My husband picked up this super ugly desk at a thrift store. We got it for a good price because the top of it was a cheap PINK laminate. Yeah- not too many takers on that one. The good think about this desk is that the wood part of it was actual REAL wood- not laminate. (It also made this super heavy!)
The hardest part on this desk was the laminate top. I wasn’t sure how any sort of paint would take to it. I tried to lightly sand it in one spot, but the sanding showed through the paint so DON’T do what I did! I used a spray paint made specifically for plastic, which overall worked well. There were just a couple tiny spots where the paint wouldn’t stick to the laminate. Since this desk was going to be a work station for my husband and covered with stuff anyways, I wasn’t too worried. I hit it with a couple of thick layers of polyurethane to make sure the paint wouldn’t scrape off. In hindsight, refinishing a surface like this would be best if wiped with acetone, then with a clean wet rag, dried, and treated with the laminate countertop paint you can get a home repair stores. That sort of paint is made to cover laminate and would be your best bet for a nice finish.
The wood on the desk wasn’t bad, but was a little light for our preference. I lightly sanded it all around, then applied a darker stain. The darker stain really brought out the natural grains in the wood. Since the stain on the wood had a sealer in it, I didn’t have to do anything to it after applying the stain.
The “after” results are so much more appealing than the “before!” and my husband loves it. :)