Looking for easy yard sale makeovers? Here are five yard sale furniture makeovers and one of my favorite un-makeovers ever.

yard sale furniture makeovers

Please let me know if you have opinions.

I’m in dire need of a few.

You see I’m 3/4 of the way through the office makeover and it’s turning out even cuter than I hoped.

Don’t you love it when a project goes like that?

Everything I’ve ordered has shown up and the rug and the curtains and painted fireplace are even better friends than I thought. I’ve been shopping at thrift stores and yard sales for navy books and the bookcases from IKEA may need to be customized just a little bit and we added crown molding to the fireplace and now it looks like a piece of furniture.

See what I mean?

It’s all going swimmingly.


Except I kind of ran into a speed bump. Something that I thought was going to be perfect for the room may not work like I planned. I’ve discussed it with my mom and my husband and now?

I’m looking to you. My favorite opinion source on the planet.

Can you help me decide?

yard sale furniture makeovers desk

Let me start here.

This is a sneak peek into the space.

Don’t worry.

There’s a rug and accessories and bookcases and a painted fireplace and spindle chairs with the cutest blue and white pillow covers just waiting on the other side of this picture.

But for now?

I need help with this.

yard sale furniture makeovers vintage desk

My father’s desk.

It (along with these parquet floors) have been in this room for as long as I can remember. I used to sit on the other side of this desk in my Dairy Queen apron and Flock of Seagull bangs and roll my blue eyeshadow eyes at my father. I couldn’t help it.

I was 16 and knew everything.

yard sale furniture makeovers wood ledge

It’s a vintage desk with the original finish (sealed in with the thickest lacquered finish) and these side panels that pull out on either side of the desk.

The handles on the desk are original with the original keyholes on the top drawers.

There are three drawers on each side and a large center drawer. There’s an opening to the desk at the front and the back that lets you pull up two drawers if two people need to work.

yard sale furniture makeovers key hole

Now you’ve met the desk.

And no worries. It’s staying in the room. I love it too much and it’s too sentimental to let it go.

But here’s the thing.

In my design plan I had planned on painting it white. It’s a lot of desk and a lot of wood and the wood is kind of an odd color (it’s hard to tell from these pictures).

So I thought it would be better painted white.

yard sale furniture makeovers desk top

But now?

Now I’m not sure.

As the design plan progresses I can’t decide. On the one hand, I think it will make the room plan all fit together so much better.

But then? The wood looks so pretty and helps ground the painted navy fireplace and I think it might be better wood.

Here are a couple of options and then if you have a second if you could weigh in with an opinion in the comment section. Should I:

  1. Paint it white
  2. Leave it as is without painting it
  3. Paint the base and leave the top wood
  4. Strip and restain the desk to a more natural wood color

What do you think?

To help us all decide—here are some of my favorite yard sale find pieces that I made over and a piece I didn’t paint, too.

Yard Sale Furniture Makeovers

1. Upholstered chair makeover

I got a set of four of these chairs for $10 each at a yard sale and made them over in 10 minutes.

The chairs were in good shape, but the seats needed to be reupholstered.

It was an easy fix.

And now they look like this.

Thrift Store Furniture Makeovers bookcase

2. Bookcase makeover

This is where this bookcase started after it came home from a yard sale.

And then?

We added tile to the back of it.

I know, right? Tile. It was just leftover tile we had from another project.

You can see the after here.

Thrift Store Furniture Makeovers table project

3. Faux finish table

I bought this table at a thrift store (but I’ve seen tons of them at yard sales, too).

We painted it white and added a faux finish to the top.

It’s a distressed antiquing finish that’s one of my favorites.

And now?

It looks like this.

Thrift Store Furniture Makeovers coffee table makeover

4. Coffee table makeover

You’ll never guess what I used to makeover this thrift store coffee table.



Glue. Can you believe it?

And now?

It looks like this.

5. Paint stick table makeover

If you have a table with a damaged top, this is a fun option.

You can make a herringbone top with paint sticks like this.

See the entire DIY here.

And one more for the road

This piece a testimony to the fact that not every furniture find needs a makeover.

Sometimes they just need a little love–especially when they started here.

And now?

I’d love a painted desk opinion.

Let me know what you think. 🙂

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  1. Image for AnnTN AnnTN

    Option #5 Strip it and seal it. Don't stain it. Check out Maranda Christine's You Tube videos where she bought a couple of big pieces of furniture. Her husband stripped them then left them as they were after stripping. I'm not sure if they sealed them. I love the look of them.

  2. Image for Mary Mary

    i love the fact this was your dad's, and I think you should leave it as close to how it was as you can. so I vote for stripping and restaining/sealing. I have my dad's desk as well, very similar to yours. My mom bought it unfinished, stained and sealed it. It's dark, and not so pretty but my son loves it as is. It was made by grammie for grampie. That's love.

  3. Image for Susan Perry Susan Perry

    Please don’t paint it…..it would never be “your fathers desk”. Strip it…I like the previous comment. You can always place a rug under the desk if the wood from the desk does not go with the floor.

  4. Image for Jamie Jamie

    I would leave the top as is or stain it a darker color and paint the bottom part white. The Old English gel stains work beautifully for this!

  5. Image for Carla Hanson Carla Hanson

    I vote to leave it as it is and maybe oil it to help the color of the grain… my second choice would be to strip and restrain but doing that will affect the value and the vintage of this desk… It’s an antique and hard to find these days! Good luck!

  6. Image for Shirley Black Shirley Black

    Leave the desk as it is! It is a memory of your father and will add natural texture to the room. You could never take it back to what it is now if you paint it.

      1. Image for Lynne Lynne

        I agree with Michele. It was your dad's. That right there makes it precious. You have so many fond memories of him behind that desk, and being there with him, rolling your eyes and all that we did as 16 year olds. Very sweet memories.

    1. Image for Priscilla Priscilla

      I agree with the memories. Your Dad and your decision, you cannot undo somethings. Love to you and all your inspiration.

    1. Image for Jean Lindsey Jean Lindsey

      I vote with the majority here. Don’t mess with your father’s desk—at least not now. Finish the rest of the room and live with the desk as it is for a while. Either you will be glad you left it or you will have a better idea of what you want.

  7. Image for Renae Renae

    I’m a “leave it” vote. My guess is you’ll have a light colored, upholstered chair or two, a rug to break up the wood floor (which will then the the only wood of the desk is painted), and as it stands, I think the current patina and the fact that it’s basically a member of the family, is what makes it so dang special. I agree that not every piece of old furniture needs a makeover! If you need more help deciding, maybe drag a piece of white furniture in there to see how you like it.

  8. Image for Sandra Whittington Sandra Whittington

    Strip it and seal it. Currently it doesn't look good on the parquet floor. You can always paint it if the you don't like the natural look.

  9. Image for Sandra Sandra

    My opinion is leave it as is or strip and re-stain the desk to a more natural wood color. Being an Antique beautiful desk, I believe it would ruin to paint it.

  10. Image for Lana Lana

    I’d paint it white or at least refinish it to a lighter color. In your other room with the chest. The drapes are whit with the darker floor so the chest looks gorgeous . In this room , with the blue and white print drapes and darker floor I think leaving the desk as is won’t look as good. Either that or change to white drapes in this room to and then add blue white accessories… just an opinion!

  11. Image for Julie Julie

    Definitely #4. It is beautiful. I would want to keep the memory of the piece, but make it more cohesive with the home. Whatever you do, I'm sure it will be wonderful.

  12. Image for DJ DJ

    Don’t paint it!! Before changing anything about the desk, put everything else for the room in place. Give the desk a try “as is.” You never know; with all the new colors and textures in place, you might be quite pleased. If you’re not, there’s always the strip and seal option. But try it as is first, because— no going back, you know. Generally speaking, I’m a fan of paint and painted furniture. But in this case, it doesn’t seem like the best idea. Neither the style of the desk nor its history support it. Blessings!

  13. Image for Nancy Hawks Nancy Hawks

    Don’t paint it!!!!. Your memories are of that very desk and your father sitting there. If you painted it the desk would never be the same. It would be pretty, but not the memory that you have. Some things don’t need to be painted.

  14. Image for Adrienne Adrienne

    I would definitely NOT paint it. Even though it's still your daddy's desk, it will completely change the beauty of it. Before I saw your 4 options, I was thinking that I would strip it and leave it as natural as possible. It's so lovely that you still have his desk though. I love everything about that. I'm not against waiting any wood furniture, for sure, but this one, I wouldn't paint. Looking forward to seeing the room once you're done.

  15. Image for Leigh Daugherty Leigh Daugherty

    All the DIY projects were yard sale/thrift store items but this desk was your Dad’s & it seems to have real sentimental value to You, right? I would vote to keep it like it is & with the rug & other accessories it will be perfect!

