Before & After: A Midcentury Desk Gets A Fresh New Look


We have been seeing furniture makeovers that utilize white paint everywhere recently. Just last week, we highlighted some of the awesome white-painted midcentury furniture by Christopher White. Today, we’re highlighting another midcentury piece that got a similar treatment. Purchased on craigslist by Meg Caven, this desk had awesome bones, but some details that were a little less than ideal. Meg writes,

[I loved] the  lines and sculpted handles, but not loving the contrast between the Formica top and veneered sides and drawer-fronts.  A little research leads me to believe that the desk is a Johnson Carper.  I sanded, stained, and polyurethaned the drawers, and painted the desk’s body a high-gloss white. Really happy with the way it turned out.

We really do, too! This is another fantastic example of how paint can elevate a beautiful piece of furniture without detracting from its original design. Here, the glossy white acts as a wonderful framing device for the desk’s drawers, highlighting their newly-refinished forms. Check out a few more photos of this beautiful, understated makeover after the jump! —Max




  1. Really like how this makeover still preserves (and actually highlights) the lines of this piece!

  2. Jaime says:

    Love it!

  3. I really love that she kept the drawers the natural color and the white just makes them look even better.

  4. Suzy says:

    Love it! I absolutely love mid-century furniture. I scored a long dresser for $35 last year for my son and can’t wait to find more.

    Vintage Amore

  5. iris says:

    This looks absolutely stunning!

  6. Sarah C. says:

    Love the stain color. Care to share?

  7. amanda says:

    Pretty pretty pretty, I want one just like it!

  8. Nikki says:

    I have a dresser that looks very similar, and had the same idea for! However, I’ve been going back and forth about how I will attempt to sand and stain/paint. Any good tips for working with Formica and veneer?

  9. The first thing that came to mind…oooohhhhh snap! This looks amazing!

  10. I love this trend! The white is just so refeshing and sympathetic to the piece.

  11. Wow, nice work, it looks like a completely different piece of furniture. I want it!

  12. quite the transformation! love the new look.

  13. It looks amazing. Well done!

  14. Wonderful up-cycled piece. I’d love to carry this piece at my store.

  15. Yvonne says:

    I hate to say it, but I like the before better. The after is nice as well, but it feels like sacrilege it ruin such a beautiful old desk.


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