DIY Desk Makeover with Rustoleum “Chalked” Paint

DIY Desk Makeover

My daughter has had a hand-me-down desk for a while now, and I decided that I would refinish it for her.  There are so many cool products and colors out there to choose from, so we took a little trip to the store so she could pick out something she liked.

She decided on Rustoleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in “aged grey”, which I thought was a great choice.  The color is light and versatile, and fits into her room theme of turquoise, black, and grey.  This paint dries with a matte, chalky finish.

Rustoleum Chalked Paint

Rust-Oleum® Chalked Ultra Matte Paint creates an ultra matte finish with superior adhesion and coverage in an easy-to-use spray formula.  It rejuvenates furniture and home décor with timeless elegance.  It can be painted or distressed, giving any project a one of a kind look with a vintage feel. (

Keep in mind that I haven’t done a project like this before, but we had no problems.  I have used polyurethane and stains on wood, but have not done something like this desk redo before – but as you’ll see, it came out great, no problems!

Materials needed:

  • Sandpaper
  • Rustolem Chalked Paint Spray
  • Drop cloths
  • Painter’s tape

You may also likely want new hardware like drawer pulls.  Another option would be to spray paint them a new color.


We started by removing the handles/hardware, and then sanding the desk. The surfaces were a fake wood finish over particle-board.  We made sure the surfaces were sanded for good adhesion, and also so that we could smooth out any imperfections.

Desk Sanded

There were a few spots that I covered with painter’s tape, like the tracks of the drawers.

Desk Taped

Before using the Rustoleum “Chalked” paint, we used some primer/filler spray that we had leftover from other projects.  We figure that the desk will get a lot of use, and it would be nice to provide a durable surface especially on the top.


Once the surfaces were sanded and primed, I wiped down the desk with a dry rag, and we started using the Rustoleum “Chalked” spray paint.

The instructions recommend: “Lightly scuff high gloss surfaces with sand paper or a sanding sponge. Apply 1-3 even coats within an hour or after 48 hours.”

I highly recommend following all of the instructions on the paint can.  We painted in an open, ventilated area in optimal temperature conditions, and spaced out the coats of paint.  Be sure to give the paint adequate time to dry in between different coats.


The finished product came out amazing!  After several layers of paint, the desk had nice coverage and looks great!


I won’t lie – this project took more time than I would have liked, between the sanding and letting the desk dry between coats of paint.

We also went through more cans of paint than I originally anticipated, but that seems to be a rule of thumb when it comes to painting.  Each 12 oz can ran about $6.48 at Walmart (which seemed to be cheaper than most other places), but we ended up going through multiple cans, so the cost added up.  However, we love the final product and it looks great in my daughter’s room.


By | 2018-03-07T02:56:22+00:00 March 6th, 2018|Crafts, Home|10 Comments

About the Author:

Busy blogger and mom of two girls! We love traveling and the great outdoors, and are always looking for our next adventure!


  1. Rosie March 6, 2018 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    I’ve not yet used this Rustoleum product. It does sound nice, maybe for something small, so it wouldn’t take as many cans. I’d love to see it when you have the hardware back on. I had called an unfinished furniture store, and asked them how they finish pieces, and it is an involved process. This is a nice desk!

  2. Jamie March 7, 2018 at 12:32 am - Reply

    Omg I’m super excited to hear about this product and your results are awesome! Looks so good. I love chalk paint but this is sooo much easier!

  3. Alissa March 7, 2018 at 12:44 am - Reply

    Wow! The desk looks brand new, and super nice once you redid it! Does the chalk paint get dirty once it’s finished? I have three very messy boys who’ve turned my white kitchen cabinets into “works of art.” 🙂

  4. Jennifer March 7, 2018 at 1:21 am - Reply

    Super cool! It’s so exciting to make something old new again! I really like the color. How has the paint worn so far?

    • Marysa March 7, 2018 at 12:55 pm - Reply

      It has held up well, especially considering what the kids put it through.

  5. Natasha March 7, 2018 at 1:29 am - Reply

    This is so neat! I have an old dresser that looks similar to this. I never considers spray painting or turning it into a desk.

  6. Amber Battishill March 7, 2018 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    Love the makeover! I’ve been curious about these chalk spray paints, especially as I have a large dresser that I’d like to do and I feel like it would save so much time!

  7. Dana Rodriguez March 7, 2018 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    This turned out really nice and I love the color. You did a great job!

  8. shelly peterson March 8, 2018 at 3:05 am - Reply

    The desk turned out great. I have never done a project like this before.

  9. Becky Wang March 8, 2018 at 3:29 am - Reply

    Well, I am very impressed. It is nice to see how a person can make use of an old piece and update the look. What hardware were you planning to use? It is so very satisfying to renew and reuse.

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