  16. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    I personally think stripping and then sealing. I love painted furniture, But with all the whites, creams and other painted items a wood grain would look stunning. I am not a fan of darken aged stain but strip , sand and refresh takes my breath away. But it is your home. Go with your heart and decorative mind.

  17. Image for Rebecca Dexter Rebecca Dexter

    I would not paint it mainly because unless you strip it down to bare wood, a piece like that which is used frequently, will chip. Oak tends to be an unattractive orange color unless you stain it pretty dark. So my suggestion would be to strip it then bleach it to get the orange out and then wax it or poly it if you must with a satin finish.

    1. Image for va in NC va in NC

      I would not paint it....if needed you could sand and restain. Me, I would leave as is just as your dad was there still working and you sitting there smiling up at him. I love all your things and info you pass along. Blessings,

  18. Image for Susan Taylor Susan Taylor

    Please, just give it some love and leave it as it is. It’s a lovely desk and a very sentimental piece. I’m all for painting flea market find but not your Dad’s desk. The only reason it looks like too much wood is because it’s directly on the wood floor. Put a nice rug under it and nice accessories on it and maybe a nice desk mat to coordinate with your colors. Best of both worlds and you’ll have no regrets. I can’t wait to see the room finished. I know it will be beautiful. Put a nice vase of spring flowers on the desk. All the best, I love what you do!

  19. Image for AJ AJ

    #2 or #4. I would change other plans for the room to accommodate the color of the desk rather than paint it. Looses its memory/sentimental value otherwise. Plus, it is lovely the way it is.

  20. Image for Deb Deb

    First of all, I LOVE the desk, and it is even more special because it belonged to your dad. I would go for option 5. A fresh look and glow will make it the standout piece in your remodeled office. Post lots of pictures.

  21. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    I would leave it as is……it won’t hold as many true memories if you paint it. It’s a beautiful desk with so many great features and the wood grain is the “icing on the cake”! However, if you’re not crazy about the color, you could always strip it and stain another color that goes better with the color palette…..it would still have all the great features and the wood grain would be highlighted. Another idea would be to put the room all together, do nothing to the desk and test it out for a week or two, to see how you like it…..maybe it’ll grow on you as the memories of your Dad come flooding back! Can’t wait to see the reveal…..

  22. Image for Linda Linda

    When you get furniture from other places (thrift store , side of the road treasures) it’s okay to paint because there are no memories connected with these pieces. This is an heirloom you have inherited that should be left intact and passed on in time to future generations. Keep as is and enjoy all the memories this piece provides.

  23. Image for Janet Hurlbrink Janet Hurlbrink

    #2. Leave it alone. Put a rug under it so it doesn't clash with the floor. The memories will remain intact as is.

  24. Image for Carol@BlueskyatHome Carol@BlueskyatHome

    Normally, I would paint it, but that doesn’t seem like the right option. I agree to strip it first. Depending on what it looks like stripped, you can either restrain and reseal it or leave it the natural wood color and reseal. I’d go with a Matte Sealer, nothing shiny.

  25. Image for laura laura

    Hi Karianne My husband built me a library wall in our living room. He used leslie’s from Derply Southern as a guide. He built it during covid and we added an electric fireplace and live edge mantel. He measured and re measured. He worked through work issues while building shelves and lighting . And when the wall was done he had one request: let’s hire a painter to finish this piece. For your dad’s desk that holds so many memories I think it earned s professional finish either stain or paint. 💕

  26. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Leave it as it is. You are blessed to have an heirloom that includes the memories of your father. Think of it as a senior relative. It wouldn't look the same if it had a face lift.

  27. Image for Susie Meloche Susie Meloche

    I would strip it and re-stain. It was your Dad’s and the wood adds warmth and character to the room. Good luck!

  28. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I don't envy the position you are in. The desk as is has been a big part of your life since, forever. If your rug is bold enough, the desk would be grounded nicely, even with the painted mantel. You've mentioned that it's a weird color; I guess the depth of weirdness would dictate whether you would strip it and restain it in a more complementary color. For me, stripping and changing the stain or leaving it natural and oiling or sealing would be as far as I could go. Best of luck!

  29. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Option 4! Restain it! I feel it loses something to paint it white. But that’s just my opinion. Whatever you decide will be beautiful.

  30. Image for Jude Jude

    Ooooh this is difficult. Every option has been covered by previous posters. But for me when the room is complete and dressed, add your daddy’s lovely desk with your final touches. See how you feel when the room is completed. If you’re still not happy then sand and refresh with a stain that suits your room more. And if you’re not happy then, well your final option would be to paint it. Take your time and live with it. Go with your heart.

  31. Image for Ethel Alderson Ethel Alderson

    Number. 2. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!! Do not change. Keep your memories. With all the white and blue you need wood. Remember wood warms white!

  32. Image for Marilyn Marilyn

    Leave the desk as it is. It’s an important part of your family history. You might regret changing it, and it would possibly be impossible to restore to its original form. It’s a fantastic memory of your father.

  33. Image for LORRI LORRI

    Karianne..I know that you do so many lovely transformations..but I really think this desk needs to be the untouched..don't paint it..don't stain it. It still looks lovely. I think that with the blue rug, bookcases and your drapes and all the other items you will have, you will have blue and white covered. Lol! This desk holds so many memories. Your sons or daughters might want this desk..what a tribute to give them the desk that there Grandfather sat at and worked at in its original state.

  34. Image for Renee Renee

    Leave as is- for now!! Love it - it was your Dad’s. Put everything in room that you had planned. Oil it and put all your cute things on top—- do you have a photo of your Dad at this desk? If so, place it in desk in prominent place. If in the future you still aren’t sure— then paint it— but it won’t be your Dad’s desk — it will be your desk… but your Dad would want you to be happy— what do you think would be his opinion? Just a thought. Can’t wait to see finished room.

  35. Image for Suzanne Suzanne

    Respect the wood and it’s history. Do not paint it. Some things are fine with a painted finish. Not this piece

  36. Image for Jean Jean

    #2 - leave as is! It is a relished personal item from the past. You are so creative and awesome with decorating, I am positive you will be able to make this piece feel right at home in your new office make over. You will not regret this choice!

  37. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Karianne . I have two ideas for you . The first is make a skirt that wraps around the sides and the back out of some lovely blue and white material. You could glue Velcro to the desk and change the skirt out if you need to . My second idea would be to add a white wash to the entire piece. Have fun.

  38. Image for Pam Pam

    Do not paint!!! In the end the fact that you remember your dad with that desk is the most important thing, you will not regret that decision.

  39. Image for Judy Judy

    I am torn between leave and strip and reseal. I am leaning more towards leave; it is a family heirloom with memories it would no longer be the same piece if it was painted.

  40. Image for Barbara Moore Barbara Moore

    Leave it exactly like it is so you can see your Dad whenever you enter the room. Cover the conflicting flooring with rugs. Regardless of what you do it will be amazing.

  41. Image for MarB MarB

    Oh please, keep it natural the wood, warms & grounds the space,too much white is a 'whitewash' removing the character wood has with it's knots,imperfections.. I vote #2

  42. Image for Sherry B Sherry B

    #2. I am not a purist who refuses to paint "brown" furniture, but I am a sentimentalist. You have spoken so lovingly about the desk being in your fathers office, seeing him there, seeing you there, years of memories. It is part of the history of your family and your house. Leave it as is. When you add all the finishes and accessories, decorate with your incredible talent, the desk will settle in and be at home once again.

  43. Image for Bonnie Johnson Bonnie Johnson

    ANYTHING but paint it! If you want a painted desk get one at a yard sale and paint it… save this wonderful piece … store it or put in another room, just don’t paint it! It wouldn’t be your dad’s desk!

  44. Image for JC JC

    Hmmmm, this is such a hard choice! I can see each and every version in your room that you suggested. It will be all the new additions that will add so much. Here's the thing, I think you need to ask yourself, " Which desk can I see my Daddy sitting behind?" I think I may know the answer..... Leave it just the way its always been. ❤️

  45. Image for Vicki Blazejowski Vicki Blazejowski

    I'm not sure my 1st comment went through so trying again... My #1 suggestion would be to strip the lacquer, sand it back, and white wash to lighten the wood using Minwax water-based whitewash stain. Painting a desk like this will cheapen it. Whitewashing will lighten it but retain the integrity of the wood grain. My #2 suggestion is to strip the lacquer, sand it back, and seal it with a flat water-based poly. Paired with a white (off-white) chair, it's beautiful. This will also lighten the wood. My first comment included links to example photos and maybe that's why it didn't go thru. Feel free to message me and I can send samples. I've refinished a lot of furniture :-)

  46. Image for Laura Lander Laura Lander

    Don’t paint the desk. Don’t paint the desk. Don’t paint the desk. Maybe refinish but wait. Get the room together with everything else snd live with the desk as us for a while. It may be fine as is but you may decide to refinish. Just don’t paint.

