A white desk with stained top is the perfect look for so many decorating styles. So perfect, in fact, that there are photos of about a million (or so) of them all over the Internet.

So what makes this particular white desk with stained top so special?

white desk with stained top - painted by All Things New Again - Northern Virginia - Washington DC - custom furniture painting

Pretty much everything!

For starters, this desk is handmade. In my opinion, any piece of furniture that is handmade is automatically 10,000% more special than mass-produced big box store furniture.

(Go ahead and disagree with me on this. I will fight you.) 😀

Not only is this desk handmade, but our client’s father had it made for her when she was a child. That makes it extra-special! And she has taken good care of it over the years. The desk was in beautiful condition and still very useful.

Although the desk had plenty of sentimental value, it did not fit her current style. That’s OK. Just because something looked perfect at one time in your life does not mean it has to stay looking that way forever.

Styles change. People change. And furniture can change too!

before shot of desk - custom furniture painting - Northern Virginia

Here’s the “before” shot she sent me. The desk is solid maple with a drop-leaf on one side for extra work space. The new look called for painting the base white, then sanding down the top and staining it a darker brown.

(See Details for DIY’ers below for a list of the products I used.)

This project was such a pleasure to work on. I always love helping people update their furniture to make it perfect for their home today. But it’s a little bit more fun when the furniture is extra-special. Look at this! My favorite part of this white desk with stained top is tucked away inside the drawer.

My second favorite part of this white desk with stained top is that A-mazing wood grain on top! Seriously. Wowza!

amazing wood grain - vintage desk - furniture makeover - white desk with stained top

Did I already say Wowza? Yes. I did, but I’ll say it again. That’s how much I love the woodgrain on the top of this desk. I think the darker stain color accentuates the wood grain even better than the original finish on the desk. It certainly updated the look.

Now this extra-special childhood desk has a whole new sophisticated look and is ready to be enjoyed for many more years!

~ Courtney

Do you have a piece of furniture that you love for its sentimental value, but not its style? Let us help! All Things New Again is happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation quote for custom painting your furniture. We serve Northern Virginia and metro DC area. Click here for details and pricing.

Before and After


All Things New Again - family-owned furniture painting business - Northern Virginia - Washington DC

Details for DIY’ers (affiliate links to paint a white desk with stained top)

The base of the desk is painted with Dixie Belle Paint Company’s white Fluff.

I sanded down the top with my random orbital sander and used General Finishes oil-based gel stain in the color Antique Walnut. Then I sealed it with three coats of General Finishes oil-based gel topcoat in Satin.


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