A DIY Lifestyle Episode 1- Refinishing an Old Desk

A DIY Lifestyle is a podcast series that demonstrates how to do a variety of different crafts and projects that you can do yourself. You can see tutorials from refinishing furniture, sewing projects, and even how to make yard art for your home.

For this podcast, I recorded my audio in Garageband, and then imported it into iMovie along with the photos for it. I created my DIY Lifestyle logo in Photoshop.

This episode is a step-by-step demonstration on how I refinished an old desk and gave it a fresh look, but still made it look old by giving in an antique look. Enjoy!

Show Notes:

Supplies needed to refinish an old desk (or another piece of wood furniture):

  1. Paint
  2. Paint stick
  3. Paint can opener
  4. Spray paint
  5. Paint brush
  6. Sand paper (220 grit) for distressing
  7. Tack cloth or old rag
  8. Screwdriver (to remove hardware)
  9. Old sheets or towels to paint on
  10. Mask to protect mouth when sanding/spray painting (optional)


  1. Take a picture of the piece before you do anything (optional)
  2. Remove all the hardware (if any)
    1. Save all hardware until the end (in case you need to use the old screws for the new hardware)
  3. Whip the piece clean- remove dust, dirt, cobwebs. Make sure it’s free of debris before you spray paint
    1. This step isn’t necessary, but it makes the surface more rough so the paint sticks better, and it gets in all the corners easier than painting with a brush does.
    2. Wait 30 minutes or so for spray paint to dry.
  4. Open the paint, and stir it well. Then, begin painting.
    1. Paint with the grain.
    2. Don’t apply a ton right away. You will apply at least one more coat of paint after the first coat is dry.
  5. Once ALL the painting is done, I recommend letting it dry at least 24-48 hour before you distress it (distressing is sanding away the paint in certain areas to give it an old look. If you do it before the paint has had enough time to dry, you will not get the look you want to achieve).
  6. Use the 220 grit sand paper to start sanding at the edges of the piece. Start with a little, and then keep looking at it to see if you want to sand more or not. It’s always easier to sand away more than to realize you’ve done too much and want to fix it.
  7. Once your satisfied with the distressed look, you will add the hardware.
  8. Your refinished piece is not complete!

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