  47. Image for Vela Tomba Vela Tomba

    I would leave it at it is because I would be finished with my project sooner AND I really like to keep my options open for as long as possible. You could always change your mind and paint or strip and restain later. Since we're not seeing the colors and everything all together I would say trust your eye first!! But as an aside, I'm pretty sure you can feel free to paint it and still keep all the memories. Can't wait to see the finished product!!

    1. Image for Joanne McNevin Joanne McNevin

      Well if we haven’t confused you more with all our opinions I’d be surprised lol.. we also had a similar desk. Super heavy and drawers were heavy to open/close. It’s now in the basement. My first thought was keep the top for memory reasons and fasten to something else that matches your decor. Your Dad would understand. I’ll just remind you of the varathane paint ons that you can put over the finished product and give the look of a darker or different stained appearance. If you don’t like it you could then paint it. I know I’ll love whatever choice you make.

  48. Image for Susan Sims Susan Sims

    What is done, cannot be undone. Try it as-is with its original finish in the completed room, and then decide. I’m sure you have told clients that they need to see the whole picture to tell if they like something because things look different in combination with the other elements. Since it’s sentimental (and you can’t just undo a mistake) I would be extra cautious.

  49. Image for Mary Myers Mary Myers

    Strip and restain/seal it. Wood always adds warmth to a room. I agree, it you paint it, it will never be "your dad's desk". Even the style of the desk seems to say a natural wood finish just fits it. Can't wait to see the room finished.

  50. Image for Karen B. Karen B.

    #2 would be my first choice. You said there will be a rug and that will keep the desk from blending into the floor. Karen B.

  51. Image for Sharon Bowman Sharon Bowman

    This desk is a family treasure. Don’t change it too much. Would strip and restain in more natural/ white-ish/grey-ish/pecan stain.

  52. Image for Elizabeth Elizabeth

    EEEEKKKK Do NOT Paint that Desk!! There is too much history with it! Keep your memories of the desk alive by not painting it. I am a huge painter and DIY'er and will paint anything that gets in my way. I have climbed into dumpsters to rescue a piece here and there and will paint it up and give it new life. There was no emotional attachment to my pieces. But This poor desk looking at you in all its history and glory is pleading with you...Do not paint me.

  53. Image for Ruta Kulnys-Douglas Ruta Kulnys-Douglas

    Don't paint it. Your father touched those surfaces and it will look great as is. Like you said, it will ground the room and you can bring in a few accessories that will speak to the desk.Also, when everything in a room is white, it can seem a little cookie-cutter. These days there is a slow movement back to unpainted or natural wood, so you will be right on trend. I know it will look amazing whatever you decide.

  54. Image for Alice Alice

    I have a partners desk just like this downstairs. The lacquer has yellowed, or actually oranged over time too. Personally I’d strip it and and see how you like the natural color. I’d stain if you wanted it darker, oak is easy to work with. And reseal. I wouldn’t paint it, but I’m sentimental. I don’t think it will feel like your dad’s desk if it’s another color. You have excellent taste, but maybe enough blue and white to let an accent piece stand alone? I’ll be tuned in to see what you decide!

  55. Image for Laurie Schroeder Laurie Schroeder

    My first thought (without seeing your choices) is to strip it and go lighter. My second thought is how much I love navy painted furniture with brass detailing. My third thought is always how much I love your writing. We are the same age, (BU ‘90) so your 80’s references make me smile. You have amazing taste; I know that your choice will look wonderful in the end.

  56. Image for Barbara Barbara

    I would leave it as is! As you said it will ground all the blue and white which will be lovely and make it the star of the room. And you have a piece of your Dad so don't mess with it!:) Baskets that color can add cohensiveness.

  57. Image for Sharon Millsap Sharon Millsap

    Keep the desk as is. Add accessories on top to tie in with the rest of the room. But paint the floor a light color - it fights the other decor of your gorgeous room.

  58. Image for Carol Carol

    Hi KariAnne, My opinion is not to paint it. If you are bound and determined to change it, then refinish it in a wood tone you would like better. Painting makes it less special. All the examples you showed were expendable, yard sale or resale shop finds perhaps with little financial outlay. However, this desk is huge in sentimental value. You just can't redonate it without a personal loss. Painting it lets it get lost in all the other pieces you have painted. It becomes just one of the gang. You're breaking my heart!!! Carol

  59. Image for Kimberly Kimberly

    I’d be awfully tempted to leave if unpainted for the sentimental value alone. I’m not sure it would remind you of your father if it’s painted. I need to see a room and get a feel for it before I determine what to do with furniture - stain or paint. In the event you just can’t live with it as is, you can always use Briwax in white or Cerusing wax to give the oak grain a white look, but still show the original wood grain; you can also use a dark wax if you don’t want the white grain. Both will slightly change the tone of the stain on the wood. I love the curtains you chose!

  60. Image for Annie Camp Annie Camp

    OPTION 5: Strip and seal, OR leave as is, just don't paint it. Btw, I love your ideas and your makeovers are excellent!

  61. Image for Becky Becky

    It will be a beautiful room. I would personally leave it as it. Preserve the desk along with the memories. You didn't sit at the desk eating ice cream dreaming it was painted white did you? Look forward to seeing the finished room.

  62. Image for Joyce Joyce

    LEAVE IT AS IS!!!! Too man at memories to change it. Or gift it to so someone who will keep it and love it as your father did and as you did for all these years.

  63. Image for Sher Sher

    Oh my goodness…I would never paint that desk and cover your father’s memory…Somethings should just be left as is for sentimental sake…in my opinion.

  64. Image for Chris Chris

    Old desks are so much better than most of the new desks I have seen. I would leave it as is or, at the most, whitewash the bottom.

  65. Image for Shelley Shelley

    I am reading your post during a short break from sanding a door frame in my 1915 house. EVERY piece of original wood in our house had been painted white, including the tongue and groove floors. We are stripping and sanding and staining and breathing life back into this house and it's a painstaking process. I vote #2 with a secondary on #4. All of those nicks, all those areas of uneven stain, all the CHARACTER is what makes the desk a family heirloom and what holds all of your memories. Unpainted and imperfect are the way to go...

  66. Image for Diane M Wicks Diane M Wicks

    Leave it as it is!!!!!!! Styles, colors, finishes come and go, but that desk will not feel like your father's desk if you paint it or even strip the stain. Believe me, I've done this before and regretted it. Once it is on the new rug, it won't look like as much wood as it does sitting on the bare floor. Warm woods are coming back and having a moment. Let daddy's chair shine!

  67. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    I would leave it as is I like the look of the original.Glad to see I'm not the only one who feels that way.Sometimes I think about painting things white I love the look of the white furniture but then I just can't make myself change things like wooden items especially when there's memories,history.

  68. Image for Rose Rose

    I would strip and restain but with a light natural almost no color stain. From a trend perspective (not that we use trends) we’re seeing more natural light woods. So even though in your office you’re going more blue and white, it might be nice to have some natural wood. It’s the memory of your dad behind the desk that you think about not the color of the desk. I know whatever you do will be spectacular!

  69. Image for Rose Rose

    I would strip and restain but with a light almost no color stain. From a trend perspective (not that we use trends) we’re seeing more natural light woods. So even though in your office you’re going more blue and white, it might be nice to have some natural wood. It’s the memory of your dad behind the desk that you think about not the color of the desk. I know whatever you do will be spectacular!

  70. Image for Rose Rose

    I would strip and restain but with a light almost no color stain. From a trend perspective (not that we use trends) we’re seeing more natural woods. So even though in your office you’re going more blue and white, it might be nice to have some natural wood. It’s the memory of your dad behind the desk that you think about not the color of the desk. I know whatever you do will be spectacular!

  71. Image for Joanie Joanie

    Sometimes there are no options when it comes to warm heartfelt memories of your childhood. Would you look at your father's desk the same way if you changed its appearance? Only you can answer that. I inherited my mother's Lane cedar hope chest and at the time I felt it had to have a facelift. I thought it wouldn't look right in my bedroom. It always brought back wonderful memories of my mom but after I changed the look, it doesn't feel the same to me any longer. We have all made decorating mistakes in our homes and this was one of the worst I ever made. Close your eyes and listen to your heart. Good luck

  72. Image for Connie Connie

    No, no, no! Don’t paint it. Strip and restrain if you don’t like the stain color, but please don’t paint your Father’s desk. You can’t replace a beautiful wood piece like that and paint will just devalue it, let alone the memories of seeing it as your Father left it. I’m on the “don’t paint” wagon.

  73. Image for Judy Cannon Judy Cannon

    Please do not paint it. I have one very similar that was my Daddy’s and it has a date on the underside of 1957. Some things just shouldn’t be painted and Daddys’ desks are one of those very sentimental, precious treasures that should stay the same.

