Painted pine desk makeover


I fancied painting something this bank holiday weekend as I’ve not made-over any furniture in ages and the pine desk I’d previously painted for my son, Alex was looking a bit scuff-marked.

If you have been following here for a while, you may remember I turned it from an original orangey pine into a red desk with white handles for his bedroom.  Over time, we found he wasn’t using it as much as I had expected, so eventually we brought it downstairs to put our PC on.  Since we just got some new curtains in our front room, it has spurred me on to give the rest of the space a bit of attention.  It is probably my favourite room in the house because of its bay window, but it is a bit of a hotchpotch; part office/part playroom.  But it has a two seater leather sofa and a nice fireplace, so I’d love it to work as a playroom for the boys but with sufficient lidded and drawer storage to can conceal all the boys’ stuff in the evenings when it can become a tidy and calm haven to relax in.  That’s the plan anyhow!

Back to the desk, I couldn’t be bothered going out to buy any paint so decided I’d just use whatever I found in our paint storage box.  There was a tin of deepish purple eggshell I’d never opened.  It was one of those bargain pots discontinued at Homebase and reduced to 50p – bargain!

So purple it was to be…

Painting a desk

And since gold accessories have become a really big thing in interiors, I decided I would scrape off the white spray paint I’d put on the handles previously.  It was starting to flake off anyway.

Desk drawer handle

But the non-flaky bits didn’t scrape off easily and I was starting to scratch the metal in trying.  A quick ‘google’ and I read that soaking the metal handles in vinegar for 24 hours would soften the paint, so that’s what I did.

Remove paint from handlesYou can see how the paint has bubbled by the next day, so it mostly peeled off and the bits that didn’t, I just scrubbed a little with a scouring pad.  Twenty minutes or so later the handles were more or less back to their original finish, a bit tarnished, but I will try some brasso on them at a later date.

Brass handlesI’d given the desk one coat of purple and let it dry over night, using the old ‘cling film round the paintbrush trick’ to stop it drying out and thus avoiding having to wash it.

Paintbrush in clingfilm

As you can see one coat certainly wasn’t enough, it was still pretty reddish in parts, so I set to work with coat number two.

Second coat went on and I have to say although the colour may appear to be like an alarming shade of violet, in actual fact it is more of a muted aubergine/mulberry tone.  The camera just doesn’t seem to have captured it correctly and it looks much brighter in the pictures than in real life, which is a shame!  

Coat 2

The next photo shows it a bit closer to its actual colour, once a second coat had gone on and dried:

What do you think of the colour and the handles?


And the gold pineapple, doesn’t everyone need one in their life?!  This one was a great buy from Asda.


I dug out some inexpensive frames I had (one from TK Maxx, one from a holiday in Portugal and the other from a church sale) and popped in a photo of each of my three boys as a baby.

As you can see below, we already have some purple in the room!  The chimney breast is a perfect match (not planned and not the same paint, just coincidence).  I am intending to change the chimney breast colour eventually as I am ready for something lighter and fresher.

Has anyone else taken out a paintbrush this weekend?  I’d love to know what projects others have been up to…

I’m linking this post up to:
Love Chic Living and Love Your Home

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© Copyright Antonia, All rights Reserved. Written For: #tidylife


  1. May 25, 2014 / 7:46 pm

    LOVE it, Antonia! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • admin
      May 26, 2014 / 10:29 am

      Thanks Sue, glad you like it! 🙂

  2. Keri Jones
    May 25, 2014 / 8:13 pm

    It looks brilliant, wish I had the motivation to do stuff like that 🙂 x

    • admin
      May 26, 2014 / 10:30 am

      Hi Keri, it didn’t take long at all in all honesty and I often don’t feel motivated myself, but I’m always glad I did it afterwards! 🙂

  3. Claire
    May 25, 2014 / 8:48 pm

    It looks brilliant, I have got a bookshelf to paint I hope it turns out as well as your desk. The bookshelf will be for another day this weekend is operation paint the living room for me.

    • admin
      May 26, 2014 / 10:32 am

      Thanks Claire, I’m sure it will be great. Good luck with the living room painting, I love doing that as it always makes such a difference with a new colour on the walls – feels like a big change x

  4. May 31, 2014 / 9:09 am

    I am dying to get some paint on furniture but don’t have the time right now with two little ones. I love what you did here, the purple looks fantastic and I’m amazed at the vinegar action on the handles!

    • admin
      June 9, 2014 / 8:10 am

      Hi Jenni, sounds like you have your hands full – I’ve been there! Glad you like it 🙂

    • admin
      June 9, 2014 / 8:10 am

      Thanks so much, yes I’m enjoying working at the desk so much more than before!

  5. June 2, 2014 / 5:11 pm

    wow it looks fab Antonia ! Love how well the handles turned out. I am always tempted by colour when I see posts like yours. Beautiful x
    Karen Jones recently posted…The hall standMy Profile

    • admin
      June 9, 2014 / 8:11 am

      Thank you, Karen! 🙂

    • admin
      June 9, 2014 / 8:13 am

      Thank you Amanda, it was all by luck rather than design which is normally the case for me! 🙂

    • admin
      June 9, 2014 / 8:13 am

      Cheers, Amanda, I’m glad you like it!

  6. June 2, 2014 / 10:03 pm

    There are some fab tips within this post, I’m making mental notes of some of the tips as I’m relatively new to d.I.Y. The desk is looking fab.
    Abzi recently posted…Family Bank HolidayMy Profile

    • admin
      June 9, 2014 / 8:13 am

      Thanks, I’m glad you found it useful 🙂

  7. June 3, 2014 / 7:55 am

    I love it and the pineapple! Gorgeous colour, it reminds me of the room I am working on – part playroom, part grown up chill out area when the kids are watching tv. Ours is dark, has dark wooden floors and fireplace and I really think embracing the cosiness of the room with deep shades, rather than trying to lighten it too much, works brilliantly!
    Penny A Residence recently posted…Happy families at Somerset Yurts – Video ReviewMy Profile

    • admin
      June 9, 2014 / 8:15 am

      Thanks Penny, yes I’m watching your Moroccan theme with great interest, as soon as I saw that vibrant pouffe I thought the same thing, very similar! x

  8. June 4, 2014 / 11:28 am

    Wow I love it! What a great trick with the paint striping handles, that worked brill. It works really well in that room too.
    Stephanie recently posted…Front garden renovationMy Profile

    • admin
      June 10, 2014 / 7:23 am

      Thanks Stephanie, I’m so glad I found the vinegar idea, effort-free paint removal!

  9. June 9, 2014 / 12:34 pm

    Wow that looks absolutely stunning!!! I love repainted old furniture. I hope one day to have a house I can redo from the bottom and use all old furnishing and redo them myself. What a great bank holiday project. Turned out stunning too! Love the color.
    Jenny recently posted…Living Arrows 23/52 ~ him, her, themMy Profile

    • admin
      June 10, 2014 / 7:23 am

      Thanks Jenny, it was a fun project and I’m really pleased with how it turned out!

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