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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Painted Vintage Mid-Century Campaign Desk

A Mid-Century Dixie campaign desk gets a fresh new look with General Finishes Coastal Blue Milk Paint. 

Over 2 years ago I was lucky enough to come across a Mid-Century Dixie campaign desk at my local Goodwill.   I was pretty excited since it's not too often that you come across campaign style pieces at thrift stores.  At the time, I had no idea where I was going to put it or what I was going to do with it, but I knew I had to have it.  Well, here we are over two years later and I FINALLY got motivated to give this little desk an update.  Sadly, I still don't have space for it in my own home, but it will be going to Sweet Clover where I hope it will find a new home.  

Painted mid century campaign desk makeover
I strayed from my normal go-to paint colors of black, white and gray and chose my new favorite blue, General Finishes Coastal Blue.  This color is so pretty and a beautiful contrast to the original aged brass hardware.  

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- Foam brush
- 80 grit sandpaper
- 120 grit sanding block
- Simple Green 
- Paper towels
- Clean rag

Most campaign style pieces are covered with a thin layer of veneer and this piece was no different.  I would have loved to keep it in its original condition, but there was too much damage.  There were deep scratches on the top and chips and knicks in the veneer that needed to be repaired.

mid century campaign desk before

Chipped veneer in campaign desk

I repaired all the knicks and chips using wood filler then gave the entire dresser a good sanding using my Ryobi Corner Cat sander and 80 grit sandpaper.   A few of the chips and gashes were pretty deep, so it did take a few layers of wood filler and sanding before getting everything smooth. 

Fixing damage in veneer with wood filler

sanding mid century campaign desk

Once all the damage was repaired, I wiped the desk down using Simple Green before giving it a coat of my favorite primer.   I was worried I would damage the original hardware if I tried to remove it, so I left it on and was super careful when painting.
Primed campaign desk
After the primer was dry I added two coats of General Finishes Coastal blue then sealed the paint with finishing wax.  I really wanted to keep the piece solid, but with all drawers and hard lines I ended up having to distress it a bit.  I wasn't thrilled with the white showing through, so I sanded as much as I could down to the wood then used a stain pencil around the edges.  I blended the stain into the paint then sealed it again with another layer of wax.  

             coastal blue campaign desk

I love, love, love how this desk turned out.  The contrast of the blue and gold is such a beautiful combination and I think it's a great piece that could fit multiple design styles. 

Original hardware on mid century campaign desk

I styled the desk using a few new finds that will also be making their way to Sweet Clover.  
          General finishes coastal blue painted campaign desk
The vintage books are some of my favorites that I've collected over the years so I won't be selling those, but the brass duck bookends (find similar ones HERE) will be headed to Sweet Colver.
Vintage books and brass duck bookeneds
I also found an old Westclox clock and two vintage marmalade crocks at a local estate sale.  The crocks are so versatile and perfect for keeping pencils and other desk items organized.  (You can find similar ones HERE)
vintage marmalade crock

Painted mid century campaign desk

Coastal Blue painted mid century campaign desk

Of course, I hope this beautifully painted campaign desk sells, but I can't say that I'll be sad if it doesn't.   

If you are interested in sources you can find them here: 

Mid century campaign desk before and after

Goodwill card catalog inspired makeover before and after

Goodwill country side table before and after


Would you like to comment?

  1. coastal blue is one of my go-tos! it looks good on everything and this desk is no exception! looks awesome!!!!

  2. Very attractive! You did a great on this upgrade; nice staging too :)

  3. PS Where do you store your finds before repurposing? love the project, laura

    1. We have a huge oversized 2 car garage that is currently housing furniture instead of my car LOL!