  74. Image for Leslie Eckmann Leslie Eckmann

    Your go-to option is to paint it white but it takes a wise soul to reevaluate thought patterns. If it wasn’t a family heirloom then the urge to make it join your other white pieces would be easier to process but this piece is not a thrift store purchase in search of a facelift. This piece has a personal history that shouldn’t be painted over. Worse case scenario: you complete the room, live with it awhile and then revisit your choices. What’s the hurry? That desk will happily wait a little longer to know it’s fate.

  75. Image for Patricia Patricia

    That desk is family history. I'd leave it as is. I did refinish my grandpa's roll top desk. He'd gotten it from a friend who used it in his print shop and it had red and blue and green ink stains all over the top. This was 50 years ago and I sanded them out. If I had it to do over again, I might just lighten some of the stains and leave them as part of the history of the desk. I gave it to my grandson years ago. He's very proud he's got grandma's grandpa's desk. Leave it. If you paint it, well, it's your choice. But I won't be enthusiastic about it. (I apologize for the strong language).

  76. Image for Cindy Hamilton Cindy Hamilton

    It is beautiful just the way it is! I personally would not paint it or restrain it. Love that you are keeping for all the memories it holds!

  77. Image for Stephanie Mudd Carrico Stephanie Mudd Carrico

    Such a sentimental piece, I think you would regret painting it. I suggest you sand and lighten the wood tones. It's a beautiful piece.

  78. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    I love the color of your father’s desk. In a room of mostly white and blue I assume, you need a piece that will ground the room. Please do not paint this heirloom. Leaving it as it is, would honor the desk. If you absolutely can’t live with the color, then refinish the piece and stain it in a color that you can live with. Have fun finishing the room! ;)

  79. Image for Deborah Deborah

    #2 would be my first choice and #4 my second. I'm a big fan of painted furniture but some things should not be painted. This desk is so charming! It will add so much to a room full of blue and white! Can't wait to see the final results!

  80. Image for Claudia A Claudia A

    Guilt will get you. I wouldn’t paint it. I was given my G’mothers bookcase after she passed. It was a bookcase my uncle built for her. I was still living with my mom and had redone her bathroom. I decided to use it in that bathroom. I took on the project of painting it as well. I left it as she was still using it when I moved out. When she decided to move she gave my bookcase to my niece. She said I didn’t care for it because I’d painted it and left it when I moved. Ugh. It took me forever to get it back. Even though I’ve since stripped it and tried to right my wrong, but it’s just not the same as when my uncle made it and all the years with my G’mother.

  81. Image for Anita Anita

    This is your office, and the desk is the star of the show! It has character and charm along with your memories. Please don't turn it into "just another white-painted piece of furniture".

  82. Image for Revonda Stordahl Revonda Stordahl

    I would keep it just as it is - no painting and no staining. I think when a piece like this desk has so much meaning and history it should remain like it is.

    1. Image for Linda Linda

      Leave the desk as it is. If it had been a hard sale find you could paint it, but it is too special in its original state.

  83. Image for Mary-Ellen Mary-Ellen

    Leave it as it is! Once the room is completed and you have lived with it awhile and it still “doesn’t quite fit” then maybe restrain it. Don’t paint it!

  84. Image for Marianne Coppotelli Marianne Coppotelli

    My daughter painted a very similar antique desk and she regretted it. I personally think people are painting the character away sometimes. I do like the recommendations about stripping and doing a lighter natural finish. Maybe keeping it more raw looking with a protective coat. Another thing I wondered about is how would it look if you sought out to find a fabulous white leather blotter, beautiful white table lamp and some desktop accessories like one of your blue and white pots with a pretty plant or flowers on it. I bet if you did that and let your room evolve once you get the other things done the desk will tell you what to do. Don’t decide just yet is my recommendation😀🌷

  85. Image for Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces

    I would leave it as is...it's a very special family piece with a beautiful finish. Ground it on the parquet floor with a rug.

  86. Image for Judy Young Judy Young

    Please don’t paint it! Personally I would strip and restrain it to a more pleasing color. What about the Formby stains, Ivwonder if you could just use one of those to bring sone warmth and newness to the finish on the desk without stripping it. Whatever you end up doing, it will be perfect!

  87. Image for Margaret Margaret

    I think you should leave it as is, I think it is a beautiful piece and knowing it was your Dads is a Bonus

  88. Image for Cora Cora

    Strip it give, it a light wash of a white/off white/light gray to give the look of liming (works great w the graininess of oak) and seal it. No stain unless it’s a white and wipe most away, then seal w a satin poly.

  89. Image for Diana Diana

    I thought about it hard and I think I would paint the base and leave the top. In a desk the top is what you see and work off of, so I don't think it will take away from the memories. Memories are stored in your mind and heart and nothing can take those.Those chairs you redid were lovely.

  90. Image for Mary Smart Mary Smart

    Have you thought about using your Father's desk somewhere else and getting a new white desk for the new room? I can see that you have used other brown furniture items in other rooms in your house. The new space looks very modern to me and that desk just does not fit in with the design that you have chosen. I definitely would not paint it.

  91. Image for Linda Kinder Linda Kinder

    Another option is: Leave the desk as is. Get a thin piece of plywood (luan) that fits the desk top. Paint the plywood white. Place on top of desk. Add glass the size of the desk top, and place on top of the plywood. That gives you the " painted desktop" without actually painting the desktop. A few weeks or years down the road, you want daddies desk back, just remove the glass and plywood.

  92. Image for Joanne Garnett Joanne Garnett

    It seems like your issue is with the colour of the stain. I would strip it and stain with a light ash and then seal it! Have a look at Instagram (woodandhomeaccents)! Absolutely beautiful work!

  93. Image for Susan Susan

    Noooo 😱 don’t paint it. It will no longer look like daddy’s. I’m sure you’ll have a rug under it so that will keep it from being right against the floor.

  94. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Please leave it as is. As someone mentioned above, your dad touched this surface. I know after my husband passed away, I tried to find things that I knew he touched, from our favorite church pew, to his wallet, keys, anything that I could find.

  95. Image for C. Thompson C. Thompson

    Because it has such sentimental value, I might suggest not painting. I love white furniture, but this adds warmth to your room. If the wood needs a little love, you could refinish. The desk is painted with memories!

  96. Image for Debra Debra

    I believe your inner self has already made the decision, and that is why you are conflicted about your initial choice to paint it. The desk as it is now is your father's; in its current state it evokes the strongest memories of him. It's sort of a sweet transitional object like the childhood blanket for your adult self! (I am a retired psychiatrist.) Therefore I'd lean toward #2, and then #4 only if problems with the current finish. You will make the room amazing with your abilities!

  97. Image for Sarah Johns Sarah Johns

    I think you should leave it the way it is currently. I like the suggestions above about adding a white blotter and other accessories.

  98. Image for Kim Domingue Kim Domingue

    Changing a castaway piece that holds no memories for you is one thing but to change a piece that holds so many personal memories, pieces that evoke a time and a place and a person that you hold dear…well, that’s an entirely different story. Sometimes, one piece of furniture can encapsulate a loved one’s entire personality and your feelings for that person. From your writings, I gather that desk is that piece of furniture for you. I personally would not alter it for the sake of “making it fit” with the rest of the decor or the color scheme. Will it be a bit of an oddball in a room full of blue and white? Perhaps. Instead, I think it will be a touchstone for you if left as is and will be the piece that brings the room to life…past, present and future beautifully represented and tied together by that one piece.

  99. Image for Diane Diane

    I love white and I have a white kitchen. I also love beautiful real, stained wood. Judging from the pictures, I would leave it. The grain is beautiful.

  100. Image for Peg Peg

    Yikes, so many weigh-ins!! I would strip and restain and, THEN, if it's still lacking a lil sumpin sumpin, paint only the bottom white. I think the white will break up the space between the floor and the top quite nicely!! xoxo

  101. Image for Julane Borth Julane Borth

    Leave it wood - go to Home Depot, get some rub on stain to put right on top of desk. The wood adds a richness that the paint (although is wonderful) doesn't have.

  102. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Your childhood home is so near and dear to your heart as is this beautiful desk! It has so many fond memories for you. It’s a piece of history and I think you’ll regret if you paint it. White painted furniture is beautiful but it’s a trend that may be here today and gone in a few years. A unique vintage piece is a classic that will stand the test of time. What a sweet way to honor your father and his legacy! I vote for option #2. Follow your heart! 💕

  103. Image for Teresa Ann Harral Teresa Ann Harral

    Follow your heart! It would be interesting to see what your kids would say...one day this will be most likely in their possession. Personally, I would leave it as it is....a beautiful statement it makes as is!

  104. Image for Cindy Cottrell Cindy Cottrell

    My choice isn’t one of your options. That being said, could you just paint the top of it white? Leaving the rest of the desk as is?

