Rust-Oleum DIY Stained Wooden Desk


Article Posted By: Rust-Oleum

DIY Stained Wooden Desk

Stained Wooden Desk

Get prepared for the new school year with an organized study space. Complete with a gorgeous two-tone stained desk, this rustic-inspired space is both functional and easy on the eyes. Here’s how you can easily recreate this desk’s look with Varathane Wood Stain.

Supplies for Stained Desk Project


Step 1 – Drop Cloth

Study Space Drop Cloth
Always work in a well-ventilated area and use a drop cloth to protect your workspace from drips and spills.

Step 2 – Sand Desk

Sanded Desk for Staining
First, you’ll need to sand the entire desk. Start with the lowest grit sandpaper and work your way up through the 3 grit levels.

TIP: To ensure the stain penetrates into the wood properly, always sand in the direction of the wood grain.

Step 3 – Wipe Away Dust with Tack Cloth

Tack Cloth on Sanded Desk
After you’ve finished sanding the surface with each grit of sandpaper, wipe away the residual sanding dust with a tack cloth. The surface should be clear of any dust prior to sanding using the next level of sandpaper and before applying stain to the surface.

Step 4 – Apply Your First Stain (Red Top)

Applying First Stain to Desk

Working Desk Stain into Wood Grain
Stir your Varathane 3X Premium Wood Stain in Barn Red thoroughly with a stir stick. Using a clean lint-free cloth, liberally apply the stain onto the top of the desk. Work in manageable sections and always apply the stain in the direction of the wood grain.

TIP: Varathane Wood Stain does not require multiple coats to achieve color. Only one coat is necessary.

Step 5 – Wipe Away (Red)

Wiping Away Excess Desk Stain
Allow stain to sit on the surface for 3-5 minutes. Using a clean lint-free cloth, wipe away the excess stain from the surface.

Step 6 – Stain & Wipe Away (Gray Bottom)

Stained Desk in Red and Gray
Now you’re ready to apply stain to the bottom portion of the desk. Repeat steps four and five, this time applying your Carbon Gray stain to the legs of the table. Then, let the table dry completely for one hour before protecting with the Varathane Triple Thick Polyurethane.

Step 8 – Polyurethane Topcoat

Polyurethane Topcoat for Stained Desk

Applying Polyurethane Topcoat
Once the stain dries for one hour, stir your Varathane Triple Thick Polyurethane with a stir stick. Then, apply it with a high quality synthetic bristle brush in one smooth, even coat. Be sure to brush in the direction of the wood grain.

TIP: Varathane Triple Thick Polyurethane protects your surface in just one coat. No need to apply more than one, saving you valuable time. Avoid overloading brush when applying. A very thick coat is not necessary. The product will naturally build a thick finish.

Step 9 – Let Dry, Replace Drawers Etc.

Completed Stained Desk Drying
After you’ve applied your protective polyurethane topcoat, let the table dry completely for 48 hours. Once the desk is dry, replace the drawers and hardware. Now it’s time to hit the books!

Completed Stained Desk Closeup

To complete the organized study space, we added a DIY whiteboard made with Rust-Oleum Dry Erase Paint and Ultra Cover 2X Spray in Khaki, chalkboards made with Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Spray and Ultra Cover 2X Spray in Gloss Ivory. We also made a picture frame spray painted with Ultra Cover 2X Spray in Khaki. Rustic touches were added by hanging wire baskets and a cage light, both spray painted with Universal Aged Metallic Spray in a Rust finish.

Browse all Rust-Oleum products available at The Home Depot. Follow our Easy DIY Projects board on Pinterest for more DIY ideas.