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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Before & After: White and Wood MCM Desk Makeover

A damaged mid century modern desk gets a fresh new makeover with bright white milk paint and stain! 

The other week, I shared a beginner's guide to prepping, repairing and painting furniture, but I feel like it's been forever since I actually shared a furniture makeover!   With the barn being closed for renovations and the weather not being ideal for sanding and painting I've definitely put the furniture painting on hold.   I did, however, manage to sneak in a little white and wood mcm desk makeover that I'm excited to share with you today.  

White and wood mcm painted desk

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- 100 and 120 grit sanding pads (for Dewalt Sander)
- Simple Green
- Paper towels
- Inexpensive brush (for applying primer)
- Minwax stain
- Clean lint free rag or wax brush
- Foam brush (for applying stain) 
- Screwdriver (for removing hardware)

I bought this beautiful mid century modern desk from a local auction.  I was immediately drawn to the lines and I loved the hardware.  It had quite a bit of damage, so I knew it wouldn't be a quick makeover, but I also knew it would be worth the effort. 
Wood mid century modern desk before
Most of the damage was on the top and drawer fronts of the desk.  I decided it would be easiest to sand down the drawers completely and do a two-tone makeover using white milk paint and stain.  
Damage to mid century modern desk
I started with 100 grit sandpaper on my Dewalt Orbital Sander and sanded the drawer fronts down to bare wood.  I then switched to 120 grit sandpaper and went over the drawer fronts and the rest of the desk.  I wasn't worried about removing the stain completely from the rest of the desk since I was applying a few coats of shellac primer.  
Sanding mid century modern desk

desk drawers ready for stain
After the desk was sanded I cleaned the surface with Simple Green and applied two coats of primer.  In my beginner's guide to prepping, repairing and painting furniture I discuss why it's important to use a good primer when applying white paint over dark wood. 

I ended up applying two coats of primer and three coats of Snow White milk paint to the desk.  Painting furniture white is definitely more work, but I always love the outcome.  I gave the drawers two coats of stain then sealed the entire desk with my favorite water based satin sealer.  
White milk painted mid century modern desk

My absolute favorite part of the desk is the hardware.  I love how the white pops against the freshly stained drawers and the gold spacers add a fun and unique surprise.  
white and gold pulls on painted mid century modern desk

white and stained wood mid century modern desk idea

If I had a place for this beautiful two-tone white and wood mid century modern desk I would totally keep it for myself.  Instead, I hope it will find a new home where the new owner will appreciate it as much as I do.

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  1. you already know how much i love this desk, but just in case you don't, here's a comment to prove it.

  2. It turned out beautifully! I am usually not a fan of combination paint and stain, but this is really pretty!