From the painting desk #59 – The painting desk

August 28, 2018

As you have no doubt noticed, the blog has been awfully quiet lately. As I’ve mentioned a couple of times previously, it’s nothing serious – just home renovation stuff leaving me with no space to paint in. All that has now changed!

We’ve been buying a lot of old furniture after moving together, because of both the visual appeal and the ecological. We’ve been getting rid of old IKEA stuff, and replacing it with wooden furniture. With this in mind, I spotted this desk at the local recycling centre:


Click for a larger version

Don’t you just love that pine, the round drawer knobs and the worn, faded tabletop? I know I didn’t! While in their own way quaint and reminiscent of my childhood (this style was quite popular in Finland back in the 80s/90s), I knew they would have to go. The desk had a thick layer of varnish, which had yellowed over the years, and I wanted rid of that as well.

My original plan was to remove the varnish by using both paint stripper and a sander and then to give the desk a new coat of varnish tinted darker brown. This failed miserably. After spending a lot of time with the sanding and paint stripping, there were still a lot of patches where the varnish just wouldn’t stick. I was close to dumping the whole desk at this point.

As in so many cases, furniture paint turned out to be the solution. Just white paint over everything, switch out the knobs for some nice brass ones and ta-da!

Click for a larger version

One of the neater things here of course is that when I’m not painting, I can just close the desk to keep my stuff from collecting dust on my (ho-humm) occasional painting breaks. All those lovely drawers nicely hold my extra paints, flocks and other hobby stuff, so I’m really really happy with this solution. On top of everything, I think it looks pretty gosh darn elegant for a miniature painting table.

I even added a couple of actual houseplants! I’ll get back to Sting and Dire Straits now.

And yes, the “From the painting desk” posts are usually dedicated to miniatures, but how could I resist? Yeah, that’s right.



  1. Very nice- I’ve a fondness for the bureau as a piece of furnitature. I’ve one myself for pens pencil and suchlike in the front room (although, typically, it spends most of it time covered in books).



    Liked by 4 people

    • Cheers! I’m doing my best not to bury mine, so I could finally get some more minis painted. The bureau does grant the hobby a certain extra dignity!


  2. Great job with the desk! You have my wife’s seal of approval as well and that’s not handed out often! Hope you enjoy getting back on with painting some minis!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ooh, much appreciated! Thanks to you both 🙂


  3. This is probably what I need to defeat the newish kid. She’s getting more mobile and grabby.

    Liked by 3 people

    • There’s even a lock! Thanks for the comment 🙂


  4. That turned out very nice! But I guess it might need a new white coat every year or so if you make the same mess as I do when painting 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Indeed – I’m still wondering whether I should protect the painting area in some way. Probably.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Neat restoration mate – the perfect painting station!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alex! It’s great fun bringing old stuff to life – whether it’s furniture or minis.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Really nice mate. You’ve done well. I use rubbing alcohol and steel wool to remove varnish but it depends on the lacquer though. Enjoy the desk

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! I think some of the lacquer had seeped into the wood during the years – I couldn’t see or feel it, but it wouldn’t take new varnish.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I think my Wife should not see this post, else I will be forced to give up my Ikea table/desk, with lots of space, and painting crap spread across the whole thing. I’ve pretty much taught the toddler to stop grabbing stuff from there, and I lock away all the minis each time. Still, there is always that part of me that wants to be tidy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It also looks so modern with the white paint and new knobs. Great job!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, I appreciate it! To be honest it was a pain in the nether regions at times, but I’m really happy with the finished result.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice job Mikko!


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