How to Spray Paint a Desk

When it comes to spray painting your desk, or any other type of furniture, there are certain steps that should be taken to ensure that it doesn’t cause damage. In addition to this, there are steps and techniques involved that will ensure your spray paint furniture lasts for longer and looks great. 

So with no further ado, below, you can learn the step-by-step process involved with preparing your desk and spray painting furniture to achieve the best results. 

Preparing to Spray Paint Wood Furniture

  • Start by putting your furniture on a drop cloth to protect the floor and nearby items.
  • Make sure that you’re also in a well-ventilated area or outdoors. 
  • Use a vacuum to remove any dirt or debris from the desk.
  • Then, wipe clean the entire surface with a tack cloth.
  • Let the desk completely dry. 
  • Next, use a lint-free cloth to get rid of any residual dust or dirt. 
  • Check if your desk has any splinters or rough areas. If so, you’ll need to sand smooth the uneven surface to ensure that the paint can be spread evenly on the furniture piece.
  • If there are dents, use a wood filler with quick-drying properties. 
  • Once you’ve fixed any imperfections, apply painter’s tape to areas of the desk that you don’t want to be covered in paint. 
  • Using a primer is the next step in the process. 
  • Primer ensures that the spray paint you use on the surface spreads and sticks evenly to improve the end result. 
  • If you’re using spray paint that says it comes with primer in the mixture, it’s best to use a separate primer on the surface of your desk first. 
  • Applying light coats is best to ensure that the piece of furniture is smooth and even for the paint sprayer method that comes after.
  • Spraying in a continuous motion with a light coat going backwards and forwards is best to get even coverage. 
  • Make sure that the first coat dries completely before you add the next coat of primer. 
  • If there are any spots that you think you missed in the first run, don’t be tempted to spray the primer directly onto those areas. Instead, just let it dry completely and cover them when you apply the next coat. 
  • This can be time-consuming, however, it prevents you from spraying one area of the wood piece for too long and causing inconsistencies. 
  • You should also wear gloves to keep your hands protected.

How to Spray Paint Wood Furniture

When the primer has completely dried, it’s time to start spray painting your desk.

  • Make sure to use the same spraying method mentioned above when using your spray paint. Using a back-and-forth motion and covering the desk with light coats, one at a time will give you the best end result. 
  • With each coating you add, you can slightly overlap it with areas that didn’t get as much coverage.
  • The number of spray paint coats that you decide to add depends on how you want the desk to look. If you want it to look richer, adding around four coats should be enough. 
  • If you wanted a lighter touch of color, you can add fewer layers. 
  • The benefit of adding fewer lighter layers is that you can always go back and add more layers to increase the vibrancy and richness of the colors. 
  • Check your spray paint can to see how long the drying times are. 
  • Leave the desk to dry for that period of time before touching it or moving the desk. 

Also read: How to Get Sharpie off a Desk


That wraps up our post on how to best spray paint a desk. Hopefully, you’re feeling more confident about preparing and painting wood furniture with a professional finish. So, get set up and give it a go for yourself.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.