  105. Image for Beth Beth

    Leave it! That wood is gorgeous and there will be pops of color and things on the desk to diffuse the wood conflict. If you must change something. Add drawer pulls or something easily changed and then changed back! Beautiful desk and lovely design.

  106. Image for Jan Kinman Jan Kinman

    Karianne, I would leave it as it is. You have always talked about the desk with such loving memories! Like someone else mentioned use your accessories to add your color. You could bring more more natural word in like an old coat rack and side table, etc to pull the wood in also. No regrets!

  107. Image for Scarlett Scarlett

    Leave your dad’s desk as is! Once the rug is down & all the other elements are in the room, the original wood of the desk will help ground the room & will balance the room out with the painted fireplace. Don’t paint it! Especially not white. Please 🙏🏻 Can’t wait to see it all pulled together. Happy Sprucing! Scarlett @sprucestudioshoppe

  108. Image for DeMarie Ingraham DeMarie Ingraham

    I think I would leave it as is for now and finish the room. Then live with it for a little bit. If it absolutely bothers you, then go back and strip and restrain. I know many of us want everything perfect, but sometimes perfect clashes with our heart’s desire. Your desire is to keep memories of your dad alive. While those will be with you always, desk or no desk, it may serve as a very visible touchstone. I wouldn’t alter that touchstone until you are absolutely sure. In the meantime, you may find other solutions for your dilemma. Follow your heart.

  109. Image for Christine A Walters Christine A Walters

    Leave as it, I'd suggest putting a piece of glass on top with a fabric or wallcovering placed underneath. I've also added mementoes from my dad like a note he wrote or just a signature from a birthday card he sent me with a "I Love You, Dad" in his handwriting, and pictures of him or memories that remind me of him. You can always change it later as your ideas develop.

  110. Image for Sheri Sheri

    I vote leaving it as is. Memories are made of things like this. Once you get everything else in ther, it will all come together. Every thing you do always looks amazing!

  111. Image for Linda Linda

    I have painted lots of furniture, and it looks like this is oak which is pretty difficult because there is bleedthrough and you must put on a couple of coats of primer before painting. I too love the idea of stripping it to a lighter shade and sealing it. I think Lighter would go with your room much better but you will be sorry if you paint it white.

  112. Image for Liz Shivel Liz Shivel

    I have a roll to desk too, although it’s only 40 years old now. For your desk, I’d leave it as is. Polish is up and put some of your white and blue accessories on it, maybe a big white desk blotter on the writing area, and let it shine that way! That way it stands out as the family heirloom plus it goes with the rest of the room too.

  113. Image for Liz Shivel Liz Shivel

    I have a roll top desk too, although it’s only 40 years old now. For your desk, I’d leave it as is. Polish is up and put some of your white and blue accessories on it, maybe a big white desk blotter on the writing area, and let it shine! That way it stands out as the family heirloom plus it goes with the rest of the room too.

  114. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Me personally, I'd do a whitewash on the entire piece. This allows you to still see the desk but gives it an updated blended look with the other wood pieces. All white would be too much for me. Here's the thing about memories of pieces from our family. Changing it doesn't change the memories at all. The memories are in your heart and soul. You have to use the desk that works for you and your decor. Your dad would be fine with that idea. Just keeping it and making it your own will make him do a dance in heaven and make him have a big smile looking down on you.

  115. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Although I love the thought of it painted white, because of all the memories attached to this beautiful desk I vote leave it or strip and seal it…I agree with everyone else who says it would never really be your fathers if you painted it!


    KariAnne, I hope you will just leave your precious Dad's desk as it is now! This desk will only become more beautiful and more precious as the days go by.

  117. Image for Jane Hamilton Jane Hamilton

    It is a beautiful classic wood desk that will never go out of style! Alot of memories tied to your precious dad. Since this is not a thrift store/ yard sale make over that we all love to update to our taste.. If you can still see your dad sitting at it painted, then go for what you want!

  118. Image for Erin Erin

    Strip it first, then step back for a few days, if you love it, then seal it and move on, if not, paint it. :) I think you might like it stripped.

  119. Image for Lindsay Lindsay

    Please DO NOT PAINT it! Your wonderful memories are what makes it so special. White paint is so trendy (and actually the moment is kinda over). I think you'd be sorry in the end. It's not a garage sale find.... it's an heirloom. Polish it up (or re-stain) and put a rug under it. Cherish the memories of your little self sitting with Daddy!!!❤️

  120. Image for Teresa Teresa

    I would leave it or have a professional restore and stain. It's beautiful and an antique should be cared for, especially with sentimentality. No way would I paint it.

  121. Image for Cynthia Finger Cynthia Finger

    Without seeing the desk on the new rug you purchased, I reserve the right to change my opinion :D IF the wood doesn't look fabulous on top of the rug, I'd give the desk a RH makeover. Solid oak pieces are the best for this type of makeover. Just sand off the finish to open up the wood grain and whitewash the whole thing, working in sections. After painting a large section, take an old white tshirt and wipe off the excess paint. The white paint sticks predominantly into the wood grain. Poof, instant update of a cherished piece of furniture. Looking forward to seeing the finished space :D

  122. Image for Therese Therese

    Hi! I'd leave the desk as is. It grounds the room. Wouldn't be your dad's desk if you made changes to it. Our tastes and styles constantly change, but this desk is a precious memory of your dad. I can't wait for the reveal!

  123. Image for Kim Kim

    Leave it as is. Try oiling it with, for instance MMS Hemp Oil. Do not paint it. It would be too white in the room I think. Even though the floor is wood, some of it will be covered with a rug. The desk as is will be a much-needed piece of warmth in the room.

  124. Image for Brenda Brenda

    Don’t paint trust me you will be sorry and so will the child who gets it. If you must do something white wash over the finish that will come off. Buy a glass for the top put something very light I would do a large painting (paper of course) under the glass. Good luck lots of advice, anxious to see what you do!

  125. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Either leave it, or strip it and refinish in a more suitable for your taste. Please don’t paint it. It will take away from the character of the piece and remove the warmth that wood always evokes, and of those memories you just mentioned. Just sayin’. But do what your heart tells you.

  126. Image for Marti Marti

    Definitely leave it (because of what everyone else has said). And I also think that when placed on a large area rug, the color will be fine; if everything is blue / white, the room will look too staged & “matchy matchy”.

  127. Image for Kim Kim

    Definitely #4. Strip and restrain. Too nice of wood to paint. I love re-staining sentimental pieces. Love my painted pieces too but there’s just something about that wood that has a story.

  128. Image for Jamie Jamie

    If you'd like to see how a lighter/white desk looks in the space, maybe create a "slipcover" that covers the three sides and top and wraps a pit around the drawer side. Add a glass top. Maybe leave the slipcover short enough to show the legs off a bit? Oak is a highly grained wood and if you paint it white or any other color it will require a huge amount of effort, stripping and sanding to get the wood back to just wood should you change your mind. The paint will be in every single section of the grain....all of it.

  129. Image for Kat Kat

    I love painted furniture but not in this case! I vote keep it as is ( keep the memories of the desk as it was when your father was here). It is beautiful!

  130. Image for Amy Roberts Amy Roberts

    I would leave it as is. If you want to alter it just head to the dollar store. They have a ton of great peel and stick rectangular wallpapers. I have purchased a bunch of them for my office. I will try to get photos uploaded and send them to you. I love your office.

  131. Image for Toni Toni

    Option 4. I believe every room needs some natural wood to ground it and not look too matchy matchy. Plus you’ll be happier with the color, preserve the sentiment connected to your dad plus I just think a piece with age adds a warmth and interest to a room. But then I’m a lover of antiques! I’m sure you will make it as amazing as you are!

  132. Image for Deb E Deb E

    Please don't paint that desk - you can't remove paint from the grain very well if you decided to return it to its original state later on & you'd damage the finish trying to. Plus it was your fathers desk - you have all these lovely memories in association with it. How about if you bought or made a table mat or runner for the top of the desk in neutral and blues to tie it in with the rest of the room? It's such a lovely desk, as is. I think its the perfect touch for the room - a bit of your homes history (and yours of course, with your dad!).

  133. Image for Anderson Marty Anderson Marty

    Please, please don’t put a drop of paint (or anything else for that matter)on that lovely desk! I think the patina is gorgeous. If you must do something, restrain it….I wouldn’t do a lot of sanding…

  134. Image for deb deb

    No do not paint it! I paint a lot of furniture too but this one I would not It would be nice to have a piece of wood in that room.Nice contrast to all your blue and white Since it was your dads as it is, painting it will change that Either refinish it in a lighter color or leave it as it is.

  135. Image for Susan J Susan J

    I hope Almost Everyone is voting for Option #2! Leave it as it is! Not everything has to be updated, it has a beautiful patina and would just as easily give the room some permanence!

