DIY Vintage Industrial Desk [Ikea Hack]

ikea hack industrial modern desk3

99.9% of the time I look for antique & vintage furniture to revive…but I’m certainly not opposed to reviving new pieces of furniture if they have the right “bones”.  I recently snagged this great writing desk at an estate sale…I knew it was a newer piece, but I didn’t find out it was actually made by Ikea until I was midway through painting, which turns this revival into an Ikea Hack!  Although I’m not always a fan of the super straight lines and assembly processes, Ikea does makes some wonderfully functional pieces of furniture.  Writing desks tend to be pretty simple & basic in style, so I knew I just wanted to give this desk an improved look.  I figured I’d go with a vintage/industrial metal type look to compliment the clean lines…

ikea hack-industrial-modern-desk

DIY Vintage Industrial Desk [Ikea Hack]


  • CeCe Caldwell’s All Natural Chalk + Clay Paint in Pittsburgh Gray & Beckley Coal
  • CeCe Caldwell’s Clear Wax
  • Paint Brush
  • lint-free cloth or wax brush (for applying wax)


I didn’t have a chance to snap a before photo of this desk, so I grabbed this one from Row House Nest, which looks exactly the same…

ikea-writing desk

To achieve the vintage dark metal look on this desk, I started by painting it with a solid coat of CeCe Caldwell’s Pittsburgh Gray.

After the first coat was dry to the touch, I lightly dry brushed CeCe Caldwell’s Beckly Coal on top, allowing some of the Pittsburgh Gray to show through…

About 30 minutes after applying the Beckly Coal it was pretty much dry to the touch.  I then used a 220 grit sanding block to lightly distress and blend the two colors.

Finally, I sealed the desk by buffing on a coat of clear wax!

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The dry brushing & sanding process gave the desk a perfectly distressed, pitted finish!

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Find more furniture flips here!

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