My Found Desk Gets A High Gloss Makeover

Remember the desk I found curbside for free that I recently placed in my studioffice?

It was a very pretty desk with great lines, but I didn’t like the color.  I envisioned it in high gloss white and over the past week I transformed it into that vision with paint.  I still have many other projects to do in this room, but I wanted to show you how the desk turned out.


The room is coming together one step at a time. I brought the ottoman I made from my bedroom into the room to see how it looks. It will probably go back up to my bedroom, but I wanted to play and see how some extra seating would look.  I need to make or find something in the same scale as the ottoman that will fit under the desk when not in use.

The desk has one large drawer and I posted about how I lined the desk drawer and made organizers out of small boxes for it.

How to line a desk drawerFurniture makeovers - before and after

This is how the desk looked:


It had a beautiful aged and painted design. Very nice, but not quite my style.  The legs were pretty beaten up and white where the finish had worn in spots

Before and After Furniture transformations

To create the durable super extra high gloss furniture paint finsih I used Glidden Oil Base Trim and Door paint that I bought at The Home Depot. It is $19 a quart, but goes a very long way.

I know, I know… you are saying – “Yuck – no way am I painting with oil”

That used to be me. Once you see how this paint covers and shines, you may change your thinking.  It is incredibly shiny and dries to a super hard finish. I needed two coats. It took 24 hours to dry and did smell, but the wait was worth it – no brush marks at all!  It is as smooth as glass as the paint self levels.

Glidden Trim and Door Extra high Gloss Paint

It is gel paint – thick!  A paint stirring stick stands upright in it.  It only needs to be stirred gently– no shaking.  I used Bright White, but I think it comes in Antique White, Red, Black, and Navy.

Glidden Trim and Door Extra High Gloss Paint

To prep the desk for painting. I lightly sanded the entire desk with medium grit sandpaper, then cleaned it with a tack cloth to remove all the dust.  I used my trusty 2” angled Purdy paint brush and simply brushed the paint on.  Since the paint is thick  – I needed to push the brush into the strokes with a bit more pressure than normal to get it to spread out, but it went on quickly.  I let it dry for 2 days before I added a second coat.

Once it was dry I gave it more of my personality by adding my stuff.

Pretty Desk top ideas

 You can see how shiny it is – the glass vase has a reflection.

Desk decorating ideas

I am thrilled with the desk – I am over the moon happy as I have never had my very own desk before. Growing up, I shared a room with my 2 sisters and we shared a desk.  In college I had a desk in my dorm room, but it was dark brown and attached to the wall with built in shelves.  It didn’t feel like a desk and I never used it.  I had a work bench for a while and then I made the Partners Desk that I shared with my family.   This desk is my very own – pretty and what I always imagined a desk should look like.

On one side I have all my pens and pencils, my second brain –my Rolodex, Pottery Barn clock, and flowers.

How to accessorize a desk

 On the other end I keep all my colorful markers in a thrift store find, photos of my daughters when they were little, and a few favorite objects.

How to organize magic markers

I still have more to do in the room – area rug, windows, table skirt, new chair cover, a few more furniture transformations, a mini photo studio and craft wall.   I will continue to post about the progress and projects as I complete them.

Home Office Transformation

Home Office Decorating Ideas

I will be busy, but I am enjoying creating a room that will not only look pretty, but be easy to work and create in also.

Home Office Decorating Ideas


  1. DeeDee says

    Beautiful desk , but I’d like to know more about the ottoman. Did you make that? It’s gorgeous. (thanks , I love your site)

  2. DeeDee says

    So , I’m working on making the ottoman. I am slowly gathering all the parts. I ordered the foam from Amazon, and only need the wheels and I’ll be ready to go. Can’t wait.
    In the mean time I’ve painted a small table using your $2.OO Chalk paint method, It came out great. Lime green. It’s loud and proud. LOL. It was a retro looking little table so I thought green would work well and it did.
    I’ve garbage picked an old dresser to make into a storage space for all the fabric I scored this past weekend at yard sales. I bought 6 large trash bags for $3! The dresser looks awful but I’m going to use your method and add some shelves and some chalk paint and turn this ugly duckling into a swan. Can it wait. So I have tons of fabric and I’m looking to make a table cloth for my really long dining table. I’ve noticed that the house feels really dark and heavy. Most of my furniture is dark, as are my wood floors. My walls are tan w/white trim.
    So I’d like to change the drapes and maybe add a light colored table cloth to lighten up the room. Which brings me to my question.

    I thought I saw how to make a ruffled table cloth on your site , but I can’t find it. Was it here and can I have the link?

      • DeeDee says

        Didn’t see it ,but I’m sure I’ll come across it again. I’ve got plenty to keep my busy until then. I started a small desk project using your $2.OO (pink and off white) paint method and Anne Sloan chalk paint (French linen). I’m off the races! I’m also re organizing my kitchen junk draw using your little box method. I’ve already done two bookshelves and the linen closet.

        I could never thank you enough. I’m getting so organized and saving a ton. Thx!

        • says

          Hi Dee Dee – You are on a roll, please send me some of your energy. You are on what I call a decorating marathon. One project fuels you to do the next. It makes me happy to know that I have inspired you. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. XO


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