Mid Century Metal Desk Makeover

>> 1.22.2015

Have you ever done a makeover project that was completely a labor of love? This desk was a labor of love. Aaand a pain in the butt. But isn't love like that sometimes?

My husband recently got a new job where he gets to work from home (yay!) and he needed a new desk because the dinky one upstairs just wasn't going to cut it. He had pretty specific wants, and I really tried to find a desk that fit all his needs because 1. I lurve him, and 2. Because in the ten years that he worked as an IT consultant, he never had a desk of his own at work. That's the life of a consultant for you. So this was kind of a big deal, or at least it was for me.

I searched online and Craigslist for a week or so and finally settled on this l-shaped metal desk for $50. Awesome price, and we loved the industrial/mid century vibe, but not random black drawer and the oyster shell finish from 1963. This is the picture from the Craigslist ad:

For durability reasons, we decided to leave the faux wood top alone and paint the bottom navy blue.

So let me tell you how this refinishing process went down.

1. We painstakingly removed the top and legs from the body of the desk, which left a lot of wobbly metal parts to handle.

2. We primed it all in 50 degree weather, just barely warm enough to do it without ruining it. We used Kilz spray primer, which is awesome stuff.

3. Knowing that a cold front was coming in, a few hours after we primed we put the "first coat" of spray paint on. I use the term "first coat" loosely because the spray paint we used was crap and the first coat was embarrassing. But it was the color he wanted so we decided to see it through to the end. We used the plain old Rustoleum Navy blue, which is not awesome stuff.

4. We waited over a week before it was warm enough to put on a second coat, and then a third, fourth and fifth coat. Some areas needed even more coats after that. It was pretty ridiculous.

5. I polished the chrome legs with Barkeepers Friend (awesome stuff,) and they look good as new now.

6. We let it cure for 24 hours before putting it together and moving it, and then waited four days before adding the hardware and drawers.

So you may have noticed that there weren't any pictures of the process. That's because it was cold, the lighting was horrible with the overcast weather and dark garage, and overall the process wasn't going too smoothly, so I decided to not blog about this one.

But in the end, it didn't turn out too bad. It's definitely not a factory finish though. There are parts where the paint didn't go on evenly and some parts are glossier than others, and places where the paint left a few rough bubbled up patches. But it's DONE, and my husband is happy!

Here's the desk in his office. I am still working on some parts of the room, but I'd totally like to work in this space, wouldn't you?

Pardon all the wires! I booted my husband out of the desk and hastily hid his equipment and took pics and let him get back to work.

And just for kicks, here's a reminder of the identity crisis the spare room has gone through in the past two years.

First it was a guest room that I pulled together with things we already owned.

Then we babysat a family member's queen bed and mattress for a while. The headboard is mine though and I'm going to refinish that with an awesome pop of color one of these days.

Then we made it into an office space for my hubby with a really lame, little desk.


Amanda 1/22/15, 6:02 PM  

Love it and inspiring!

Amanda 1/22/15, 6:02 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
stacey 1/22/15, 7:17 PM  

Looks really great. Is that the same gray as in your living room?

Brenda 1/23/15, 5:23 AM  

Looks fabulous!

SHUG IN BOOTS {Beth} 1/26/15, 9:08 PM  

Umm, that desk is freakin' amazing! Seriously jealy. Great job!

the cape on the corner 1/30/15, 10:33 AM  

love the new look of that desk!

Trish Martin 3/7/15, 12:24 AM  

CompareD to the other small desk your hubby probably feels like he is in hog heaven. I love how the new desk turned out. It is a very nice desk. I love the contrast of the blue and brown. Awesome!!!

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