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Paint a Desk with MudPaint Clay Paint

large desk painted with dark green clay furniture paint

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Over the first few months of lockdown, we have gotten so many questions about how to paint a desk with MudPaint. We all spend so much time working that it is especially important to style the work space to allow for a free flow of creativity. Especially during lockdown! Sometimes we get so caught up with the big projects: remodeling kitchens and family rooms. And bedrooms. And living rooms. That we forget about the office whether it be at home or at work! Desk makeovers – not unlike dressers projects and dresser makeovers – could always use a bit of refurbishing!

large desk painted with dark green clay furniture paint

  • Follow these steps to makeover your desk
    • Prepping – Make sure you have done a light sanding on the existing surface of the desk.  But just enough to scuff up the surface (180-220 grit pad of our Rad Pad Sanding pad). If there is an existing coat of paint on the desk, make sure MudPaint will adhere to it by doing a small test area. Once you have a sanded and or primed the surface, make sure to clean it thoroughly with a wet rag or windex.  Make sure to remove any dust in cracks or on any part of the desk.  Dust will cause the paint to not adhere well to the surface.
    • Paint – Paint your first coat in your favorite color of clay-based MudPaint with a brush and work quickly because the paint dries fast. On desk legs, have your brush strokes go up and down with the legs.  Work quickly and move to the next area to avoid brush strokes. Once the paint from the first coat is applied give it time to dry before applying a second coat if needed.  Anywhere from 3 to 5 hours or more depending on the humidity in your area.  For a more distressed, aged and weathered look, paint any which way.

large desk painted with dark green clay furniture paint
  • Sand – Do a thorough sanding after the paint is completely dry.  We recommend the 320 Grit pad of our Rad Sanding Pad. Or in this phase, 220 grit followed by 320 grit.  This will really smooth out any imperfections created during the painting process. This is also a good time to distress the edges of the piece if you are going for a distressed look. Once the surface is completely sanded, clean the surface lightly with a wrung out wet rag.  You don’t  want the rag to be wet enough to start streaking the paint.  Wipe across the surface lightly to remove any dust.
  • Extra Durability – Since desks take so much wear and tear, we highly recommend 2-3 coats of our clear finish coat.  Just remember with the clear coat to let the paint cure for 24 hours before applying.  Also, we recommend waiting several hours between coats of clear coat. The clear coat is best applied with a brush, with smooth strokes all going the same directions.  Apply thin coats and avoid too many back and forth strokes over the same area or streaking can occur.  Allow the clear coat to settle to avoid brush marks.
    Or, if looking for a higher sheen with a touch more gloss, a coat of our Finishing Wax applied with our Wax Brush is a great option. (And click here for tips on how to clean your wax brush after use — they can last for years if cleaned well!)
large hutch painted with dark green clay furniture paint from MudPaint