  136. Image for Alona Beneda Alona Beneda

    Leave the desk natural. Bring a natural piece to the room Is good. It you paint it you will be making it look like everything else. When you sit to use it. It will look familiar but it will have feel the same. Your mind will fight with you at it is the same desk. But it’s not. It’s like putting makeup on a pretty girl when she got my looks when she was all natural.

  137. Image for celestial celestial

    DO NOT TOUCH THE FINISH ON THAT BEAUTIFUL OLD DESK. It belonged to your dad and has his memories in and on it. That kind of patina you just should not alter. It is in good condition. You have enough white and light in the room already and need the natural play of wood to ground it. If it was a modern reproduction you got at Hom Furniture I would go ahead and do whatever you wanted but it is a true banker's desk. Leave t.

  138. Image for Rebecca Oplotnik Rebecca Oplotnik

    Please, please, please, do not paint that desk! It means so much to you just the way it is! I have one in my classroom and I would never dream of painting it. Use your decorating talent to make it fit in your room. I know you can pull it off and you will not regret it! R.O.

  139. Image for Carol Granger Carol Granger

    I knew immediately I would strip the current stain from the desk and refinish it to a more natural wood finish. Years ago, I stripped a small table and just rubbed it with MinWax and left it. No varnish, nothing. Because it was a light wood, it fit right in with the other furniture in the room even though it was on the only piece of natural wood in the room. Like you, I was not going to get rid of the piece so I found a way to make it work. I do believe that if you paint the desk, you might regret it in the future. I'm sure the room is going to be beautiful!

  140. Image for Celeste Celeste

    There's something grand and majestic about that desk. It has soul. I can't imagine painting it would be an improvement. A well known designer (Bunny Williams?) said every room needs something "ugly". Not ugly as in unpleasant to look at, but something that doesn't fit. I'm a sentimentalist and I would embrace the not-quite-perfect finish as the thing that doesn't quite fit, but nevertheless holds so many wonderful memories and soul.

  141. Image for Jan Jan

    Old sealers tend to yellow over time so if you must do something to your desk, I would try a good cleaning first. Then if you don't like it try a light sanding and re-sealing with a non-yellowing top coat. Maybe try it on an inconspicuous area. But a memory like that should not be painted unless its badly damaged. That room is going to be perfect for you.

  142. Image for Linda P. Linda P.

    I am familiar with this type of desk. I am pretty sure it's heavy solid Oak wood. Probably White Oak. Please do not paint it, you might regret it later. I see the wood floors might clash with the desk, so an area rug to draw attention away is the best idea you have. So, that being said.....strip the desk down, and the color should become lighter. Leave it unfinished or a light seal is all you'll need. Let the beauty of the wood show. Now, put some "pretties" on your beautiful desk.

  143. Image for Linda Andersen Linda Andersen

    I think I would strip and refinish it. I see what you mean about it being the wrong color wood. It's a beautiful antique and I think it would be even more beautiful in a different wood shade. Good luck! Linda

  144. Image for Susan Dennis Susan Dennis

    I would leave it as it is. This is the finish your Dad's hands touched. Cherish those memories. It will never be the same if you paint it. It will ground the space.

  145. Image for Linda V Linda V

    What? You want an opinion? Thank you for asking, that's so kind. :) I say leave it as it is but, if that's going to bug you because of the color, then strip and stain it the darker color. The wood is beautiful. It'll be a lot of work but you'll forget how much work it was and how worth it it is when the color doesn't get on your nerves. My pro tip is, strip it with Klean-Kutter Varnish Lacquer and Shellac Remover and then, stain and varnish it with Old Master's Gel Stain and Gel Varnish. Those products are all amazing!!! You won't regret the work or the products. (At least I never regret what I've finished with them.) :) I can't wait to see the finished room!!! Thanks for sharing!

  146. Image for Loris Lutke Loris Lutke

    Please leave it as is! It was your fathers, it’s beautiful, it has sentimental value, and it has a lot of memories! To me a piece like this, and a piece of your history, actually speaks to you and tells a story. If you paint it., strip it, or stain it, it will no longer tell a story because it will be covered up with something that was never there in the first place!!

  147. Image for Loris Lutke Loris Lutke

    Please leave it as is! This is a valuable, sentimental, piece of history, and tells a story! It’s beautiful the way it is and if you cover it with paint or stain, it will no longer speak to you in the same way!

  148. Image for Maggie Rowe Maggie Rowe

    2 or 4- don’t paint it! Your children and grandchildren will want that vintage desk someday. We have one just like it that was my father’s in law. Love the room.

  149. Image for Pamela Pamela

    Strip and seal it. The desk appears to be the anchor of the room and deserves its own look. Can't wait to see the finished product.

  150. Image for Nancy Hanselman Nancy Hanselman

    I always love everything you do! I think this is because you put 💯% of your heart into it! If your heart says leave it or paint it, this is what you need to ponder to get the correct answer. Personally, I would keep it stained or strip the stain and make it light wood. It is a gorgeous piece and with a new area rug separating the desk and the wood floor I think it will be beautiful! Or you could paint the floor 🤔 and leave the desk as is… Whatever your heart decides will be the right decision, so far it doesn’t seem to have been wrong. Nancy

  151. Image for Carol Tucker Carol Tucker

    Oh please leave Daddy's desk as is..don't cover up memories. Once you get rug under it, it will break from the floor covering. If, after all is finished..and you're not liking the desk color..then strip and stain a natural color..but only after you've 100% finished..give the desk a chance to shine without covering up memories. You're the best decorator ever!! Love your style!

  152. Image for Karen Karen

    Oh my, once you paint it , you will have erased everything you feel about that desk-you can never ever return to what it was! Having been your Dad's, him sitting there, his fingerprints on it will disappear and the memories it holds with it. All "old" furniture doesn't have to be painted over-even sanding it will will change-just clean it good-and rejoice that you have the honor of having a "piece of him ".

  153. Image for valicia linn valicia linn

    Well, first off I too have mixed feelings.. Agree with so many of the comments that I had to think about it for a bit. AND---you know the old saying " measure twice, cut once."(in other words you can't go back and do something else If you paint it ,it's a done deal ..So I'd wait until it is totally set up as a room..I know that is the hardest part because you want it all done..But if you wait and then put the desk back in you would instantly know if it looks 'right',,If it doesn't then you can paint or stain. It's such a beautiful piece.

  154. Image for Dianne Miley Dianne Miley

    My first gut reaction is to leave it as is. My second choice would be to restain it. As a last resort, paint the base -maybe with a little distressing - and leave the top wood. By no means would I paint the whole desk white.

  155. Image for paula paula

    If you want to make it "fit better" with the room but keep the integrity that it was "Dad's" I would strip and stain it a coordinating stain color that you prefer. If you want to make it "yours", you should do whatever you want to it-you have fantastic taste and will know what techniques would fit the room best!

  156. Image for Patti Patti

    Oh I really believe that if you paint it white it won’t at all resemble what you have in your memories of your dad. I would strip and restain it. Or leave it put a rug beneath so the woods aren’t conflicting.

  157. Image for Holly Morris Holly Morris

    Paint the base, leave the wood top. Scratch your fathers name on the top over on a corner and stain the writing a bit.

  158. Image for Madeline Madeline

    My vote would be for #3. Paint the bottom, and either leave top as is or re-stain. Give it contrast, and still keeping memories. (which you would never forget anyway ) I know whatever choice you make, it will look great. M

  159. Image for PJ PJ

    Hi, KariAnne. I am going to join the chorus of those who think you should leave it as is. I think the touch of wood will look great with all your blue and white. You may want to add a desk blotter in your colors to cover some of the top. I created one out of an old map, and it came out quite well. Best of luck with your decision!

  160. Image for Cathy Cathy

    Leave the desk as it is. Wood furniture is making a comeback and it anchors an otherwise light colored room. The consignment shops in my area are full of painted wood pieces that no one wants.

  161. Image for Holly Bullard Holly Bullard

    KariAnne I think it would be beautiful bleached or stripped down. Another idea - I have my Moms antique partners desk and Belgium bookcase. My friend used Sherwin Williams pickling paint to soften the look. You wipe it on, let it settle into the crevasses and then wipe the paint you don’t like off. Happy to send you a photo of the pieces if you are interested. You could also add a piece of marble to the top - but then you would have to adjust your chair height. Best wishes Holly Bullard

  162. Image for Tawny Lynn Stoddard Tawny Lynn Stoddard

    Oh for once....please leave the desk and that patina be! It took years of LOVE to get there...please please please dont strip away or paint over all that love just for the sake of temporary aestetics? I see so many furniture flippers out there and they all just have so little disregard for antiques these days. Very few will design a room around the beauty of the piece rather then forever ruin it with $20 worth of paint. Please dont be that person. Especially with something so precious! I know its just my opinion but its given with love...xoxo

  163. Image for Debbie Debbie

    #2 Leave it I have my Dads desk too I was going to paint it, but in the end I left it I love it so glad I didn't paint it

  164. Image for Loryl Fisher Loryl Fisher

    Leave it. It will never be your Father’s desk again if you paint it. It will then be a project you did. If the color is so off putting strip it. At least then it’s still a wood finish. But I really think you’d regret it if you paint it. The memory of your dear Dad is too attached to it. As you have written before you have too many memories of your Dad and that desk to change it now. If you love it the way it is it WILL fit in the design. Plus I think leaving it wood will make it pop and be the focal point of the room!

