Updating a Tired Desk with Paint and Hardware

In order to really get that wow factor out of my office makeover, we started the planning with my furniture.  Here is my desk and credenza before the big paint job.

Both pieces have been with my office for years, having belonged to one of my colleagues since he first went into law practice on his own.  (Sometimes I hope the desk will magically convey some of his genius to me just when I’m sitting there. So far no such luck.)  I love the design but the original finish had worn off and it needed a pick-me-up.  In addition to sprucing up the finish, Ryan Taylor and I agreed the hardware needed to be updated.  Here is the brass hardware before the rennovation.

Because these handles are inset into the wood, we needed to fill those holes before we painted.

I bought Elmer’s Wood Filler for the job. It’s a paste that is slightly lighter than the actual wood itself.

If I may impart some wisdom from a lesson learned: This stuff shrinks! When you press the filler into the hole overfill the hole just slightly to anticipate the shrinkage.  I had to apply a second coat to make up for the problem and I’m not sure it was a good idea or not.

It was a little awkward for me to use a putty knife for the first time, but just start on one side of the hole and press the filler into the rest of the hole.

If you just have a small hole the filler should dry within about 15 minutes.  But if you have a bigger hole like I did, Elmer’s says you should wait 2-8 hours before sanding.  I waited about 6 and I’m still not sure it was long enough.

After all the surfaces were flush, we began painting.  In this case we used a paint with primer already included.  (Anything for one less step!)  I am still learning so much about painting but I learn a lot from the blogger behind Primitive and Proper.

When everything was dry we added the new hardware, which made a huge difference!  These pulls are from Martha Stewart’s line at Home Depot.

Since this paint job I’ve learned about a plastic-based filler.  Have any of you used that product?  Also, I do not love the results I get on furniture with a regular roller paint brush.  Anyone with similar thoughts/suggestions?

There’s more of this office makeover! Click here for the before and after photos, here to see my bookshelf redesign, here to see how to update an old lamp, and here to see it debut on ABC 4.)

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Updating a Tired Desk with Paint and Hardware

  1. Mom

    Hey Tash, I have no idea about plastic fillers or any other fillers (except the ones for a persons face) but I have to say, I love love love the office makeover!! It has that total WOW factor.

  2. Sarah

    it looks great. My husband has a very dated dresser / wardrobe that is golden oak with inset handles… I wasn’t sure if wood putty would work on holes that large. I just might give it a try though! This is the largest hole that I’ve seen filled with putty.

  3. Pingback: From Amateur to Professional: My Office Makeover | DIYing to be Domestic

  4. Cid

    I love it! I need help with my dresser, but I don’t think it is solid wood. I think it is that particle board stuff maybe? Think I could still do something with it?

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  6. ray

    if you spray the paint on , it makes an incredible difference on the finished product. Google ‘touch up spray gun’ . thats what i started out with, they only cost about 20$, will last forever if you clean after every time,. and work great for things like furniture etc. Or you could jsut use rattle cans (spray paint )but they tend to get pricey

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