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Can You Paint A Computer Desk

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That beautiful desk won’t look that way forever – oh, maybe you already found out and it’s making you sad when you look at that desk that used to be a beauty.

Well, the good news is that this problem has got a solution that can make it look new. Let’s call it a little surgery, the only thing here is that you are the surgeon and how well you perform the task will determine how fine your desk turns out to be.

I’m sorry if I scared you by implying that you’ll be dealing with knives and scissors and stitches. The only thing that you’ll be using to make your deck look like new is your paint – and the other little things that you’ll need to get a neat and professional-looking job done. So, let’s get down to the business of painting a computer desk

How To Paint A Computer Desk



  • First, you’ll have to get your desk cleaned – pretty sure you don’t want to end up with a poorly painted desk.
  • Secondly, you might want to consider removing the metal handles on the drawers or anything at all that you won’t want the paint to touch. If you got a way around it, like covering it with paper tape or board, that’s fine but I’ll recommend removing it especially if it’s fixable.
  • Thirdly, Using grit sandpaper ( such as 220 sand grit paper)  sand the desk to remove any shine from the desk. If you can’t find grit sandpaper, you can use a sander machine and glide it over the desk surface for the same effect. 


  • Sanding comes with a lot of dust that should be wiped clean with a napkin because it can result in a rough paint job.
  • After cleaning, the next item you’ll be needing is a primer and a brush, or if you like, a spray can of primer.  Endeavor to use only one coat of primer except on the occasions where the desk wood is stained, damage, or unfinished, then you can use two coats of primer.
  • Now, you must know the type of stain on your wood so you can use a suitable primer for it. For example, if your wood stain is caused by smoke, water, or tannin, a pigmented shellac primer is preferable or if your desk surface is varnished, unfinished, or has wood bleed, an oil-based primer is lost suitable for you.
  • After priming comes to another sanding session with a grit paper. The only difference here is that you don’t have to employ as much energy as you did the first time- do it lightly.
  • I’m sorry I didn’t tell you at the initial stage but to get a perfect job, you’ll need patience alongside your paint and painting tools because you’ll have to wait for a week after priming to paint your desk.


As excited as you might be about the outcome of this part of the painting process, don’t ruin it with shaky hands just because you’re nervous. You’ve done so well to have come this far, so let’s secure a win in this aspect. The prep talk wasn’t necessary though because it’s quite easy.

  • Before getting down to the business of painting, what kind of paint do you want to use. I’ll recommend latex paint with a glossy finish or acrylic paint because it’s easier to get that shine that comes with newly painted computer desks, plus they’re easy to clean.
  • Next, would you prefer to use a sprayer, a brush, or a rolling pin?  Here’s the thing- using a sprayer is more convenient than the other two options but it’s more costly than both. If you want to use a sprayer, I’ll recommend that you filter your paint before putting it into the sprayer and test it out on a piece of wood while maintaining a definite pattern with thin coats and a suitable distance from the desk to achieve a more even look. 
  • If you want to use a roller, you should also consider pairing it with a brush so you access tight corners.
  • To get a durable painted surface, you should paint your computer desk in two to three coats. Before spraying the second coat of paint on the desk, you must sand the computer desk gently before spraying another layer of coat. Repeat this process between each coat of paint.

The Final Touch

I had earlier said that you’ll need the patience to get a professional-looking job and here’s another instance. 

  • After applying the last coat of paint, let the paint air dry for about 24 hours and within this time frame, ensure that nothing gets in contact with the newly painted computer desk. If you are open to the process of curing, you’ll have to wait for about 25-30 days but you still have to make sure that the desk remains contact-free throughout this period.
  • After the paint has dried off, it is advisable to use a protectant on the desk to make the paint more durable. You can opt for either a water-based topcoat or a polyurethane topcoat layer if your desk has dark-colored paint ( its yellow tint stains white desk). 
  • Lastly, after the protectant has dried for about 24 hours, screw the handles and everything that you removed and feel proud of yourself, or a job well done. 

Alternative to Painting a Computer Desk

Getting that perfect finishing after painting a computer desk comes with a lot of satisfaction and pride on a job well done but again, the process is tasking and can take a lot of time and that’s something not everybody can spare. 

An alternative to painting your desks when it looks old and dull is by purchasing a computer desk with a plastic coating. This is because they don’t wear out and they’re easy to clean, plus, you are not bothered about the entire process of painting a desk another time. 


Favour Etim

Years of hard work, research, and internship in technologically and computer-related fields have helped Etim Favour to produce informative and engaging writings on computers and technology-related products. When Favour is not writing, you’ll find her answering questions to help gamers and office workers to build the best battlestation/workstation.

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