  165. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I would leave it as it is. Painting it white would be a sin. If you can’t leave it alone strip it, but please let the beauty of the wood show through in the end.

  166. Image for Anne Anne

    HI KARIANNE…Please leave your dads desk as it was when he was alive. It is precious to you. Why would you want to strip or paint over his “fingerprints” ….they are everywhere on his desk. When you conjure up memories of your Dad at his desk… they may be less memorable if you cannot run your hands along Dad’s authentic desk. I know that in the wink of an eye you could choose a rug and desk decor that would make this piece a showstopper in your redecorated office. No matter your decision your wonderful Dad will always be in your heart…!

  167. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Love SOME painted furniture but I would never paint that piece! First of all it is high quality solid wood. So I would strip it to raw wood and then seal without staining. With a rug underneath it will perfect with those pretty parquet floors. Save the painting for pieces that aren't able to be kept as is due to damage. It's your dad's desk. It's a family heirloom. And I see a trending natural wood comeback - I really think you'd regret it down the road some, KA if you painted it. Now if white is truly the answer - any chance a family member would want it for now and you could get a white desk? Not that I want you to spend more money on the room re-do - but that's a thought too for the time being.

  168. Image for Laura Harrie Laura Harrie

    KariAnne, If you could imagine sitting at the desk with your Dad, what do you think he would say? I would say about this beautiful desk, will painting or changing it up, honor the memory of your Dad? You have precious memories in this house, maybe changing this desk would be not right.

  169. Image for Joan Joan

    I vote for option 2--leave it. It's an emotionally precious heirloom and can stand out in a good way on its own.

  170. Image for Dee Dee

    Wow, this stirred up so many comments and I can understand why. What a precious thing it is to have something of your dad's with memories attached, and memories to be made. I'm all for painted furniture but not in this case. The wood is so pretty, but because the finish on it is really old it actually could be detrimental to the wood so I would recommend using a non-toxic remover and definitely not staining it but allowing the wood to stand on its own with a new coat to protect it.

  171. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    I very seldom think wood should be painted, but this oak desk, although sentimental to you, is really going to dominate the room and, to me, someone old enough to remember when these were still in use in business offices when I first went into the work force, it needs to be "toned down" for home use. I wouldn't hesitate a bit to paint it and "put it in its place."

  172. Image for Ann Ann

    Wait until you finish everything else in the room before you decide. Have you thought about a thin marble top cut to size to place on the top? It could later be removed and not hurt the value of the desk.

  173. Image for Rizae Rizae

    Sleep on it! You will come to the best choice for you and your heart. I wish for you the happiness of knowing what is right for you. Not mine or any others opinions. Love and hugs.

  174. Image for Melissa Melissa

    If it was mine I would leave it as is-maybe just a treatment with Big Mama's Buttah-once I altered it, it might no longer seem my father's desk. Incidentally, I too, have my father's desk-not my style, but unaltered.

  175. Image for Barbara Barbara

    I reviewed your previous do overs. Your Paint Stick tabletop caught my eye. With the beautiful blues you're planning for the room I suggest using that orangy stain, "Provincial" by Minwax to make the treasured desk a knock out, a color contrast. Perhaps paint the parquet floor, I agree it needs to be lighter or darker. The rug under the desk would make the desk the focal point. You are blessed to have such a special heirloom.

  176. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Don’t paint it. Leave it original because of memories of your dad. Like you said, some pieces don’t need a makeover. I think you would regret it.

  177. Image for Sheilah Sheilah

    Strip the top down to the natural color and seal it then paint the rest a dark blue like the other blues in the room... I think white would make it disappear in the room and where it's a beauty of a piece, you'd really want to see it...

  178. Image for Carol Anderson Carol Anderson

    Kari, here's my opinion. If you paint or strip or redo into the glory that you know you can do so well, it will look oh so beautifully fitting in the room. AND. It become Kari's desk. It will have the history of your time with your dad. Your daddyism of the desk will be gone. It's a choice that only you can make. We'll all love what ever you decide and you will live with your decision. Love you n your blog, Carol

  179. Image for Christy H Christy H

    My first choice would be to give it a really good cleaning and leave it as is if it cleans up well. Coming up second (but almost tied for first) is to strip it and stain it another wood tone. I would never choose to paint something like this white or any other color. Never.

  180. Image for KC KC

    I would leave as is- it’s a classic. My husband’s grandfathers desk is the one thing I’ve never messed with and I’m glad I didn’t- even though I was so tempted!!

  181. Image for Sharon DeFelice Sharon DeFelice

    I would do #3. It will forever be your dad's desk panted or not. From my experience I know my mom would just be glad I am using an item of hers, plus I think my mom would be proud to see my twist on updating her pieces. Who knows she may have wished she had done what I did to some of her things. It helped me to want to find a place for them in our new house. Also updating could make it more appealing to someone in the future within your family to keep for the next generation. Should they desire someone can refinish years from now. Obviously not painting the top will preserve a portion of the grain you are familiar with and the top will function better unpainted. The favorite piece I gave new life to of my mom's is a tall cabinet that I mounted the top section to the wall at cabinet height, and had a soapstone counter top made for the bottom half. It is now a great drop zone by the back door with lots of storage too.

  182. Image for Linda Hughes Linda Hughes

    I vote for stripping and staining or leave it natural. I think some things are just better not being painted. Just my opinion. ❤️

  183. Image for Diana Clark Diana Clark

    KariAnne my heart says leave it alone. It would change it to be painted. If you are worried about too much wood between the floor and desk put a rug to separate the two.

  184. Image for Laurie J Clark Laurie J Clark

    Please leave it, as is! It's beautiful. If not, sand it down to a "raw" look! Love you and your blog! Laurie Clark

  185. Image for Joanne Joanne

    I would leave it as is. It is so beautiful. I can see the history it holds in your photos. Every inch of it tells a story. I can tell this piece holds an abundance of precious memories for you, which I assume come flooding back often. Sometimes it is a good thing to hold on to the past. I have a Lane cedar hope chest from my mom, and a cedar armoire wardrobe closet from my dad that he purchased after WWII. I wouldn't dream of changing them one bit. The memories are too precious, as are yours.

  186. Image for Denise Denise

    You have honored your dad in so many ways, maybe a desk doesn't have to be one of them? You have kept it original long enough to know you don't love the finish, otherwise you wouldn't ask us, right? I say paint it white, put a glass top on it to protect the paint on the surface you will work on, and it you don't love it after a couple of months, THEN strip it and refinish it.

  187. Image for Christine Christine

    I would paint just the handles on the drawers with navy or black chalk paint and no finish. It would wear naturally, and you can always wash it off. It would give it a new look without destroying the beauty of the wood.

  188. Image for Mary Farwell Mary Farwell

    Honestly, because this desk is a significant family piece , I would either leave as is or strip and refinish in a tone more appealing to you. Mess around with stuff without memories. I cherish the furniture my sons and I have from my parents, grandparents etc. I love sharing the stories tucked away in my heart about each piece. My grands are learning about those who went before and that is priceless. My best wishes to you as you toss around options, Mary

  189. Image for Sandra Warthen Sandra Warthen

    Please DO NOT do anything to that beautiful desk. I think you will regret it dearly if you do. That desk is beautiful. After you get the room finished, if you do not like the color of the desk, then move it to another room and buy a new desk.

  190. Image for LisaH LisaH

    My vote goes to leave the desk alone! If the office were in my home, I’d be more inclined to do something with the parquet flooring, strip/lighten, than to touch the desk. Good luck with whatever you choose to do - it is bound to be lovely.

  191. Image for Joy Joy

    We all know that room is going to turn out beautifully, that's no secret! A light sanding and a coat of varnish would freshen up the desk. Perhaps adding a grass cloth paper to the two rectangles that face outward would give it a updated look with added texture. If you change your mind after a few years, it wouldn't take much effort at all to remove the two pieces.

  192. Image for Linda Scott Linda Scott

    It is such a strong masculine desk which makes it beautiful and why your dad probably bought it in the first place. It spoke to him. What would Dad think you should do? I say keep the history and this heirloom as is and just have fun accessorizing it!

