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Yellow Striped Desk Makeover

This adorable desk has been given a full makeover in yellow with white stripes and distressed. Read below the steps I took to create this little piece of sunshine.

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I found this desk at Goodwill awhile back on Black Friday. They had this piece at 50% off! It was solid wood, vintage, and about $25... I had to have it. I grabbed the tag before anyone else could. It was too cute, turquoise and pink. I liked these colors together, but the paint job wasn't quite top notch.

Thrifted Desk
Thrift Store Desk

Products I used:

Prep Supplies Paint Stripper

Frogtape Paint Supplies


  1. Stripped and Cleaned - I removed the hardware and stripped this piece using Citristrip. After stripping the piece I deneutralize it with mineral spirits. Scrubbing it well with a sponge to remove all residue so that it does not interfere with my paint later on. After using the mineral spirits to clean off the stripper residue I cleaned the piece with dawn dish soap and warm water, and once I was done with that I rinsed the piece with water. I allowed it to dry in the sun before moving to the next step. Read Stripping for Success: Removing Old Furniture Finishes to see how I remove paint from pieces using a paint stripper.

  2. Sanded - After cleaning and allowing to dry - I sanded. For this piece I used 120 grit sand paper on my sander following along the grain. Sanding allows for a better bond between your piece and the paint. If any of the stripper or residue is left behind it will gum up on the sand paper. If this happens I stop and clean that area again with mineral spirits and then water, so that I am not pushing that goop into my piece. After sanding with 120, I follow up with 180 grit sandpaper. Using these two sandpapers helps to make the piece smoother.

3. Primed - Since I was going to be using light colored paints on this piece I wanted to take the necessary steps to block any bleed through that could occur. Bleed through is commonly tannin in the wood that comes through your finish and can leave yellow or orange-y streaks and stains. This will usually appear at the end when you have completely painted your piece, when you are excited about being almost finish, and usually when you are top coating. Top coats will pull it right on through to the surface, so to prevent this I prime before using light colors. I primed this piece with spray Shellac. Shellac is one of my favorites for blocking these tannin bleeds. It dries quickly, and I enjoy the ease of a spray can. Two coats will usually be enough to take care of any stains. BOSS primer from Dixie Belle is also a good, fast drying blocking primer. Read Prime Time: Creating a Solid Foundation for more information about priming and when it is necessary.

4. Painted - For this piece I used two colors: Country Chic Paint - Bee's Knees & Paint Brush and Country Chic Paint - Simplicity 

I painted two coats of Bee's Knees, a beautiful bright yellow. Over the entire piece except for the top. Allowing proper dry times between coats.

First Coat
First Coat

5. Painted Stripes -  After the two coats of Bee's Knees dried - I taped off stripes on the drawer.

Check out my reel to see the painting of these stripes in action: Click here to visit Instagram. I used Frogtape to tape off the stripes and the top, bottom, and side edges.

When laying tape for stripes I line of a piece of tape along the edge of the drawer to start the tape line. Placing the next piece as straight against that first tape as I can. Continuing until I reach the end and start again on the second drawer. I use my finger to run up and down the edges of the pieces of tape to try to prevent the bleed through of my paint. Watch how I place the tape the easy way, no measuring involved; Click Here

Tip: Adding primer, a water-based poly sealant, or the same color as the base of the piece on the edges of the tape helps create a sharp line and prevents your stripes from bleeding through. Just wait the time needed to dry before painting again.

I used the color Simplicity for the color of my stripes. It is a nice and bright white, so I thought it would stand out against that yellow enough. I also used a really old brush lol, but it is still soft and works....

I brush all of the stripes in the same direction, downward, trying not to push my paint into the cracks of the tape.

Here is how it looked when I was removing the tape:

6. Dry Brushed: I dry brushed white in some areas where it would more than likely be worn out in those spots from possible normal wear and tear. I wanted it to have a old worn look. Like this:

Dry brushing is just taking a brush with almost no paint left and lightly brushing it against your furniture. I did around the edges here on the legs. Then I sanded it to smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. As I sanded - it removed some of the white paint making it look more natural.

7. Distressed - I distressed the paint on this piece with 220 grit sandpaper. This also made the piece very smooth and reduced the look of the brush strokes.

8. Sealed - I used Furniture Tonic from Wise Owl to seal the top and the painted areas. I liked the look the tonic gave the wood, the good smell was nice, and it was easy to apply.

And here are the final results!

Final Thoughts

A chippy cottage core look that I decorated with the flowers from our yard. This was my first time using Country Chic on a piece, and I really enjoyed the paint. It is a all in one type paint, so it did not necessarily need to be sealed. I liked the smell of the Furniture Tonic from Wise Owl, so I decided to seal the whole piece in it. Next I will be finding a chair to paint with this piece, so be on the look out for that soon.

Hope you enjoyed this furniture flip! If you did let me know below.




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