Masculine Milk Paint Makeover

For the last several months, I’ve been on the lookout for an old dresser, desk, or cabinet, or anything similar that is about hip high.  Don’t ask me why I didn’t take a careful look around my own home, because I had the very thing I needed already – it was just buried under other junk in my outbuilding.  Let that be a lesson to me, to shop my own shed first, before shopping elsewhere.
I bought this old desk several years ago at a thrift store for $15.  I love the rope trim and the drawer pulls on it, and always intended to paint it, but I managed to bury it before that project ever happened.   One of the drawers had a broken piece, and several of the drawers were a little wonky, but I was pretty sure it was going to be exactly what I needed once it was prettied up.

I sanded the top, with the intention of staining it, but once I started painting the sides, I kept getting black paint back on the top.  I should have just sanded it again, but I decided not to and painted the top black as well.  Once it was dry, I would heavily distressed the top with my sander.

I used Old-Fashioned Milk Paint and it did exactly what we often hope milk paint will do…it chipped LIKE CRAZY.  I started to panic, because I wondered if there was going to be any paint left by the time it dried completely.  I added a second coat in some spots, but decided to just go with the chippy flow on most of the desk.

I did leave four of the drawer fronts unpainted.  I just sanded them down, intending to stain them.
I discovered the only wood stain I had on hand was super dark, and I wanted a lighter stain to contrast with the dark paint.  I didn’t want to make a trip into town for just a can of stain, but discovered we had a partial can of satin clear coat and decided to see risk it, and see what it would look like, instead of stain.   OH MY WORD!!!  It was like a wood miracle before my eyes.  That stuff brought out the natural, rich tones in the wood in the most gorgeous way, and it did a great job of sealing the rest of the desk.  I thought about painting the drawer pulls black, but decided to just use some steel wool to polish them up and create a little shine.
Since the bottom two drawers on both sides needed work to make them slide in and out properly, and one of them had a broken piece, I decided not to use them.  I removed the drawer brackets and created a shelf in that empty space instead.  The boards for the shelf  were cut from some old wooden bed side rails I had in my workshop.  I’ll be looking for some baskets to fit inside the shelves this week.

The reason I specifically needed to find a dresser or desk that was hip high, is that this desk is going to become the sink in our “men’s room”, which is why I gave it such a masculine look.  My husband will be cutting out the hole in the top for the cute little antique sink we bought last fall, and connecting the plumbing this week.

Finding the right base for the sink was the last of the bigger projects in this bathroom, and there are just a few finishing touches to complete to call it done.  I’m looking forward to sharing this little bathroom with you – hopefully in the next week or so.


Please know that Knick of Time uses affiliate links, including but not limited to Amazon to help keep this blog up and running.


  1. It looks great already! It will be amazing as a vanity!

  2. You made me laugh as I always find things in my stash that I also forgot that I had. The desk looks great and will be prefect for a sink. Can’t wait to see the whole look you created for the bathroom.
    Farmhouse hugs,

  3. Can’t wait to see this as a vanity – beautifully done Angie – very masculine – and perfect for a ” man sink ” lol

  4. oh – and
    ” manly yes, but I like it too! “

  5. Looks great Angie…my favorite thing about milk paint…the vintage look it gives!

  6. Looking forward to seeing that makeover into a sink, and I think Mr. Goldblum in some shades as he cuts out the hole is in order too.


  7. Angie, this desk is most wonderful! What a great job you did! 🙂

  8. This turned out so good. Can’t wait to see it used as a sink – awesome idea!! -Susie

  9. Looks amazing Angie. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us with the reveal!!!

    Great picture too!!


  10. This is gorgeous!! love the coloring/contrast of this piece for sure 🙂

  11. Granny Head says

    I have that same desk. My Dad gave it to me. He had it when I was born. I am 63 years old. Mine is all original.

  12. I absolutly love this, and i love how you turned it into a vanity, such a cool piece and so unique,
    i would love to feature it, if that would be ok please let me know,

  13. Wow!! It’s beautiful! Can’t wait to see the bath room!!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.