| | | |

High Gloss Paint Makeover for My Office Desk

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read my Disclosure Policy.

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 transformed it using very high gloss white paint.

How to line a desk drawer with pages from a book.Furniture makeover of the inside of a desk drawer using cut up book pages to line it.- before and after

The desk has one large drawer. I posted about:

Desk Before

When I picked up the desk in curbside trash, it had a yellow aged and painted design. 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

How to Paint with High Gloss Oil Paint

To create the durable, super extra high gloss furniture paint finish I used Glidden Oil Base Trim and Door paint that I bought at The Home Depot.

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

Glidden Trim and Door Extra high Gloss Paint

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 – very 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.

Water-Based Glossy White Paint Option:

If you want to paint your desk high-gloss white and don’t want to use this oil-based paint, my other go-to gloss formula of paint is much easier to use. It is water-based, Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover. It also dries to a super shiny finish, but does not self-level. Even with that said, you will not be disappointed in the sheen of this paint.

When using either paint formula, make sure to use a high quality brush.  When you have a great paint brush, your painted finish will look like a pro did it.

How to prep and paint the desk:

  • 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.
  • Let the finish dry for at least a few days before using.
  • IF USING WATER-BASED paint, you can add another coat after about 4 hours. Let desk dry at least 24 hours before using.

Pretty Desk top ideas

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

Desk decorating ideas

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

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. This desk is my very own – pretty and what I always imagined a desk should look like.

How to accessorize a desk

On one side I have all my pens and pencils, my second brain –my DIY Rolodexdesk clock, and flowers.

How to organize magic markers

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.


Since I painted this desk, I moved to a new home. The finish on the desk is still in great shape after 8 years!!!

In My Own Style studioffice

See how shiny it still is?  You can see how it looks now in this post:

A home office with a white and pink color palette.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    1. Hi Laura – I am loving the brightness. I love to experiment with wall color, but know I feel best when my walls are white or light colors. Now I can’t wait for Spring to arrive so I can open up the windows.

  1. I would have had a hard time painting over the design on the original desk, but I gotta admit your desk turned out gorgeous! And I can see where the original design doesn’t fit your style.

    Lesli @ BeautifullyCoastal.com

  2. Wow this is beautiful! I’m working on our home office too. Both my husband and I have home-based businesses. But we don’t have wireless and we don’t have a laptop so there are cords to hide everywhere! And we need two desks, and we use paper files for our customers & clients (I know..old style!) and, and—- :-) Well, needless to say, our office will never look this streamlined. Still…it’s getting better and I worked out a way to more or less corral/hide all the cords. LOVE your desk and office redo…Awaiting further pics of your beautiful space.

    1. Hi Connie – Thanks – I have cord issues, too. My laptop only runs for about 2 hours when not plugged in. I am working out a plan to hide the cords and will post about it soon. I have my file cabinets off to the left side of the desk. My chair has wheels and I can wheel over to it. Right now the cabinets are taupe – not sure what I am going to do with them – paint? -but they are a needed component in the room.

      I have been really working on streamlining. Before I used to love having all my inspiration around me – on the wall pin board etc. But I found that my computer has that all for me now – Pinterest, plus I find I think better with less clutter around. It is a work in progress.