decorate and finish the inside of the desk. The bright but delicate floral gives it such a light, bright and summery feel.

My Vintage Desk Restoration, and how I have transformed a dull old desk by up-cycling

I am absolutely thrilled with the results of the vintage desk. Additionally I feel focused having a dedicated space to work, rather than working in the kitchen or on the sofa.

I love the fact that I have my own little oasis that no one in the house will commandeer as it is girly and pretty.

My Vintage Desk Restoration, and how I have transformed a dull old desk by up-cycling
How to restore a Vintage Desk with chalk paint


34 thoughts on “My Vintage Desk Restoration”

  1. Sarah this is so beautiful, you have done an amazing job with it. Love that your Mickey pen gets a look in too. A gorgeous girly space that none of the boys can touch…. perfect. I bet blogging is a joy sat at your new desk. Exciting times ahead xx

  2. Oh wow I love it so much! I have an old bureau in my mums garage that would be perfect for this but we just dont have the space sadly. I would do the same as you though, just give a totally different look. Enjoy!! xx

    • Thank you Kate, I am so happy with it, it feels so lovely sat there working, It is by the window so I can look out at the view too x

  3. Oh wow this is STUNNING!!! I love it! You have done an amazing job and what a gorgeous work space. I have a project that I am trying to work out when I can do – it’s annoying me so much as I can’t wait to get up-cycling! Xxx

  4. Wowee what a lovely desk. If it was mine I would get no work done at all, I would be far too busy admiring my beautiful handiwork. #HomeEtc

  5. Just beautiful! I’m a chalk paint virgin but have some furniture ear marked to try it so will be sure to wax them afterwards. Your bureau is lovely, it must be a pleasure to work at it! #HomeEtc


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