Thrift Store Desk Makeover

It’s time for another DIY At Home challenge and this month’s challenge was right up my alley – a thrift store makeover.  The only problem was choosing what project in my thrift store stash of projects I should work on! Smile  I had actually found this desk at Goodwill right before we moved and when I saw the price tag of $19.91 I snagged it quick!  I knew I would need a desk for our new home and I needed one that was finished on the back since I would use it floating in the room.

Thrift store desk makeover with Rustoleum Milk Paint-1

It was scratched all over on top but it was solid wood and had great lines so I knew it would be amazing after a makeover.   One of my goals this year is to get my office finished and functional so I decided to tackle this desk as part of this month’s challenge hoping that having a pretty desk in there will be just the inspiration for me to tackle and finish the whole office.

Thrift store desk makeover with Rustoleum Milk Paint-3

I wasn’t positive how the top would look, but after sanding it down to the bare wood it looked amazing and was ready for stain!

Thrift store desk makeover with Rustoleum Milk Paint-24

I wanted to try out a new product that Rustoleum sent me – they have a new Milk Paint line and I really liked this Kensington Gray color for this piece.  I already loved their Chalked paint line but I may like this one just as much or even better. I can’t wait try it on another project!  The picture above has one coat of milk paint and I was super surprised at how well it covered 1 coat – no sanding or primer on bottom just start painting!  But I love also how the wood grain texture can still be seen in the paint.  This piece did have very pronounced wood grain so I’ll have to see what it looks like on another piece.

Thrift store desk makeover with Rustoleum Milk Paint-22

I used a pre-stain conditioner on the top (it just helps achieve a more even stain finish) and then did 1 coat of Varathane Penetrating Wood stain in Dark Walnut.  Followed by 1 coat of Varathane Triple Thick Satin Poly.  While all that was drying I spray painted the hardware with Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.

And here’s the finished project!

Thrift store desk makeover with Rustoleum Milk Paint-11

I LOVE how it turned out!

Thrift store desk makeover with Rustoleum Milk Paint-9

The top stained up so pretty and I love the contrast with the paint and the dark hardware.

Thrift store desk makeover with Rustoleum Milk Paint-12

Look at that gorgeous top!  I really prefer a stained surface on pieces that are going to be used heavily on top – I just find that it hold up much better to things being moved, scraped, coffee mugs, etc.  So I am so glad the top was able to be salvaged and stained!

Thrift store desk makeover with Rustoleum Milk Paint-13Thrift store desk makeover with Rustoleum Milk Paint-15

So yes, my plan worked and I am totally excited and inspired to get to work on the rest of my office so I can get this beauty of a desk in there and get to finally use it!  I’m going to let you help keep me on track and accountable so my plan is have a post each week on my office progress until it is done.  I’d love to be finished with it by the end of April so that gives me 6 weeks!  Smile   The room has already been painted although I think the trim still needs to be done and then I have to find and replace the light fixture, figure out a rug and curtains, find/buy an office chair and do lots of purging/organizing/decorating.

Thrift store desk makeover with Rustoleum Milk Paint-17

Oh and here’s how the back looks.  This will actually be what you see from the door in the office except with all the pretty things on top Smile   I love how it turned out and am so glad I grabbed this at Goodwill even though it took me quite a while to give it a makeover.

Thrift store desk makeover with Rustoleum Milk Paint-20

I can’t wait to see what all the other At Home DIY participants tackled for the thrift store makeover challenge – truly my favorite kind of makeover!  Check out all their projects below:


1905 Farmhouse, Abbots at Home, By Brittany Goldwyn, Creative Ramblings, Cribbs Style, Delicious & DIY, DIY Beautify, DIY Danielle, Dukes and Duchesses, Girl, Just DIY, Happily Ever After, Etc, Health, Home & Heart, House by the Bay Design, Just Measuring Up, Kenya Rae, Little Bits of Home, Living Letter Home, My Family Thyme, Pinspired to DIY, Red Cottage Chronicles, Refashionably Late, Savvy Apron, Shrimp Salad Circus, Songbird Blog, Southern Revivals, T.Moore Home, The DIY Dreamer, The DIY Village, The Frugal Homemaker, The Handyman’s Daughter, Two Feet First, Weekend Craft, What Meegan Makes, Zucchini Sisters


  1. The desk is absolutely perfect!! The colors are AWWW.. love it!

  2. What a beautiful makeover! I love your color choices!!

  3. Oh, that is beautifully transformed! It is amazing what you used to have aoerfect desk. I am definitely going to check out this milk paint line.

  4. What a fun desk to work at, love the colors!! I really need to try using this milk paint. Thanks for sharing your fantastic transformation!!

  5. What a stunning makeover. I see many happy office hours in your future. Pinned it!

  6. Donna Marie says:

    I wonder how this paint would work on already painted cabinets, as I am ready to paint my white cabinets grey!!!

  7. This turned out so pretty! Hard to pass up good solid wood furniture at a thrift store, and most pieces like this don’t look that good on the backside, unless you are replace or cover it with something more attractive. You did a fabulous job, and you are right that sometimes getting that one piece of furniture done helps motivate you to finish the rest of the room!

  8. What a gorgeous fresh look! I love the blue you chose and the natural top. Looks amazing!

  9. Wow! Gorgeous transformation.

  10. I love your color choices! That was a pretty solid, nice piece of furniture to start with too! I Can’t believe you got it for $20! Our thrift stores are $$$

  11. Great job on this piece, it looks so beautiful now!

  12. The finished project looks nothing like the table you bought from the thrift store. That’s Amazing! Thank you for showing us how to do the same thing.

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