  193. Image for Judi Watkins Judi Watkins

    I love this desk! Don't change a thing! That desk has so much character, and a nice rug underneath will let it stand out as a main focal point for the room.

  194. Image for Janice Janice

    Please leave it as it is. Paint will cheapen it and there will be no fond memories of the desk because it won’t be the original.

  195. Image for Susan Susan

    It's always easiest to make over a piece that doesn't have those family ties. I'll bet your Daddy would want you to be happy with it - so KariAnn, what would make you happy with it? I love vintage furniture, but the finishes used decades ago do change color over time and not necessarily for the better! Maybe strip the shine off and reseal with matte? I'm sure whatever you decide will look great. You just need to figure out what you can live with over the long haul. Once you strip, paint, or otherwise change it, will it still be the cherished family heirloom it is now?

  196. Image for Marilyn Marilyn

    Paint it. Either all if it, or the base & stain the top. Why? It's masculine. Of course it was, it was your dad's. If it were mine, I'd want to feminize it & make it mine. No question. 💚💚💚

  197. Image for Gloria Gloria

    Your father’s desk is so beautiful as is especially with memories attached so please don’t alter it. Your sons or daughters will love to use it as is in the future. If you incorporate bits of the color of the desk around the room it will fit right in like it was intentional. If small scratches bother you use wood stain markers to touch up the spots. Works on parquet floors too. Parquet floors can be bleached. If you really want a white or lighter desk there are probably removable/ reversible methods. Like adhere non marring removable paintable wallpaper or thin wood grain veneers in the inset areas and paintable contact paper on all other areas. Then paint, or pickle. Use a paint that can be washed off if some accidentally seeps behind. Call product companies to ask for best products to use. Add a desk top, can be painted aluminum, glass, marble or get an artist on Etsy to do a resin custom piece with a marbleized look and maybe some dried flowers added. Make it in three sections so they become like trays so if working on a project you can move it or later on add tray handles.

  198. Image for Janette Janette

    I would normally say paint it....but I am not saying it now, please leave alone. All those knocks and scratches have a story that your a part of, why change that, some things are best left alone. At the end of the day its up to you and if you do paint then maybe leave the top. I am dying to see this room .xx

  199. Image for Doris C Doris C

    One day you'll regret it if you paint it. That trend won't last forever. You have such beautiful memories of you and your father at that desk. It deserves to either be left alone or brought back to a beautiful finish. You'll be glad you did years from now. Please don't paint it.

  200. Image for Mary Mary

    Absolutely NOT! Please, please, please back away from your beloved dad's desk immediately. It is beautiful in all it's glory just as it was when you sat across from your dad in your Dairy Queen apron.

  201. Image for Susan N. Susan N.

    Please, please, please don't put a paintbrush near that desk. Leave it as is...it's beautiful. If you are determined to do something different then restain it but for the love of everything sacred don't paint it!

  202. Image for Mary Mary

    I would live with it as is and see how you feel about it when every else is as you planned. After a month or so, decide if you love it and it makes you smile.everytime you see it ,or would it make you happier to have it white.

  203. Image for Roberta Roberta

    The desk color...I had the same issue with our ancient family oak dining room table in our more transitional-styled new home. It didn't fit in. I sand the table lightly and rubbed it down with some Miniwax weathered oak stain. The stain I used was grayish and it countered the orange in the oak table for a paler, more neutral wood tone. You can also try white or other colors of stain, sometimes going darker works too. Just keep layering until it it the shade you want. You could test it out on the bottom of one of the slide out panels. Once I was done with the stain I added a couple coats of matte finish. I am so happy with it. It took a piece I loved and renewed it for another generation to enjoy.

  204. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    Maybe this is already the plan, but I suggest leaving the desk for last to see how it fits in with all the new stuff.

  205. Image for Lorie Anderson Lorie Anderson

    Don't paint it, please. It won't feel the same if it is painted. Leave it the way it is or strip it. I don't think I've ever left a comment on a blog before but this has set me in motion. Beautiful decor is fine....but sitting at that desk remembering your days with your father trumps beautiful decor. Beautiful memories always win.

  206. Image for anne haas anne haas

    The desk is beautiful and holds so many priceless memories! At the most, strip and seal instead of painting ❤️

  207. Image for Jeanine Kesey Jeanine Kesey

    Oh Karianne!! Leave it alone!!! You do not want to regret this one. I worked for over 20 years in a courthouse with the original 1930’s furniture that looked just like this. They don’t make these anymore!!! I loved looking at that furniture with every ding and mark each day and tried to imagine what it was like back then. Our courtroom had original cork floors that had this beautiful design and it was sickening to watch workers pour glue over them so they could lay carpet. Don’t ruin this beauty from the past because we feel today like we need to update everything. Those old pieces can fit in nicely with our other furniture. It has a story!

  208. Image for Angela Boswell Angela Boswell

    Your story made me cry…. I have a desk almost identical to yours that belong to my father too… My dad was a tug boat captain and studied for his tug masters license at that desk… He gave it to me and I past it on to my son. It will always stay in our family. I did my homework at that desk and I’m pushing 70!…lol. Now to address you question… When he gave it to me I wanted it to look more girlie and I painted it white and now I wish I hadn’t…. The other pieces you have for the room are from somewhere else and have no sentimental history. I would keep your Dads desk as it always has been…. It speaks for itself.

  209. Image for Jill Brewster Jill Brewster

    I am a painted furniture kind of gal, love white furniture, never thought I'd be saying this, but I think I would leave it as is. I think once your office is all put together you will see that the desk fits perfectly just like it is.

  210. Image for Denise Denise

    I would leave it just as it is. This desk is more than just a desk. In my opinion, the design of the room is not the important factor here. The desk, as is, is a vessel of history. Leaving it alone adds to the uniqueness of the space and all of the history it holds.

  211. Image for auntroz auntroz

    I'm with all the "Strip it & Seal it" Gals! The wood on your Father's Desk is beautifully bold, with so much character that would be absolutely LOST painted white. I had an old teacher's desk, very close to this one, that I did this with and it was the prettiest piece in the room...so much character! I don't envy you the decision. This is a difficult one, but your room will be gorgeous no matter your choice. Blessings to you KariAnne

  212. Image for Teresa LaVoy Teresa LaVoy

    Refinish or paint the floor a lighter color and then take a second look at the desk. Given the history of this piece, I would finish the room and live with the desk as is in the finished room for a few months. The fact that you are wavering might mean that you are not sure enough to take a step as drastic as stripping the finish. Brightest Blessings!

  213. Image for Mary Mary

    I'm older than you. I live through my sister painting the beautiful oak school chairs avocado green with brown glaze in the 70s. I am the one who stripped them in the 90s. They are now wood and look beautiful. That wood desk is timeless. The paint will date and you will regret that you have ruined a beautiful wood piece of furniture that is now no longer in style. Especially since it's your dad's. If you want it to look different get a piece of something white that you can place over the top and temporarily secure it. Then you get the beauty of a white top that you can easily attach temporarily between two pieces of wood and screws that clamp it to the ridge of the desk top, but first paint that white and your desk will look different but not be ruined. Can you tell I'm anti-paint when it's beautiful wood😏

  214. Image for Carol Carol

    When I have a difficult time making a decision about a piece of furniture, I hold off until the room is complete with rugs, curtains, etc. Then I put the furniture in the room and accessorize it and make my final decision. I'm always amazed at how a few pretty white planters with some greenery completely changes the look of a piece of furniture. The desk is beautiful and has many emotions attached to it. Once it's refinished, there's no going back. That said, it's your desk Karianne, do what brings you happiness.

  215. Image for Brenda Brenda

    I would just white wash it with watered down white paint to make it lighter but you would still be able to see the wood pattern. It will always be your dad's desk and give you a special feeling every time you are near it.

  216. Image for Helen Land Helen Land

    Hi Karianne, I think you should do what you really want to do with the desk. I personally think the desk would look better with a faux finish on it since the floors are wood and the desk is not delicate looking (like the serpentine dresser is). I think it takes away from the parquet floors which are lovely. You are so creative I think maybe a stenciling on the top or back if you keep it facing the room, or a glue application would be more like you. Also, maybe a little light blue application to pick up the rug and curtains blue would be stunning. Maybe your Dad would say he wants you to do what you think is most fun for you now. Good luck!

  217. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Please don’t strip or paint white. Leave it as is with all those wonderful memories of your dad. What a treasure.💛

  218. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    I'm VERY late to this multitudinous response! I'm with the others...DON'T PAINT IT! I think you'll be very sorry. Strip and stain it if you like. But I wouldn't let a can of white paint near that memory! 🥰

  219. Image for Tamara Trim Tamara Trim

    Hello I redid a teachers desk a number of years ago and I topped it with an antique canvas map. Maybe that is an idea worth exploring!? I wish I could add a photo to show you! Love your work Tamara

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