Roller Top Desk Restoration With Chalk Paint

This is a post about my first experience with Annie Sloan chalk paint, how easy I found using it and how I revived this old roller top desk with this amazing product.

before and after desk

There’s nothing greater than the satisfaction you can receive from turning something old, run down and out of date into a funky like-new piece of furniture. What better and easier way to do this than chalk paint…my new favourite craft item! It can make anything look awesome and it’s so easy to use.

chalk paint

I inherited this roller top desk from my parents who no longer had any use for it. Now looking at it you would think it’s so dated it would be so much easier to throw it out and buy a new one. But with a little love and elbow grease it has so much potential to be a funky retro, one off, functional piece of furniture.

I started googling how I could bring this piece back to life and I came across Annie Sloan chalk paint. I had heard of this product before but never had a chance to use it, and this was the perfect opportunity. Now came the hard job of picking a colour…there are so many great ones to choose from! I eventually settled on paris grey as it would be more versatile for future use (I was very tempted to do a bright loud colour). Now the fun could begin 🙂

taping before chalk paint


  • Taping before I started painting to stop the paint getting on the green laminate.


prepping desk



  • Removing the handles
  • Make sure you have a clean dry painting surface


One of the great perks of chalk paint is there is very little prep necessary as it paints on nearly any surface. So to start just make sure your surface is nice and clean and dry. With this desk I used painters masking tape to tape around the edges to keep the paint work neat as I planned to leave the green laminate. With all this sorted it was time to begin painting. The chalk paint went on nice and smooth and coated really well and is quick drying.

painting chalk paint

  • The chalk paint goes on nice and smooth…and my little helper 🙂

chalk paint helper










Once it was dry there were still patches not covered completely so a second coat was needed.

after first coat of chalk paint


  • As you can see after the first coat of chalk paint in was still quite patchy so I did a second coat.
  • Because it’s so quick drying you do not have to wait long 🙂



With the painting completed the next step was waxing. This was something that I was not familiar with and I got some very helpful hints and inspiration from The Thinking Closet on how to do this. Although it was tough work (built up the biceps) it really was worth it and finished the roller top desk off to be a funky retro piece.

Annie Sloan wax


  • Get a small amount of wax on your wax brush

Annie Sloan wax





  • Work the wax in by rubbing in an circular motion, getting right into the nooks and crannies. Apply the wax in a thin even layer.
  • Do a small area at a time work the wax right in and then wipe the excess off straight away. You really only need a small amount of wax…the less the better your end result will be.

chalk paint polished handles


  • I then used this orange oil to polish the handles, they came up really well a nice brassy/gold colour.
  • Once it was all waxed I put it all back together and I’m so pleased with the end result!!



chalk paint finished paris grey desk

finished chalk paint desk






So now I’m totally hooked! I have already painted multiple other things which I’ll share with you in future posts. It’s amazing how a little paint can bring something that some people may consider junk to life again and give it a new and improved look. So go on take the plunge and give it a go! You won’t be disappointed!

Stay hippy 🙂

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