Desk Makeover with Annie Sloan


Below is the complete tutorial of how this desk was reborn using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Minwax Stain.




Palm Sander and 80 grit sandpaper

Hand Sander and 320 grit sandpaper

Minwax Wood Stain, Jacobean

Minwax Polyurethane

2 Foam Brushes

Annie Sloan Paris Grey Chalk Paint and Brush

Annie Sloan Clear Wax and Brush

Drill and drill bit

Decorative pull (not pictured)

Wood Filler (not pictured)


I picked this up at a local antique sale. For those of you who live in Walla Walla, you’ve heard of the Red Barn Sale that happens a couple times a year? Yup! That’s where I picked up this gorgeous oak desk for only $45. I had a friend who missed out on the sale of another desk I refinished so I texted her this picture and told her I had another one for her! She is a teacher and therefore a larger desk would better suit her needs. We collaborated on ideas of how we wanted to refinish this desk and decided on a dark stain on top and Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey on the bottom!


This desk had the coolest wood grain! It looked like animal print. I haven’t seen grain like this before. I sanded down the top of the table with my palm sander and 80 grit sandpaper to remove the existing stain. Then I sanded over the top with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface.


My friend chose Minwax Jacobean Stain for the top of the desk.


Here’s after one coat of stain. See what I mean about the wood grain?! So cool! I put a total of two coats of stain, letting each coat of stain soak in for about 10 minutes before wiping it off. Always follow the instructions on your can.

desk remodel

 I sealed it with 3 coats of this Polyurethane  to provide a durable finish on top.

annie sloan paris grey

I started painted the base of the desk with Annie Sloan Paris Grey Chalk Paint.

chalk paint

Sanding between coats of paint will give you a smoother surface. After the first coat of paint had dried, I sanded with a 320 grit sandpaper. Usually I use 220 grit but Home Depot was out of that grit and 320 is pretty similar so I purchased that instead.

chalk paint

Here is after the second coat of stain.

distressing furniture

The desk had a few chips and dings in it so I decided to distress it a bit. Take a fine grit (220/320) sandpaper and distress in areas that would normally start to wear over time.  Ignore the very neglected fingernails!

desk makeover

We decided a little late in the game that the desk would look even more awesome with new pulls! Typically this is a step I would do at the very beginning before you even start painting. The new pulls we wanted were about a 2 1/2 inch span between holes and the current hole span width was 4 inches, which meant the holes needed to be filled. For a step-by-step on that process, click here.


Once the holes were patched, sanded and the new paint had dried, it was time to drill the new holes for the new pulls.


These are the pulls she decided to go with. You can get them for about $4 a piece at Lowes!


Once the new hardware was attached, I waxed the entire desk to seal it and then I was done!



For more Furniture Tutorials, click HERE!


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