How to Stain Home Office Desks

A wood desk.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Wood stain
Polyurethane sealant
Natural bristle brush
Paint stirrers
Shop vacuum

Home office desks provide you with a convenient work area to conduct your business affairs. You may choose to make changes to the look of the desk by refinishing and staining it to suit the look of your office or the needs of your business. This requires some effort on your part to strip, sand, and restain the desk with a color of your choice.

Step 1 - Prepare the Desk

Empty any files and other materials in the desk. Remove all of the drawers and any hardware with a screwdriver. Move the desk into a work area that is well-ventilated and large enough to allow you to move completely around the desk. You will want to work on the body of the desk first and then move to the middle and side drawers.

Step 2 - Sand and Strip the Desk

Use light sandpaper to remove the old stain or paint from the desk and accompanying drawers. You may also use a commercial stripping agent, provided that it does not cause damage to the desk surface. Work carefully to remove the old paint and stain from the surface areas of the desk and drawer.

Next, use the shop vacuum to sweep up any paint or stain particles that have come loose so that they are not reincorporated into the new finish.

Step 3 - Prepare the Stain

Open the can of stain that you will use to refinish the desk and mix well. Select a stain color that matches your desired décor for your home office or the image that you want to project for your business.

Step 4 - Apply the First Coat of Stain

Place a rag into the stain. A rag is better than a brush because it reduces streaks. Apply the stain to the desk surface first, using moderate pressure. Use light strokes in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Repeat this process until you have covered the entire desk, and move to the legs and drawers.

As you apply the stain, ensure that the color matches your expectations. If not, immediately discontinue its use and select a different stain color.

Step 5 - Let Dry and Apply Second Coat of Stain

Let the stain dry before applying the second coat in the same manner as the first. When the second coat dries, use a natural bristle brush to apply a coat of polyurethane sealant to the desk. The sealant is used to protect the wood and lock in the stain. This is the final step to the staining process. Allow the stain and sealant to completely dry before installing the drawers and hardware.