Upcycle a Plastic Folding Table Into a Chic Desk


If you find yourself in need of a little extra elbow room and don’t have it in the budget to go out and buy a new desk, fear not. A simple and inexpensive plastic folding table can easily be dressed up to look the part of a chic, modern, minimalist writing desk.


Prep The Surface

The first step before any painting project? A little bit of elbow grease for a solid scrubbing. Paint sticks to a clean surface, not a dirty one.



After cleaning, priming. Primer is SO important, especially when you’re talking about plastic and metal. There’s nothing worse than putting in the work on a project only to watch the paint flake off at the least little bump a few days later.

Pro Tip

Apply all primer and paint in thin, even coats.


Paint The Stool Seat

Next up, I painted my trusty little stool with a semi-gloss white spray paint and once it dried, I prepped it for copper treatment on the legs. I used some plastic wrap and painter’s tape to protect the clean white paint on the seat and then got ready to pull out the spray paint.


Accept the Unexpected

Sometimes, conditions just aren’t ideal for spray painting. The bubbling seen here is a result of trying to paint in a garage that was too cold. Back to the drawing board.


Apply Liquid Gilding To Table Legs

Once I had my table spray painted in the same semi-gloss white and had given it a day to dry, I moved it upstairs and got ready to tackle the legs. After the debacle with copper spray paint, I decided to go with liquid gilding instead.


Apply A Second Coat Of Gilding

I used a small soft brush to avoid harsh brush strokes.

Pro Tip

Gilding is smelly stuff, so if you’re using it, open the windows and wear a mask to avoid a paint fume headache.


Allow To Dry Fully

Since this desk will only be used lightly, I decided not to apply a clear coat to seal it. If, however, I start to see wear and tear, I’ll make a few touch ups and then spray on a clear coat.

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