Navy Blue Executive Desk with Gold Accents

executive desk transformation

Way back in January, a friend sold me this desk.  She was re-arranging her space, and no longer had room for it.  It being a higher end piece, I thought I could perhaps turn around and sell it as-is for a quick profit. 

Since it’s now May and you can tell by the title of this post that I painted it, it’s obvious that didn’t happen.  I think I severely underestimated the aversion people have to this particular shade of oak these days.

executive desk before

I turned to social media to ask, “Should I really paint this oak that is in perfect condition?”  I thought there would be some defenders of the natural wood.  But no.  Virtually everyone agreed it should be painted.  Ugh!  This was no small undertaking. 

I was daunted.  So I procrastinated.  Until finally five months later I worked up my courage, and got started on it.  I chose Dixie Belle Bunker Hill Blue, with gold gilding wax applied to the existing hardware.

executive desk in process


There were lots of hardware, door hinges and glass to disassemble.  I gave the whole thing a wipe down with a damp shop towel, and then I painted one coat of navy over everything.  The coverage was really good, as it usually is with Dixie Belle’s darker colors.  I touched up a few areas, and I was ready to seal. 

This paint doesn’t require a sealer, but the dark colors do tend to fingerprint very easily without one.  I used Dixie Belle Satin Clear Coat, and applied it with a combination of their blue sponge (for the tops) and a sponge brush.  It has a pretty long working time, so you can keep smoothing any pooled or streaky areas until you are content with it.  It also has a bit of a blue cast to it until it dries, which makes it easier to tell where and how you’ve applied it.

executive desk transformation

Isn’t that color something?  So saturated and rich!  When it came to getting this desk reassembled and out to my driveway where I normally stage my furniture, it was a struggle. 

The base piece must weigh at least 200 pounds, and it was teetering on the very edge of what my husband and I could move just the two of us.  Luckily, we have two kids!!!  I was actually scared to press them into service, picturing one of them crushed under this massive piece, but I didn’t have a lot of options, so we gave them the safety talk, said a quick prayer and plunged onward.  Success!  They were actually a big help.

I have a small cabinet of items I’ve bought just for staging, but for the most part, I just shop my house for whatever I think will work.  I absolutely love the pop of that white medallion against the navy! 

executive desk after top door open

I didn’t paint a few concealed areas, mostly because I thought it would be easier to see inside a cabinet that wasn’t completely dark.

executive desk chair after

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And one more time, here is the transformation from an objectionable shade of oak to updated and modern navy blue with gold accents.

executive desk before & after

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