How to Paint Antique Roll Top Desk

Mahogany Design Roll Top Desk

A new layer of color is a quick and low budget way to give the furniture a makeover. Some types of furniture, but such as an antique roll top desk, can be daunting. If you are not careful, the rollout involves the top problem of creating color drops, lumps or jams that can make the desk difficult to open. The difference between a shabby chic and lacquer can be a piece of paper.


Proper preparation color is absolutely necessary to succeed. Take all the hardware from your roll top desk, such as drawer pulls and knobs. Set them aside and save the screws. If your desk has previously been treated with paint, polyurethane, sealant or wax, use the appropriate stripper according to the manufacturer’s instructions to get down cleaning wood. Open the roll top and scale the inside of the desk as well as, if necessary.


A slightly uneven surface will help the paint better adhere to the surface, resulting in less of a chance that the paint will peel. Sand throws at the top with a fine-grained damp tie pad, which will bring in the ridges in the roll top better than a flat palm grinder. Use a palm sander to get the wide, flat areas, such as the sides or the top of the desk. Wipe the desk down with a tack cloth; be sure to insert the ridges into the roll top. Sand inside of desk as well.