Whether you have inherited someone else’s office, moved into a dorm room, or found a fantastic deal on home office furniture, used desks are rarely attractive and will probably not fit into your design plan. However, the price is right and in most cases, using a pre-owned desk is a great way to work within your budget without having to make too many sacrifices. Before you begin revamping a used desk, be sure that you can do so without incurring any penalties. Once you have the green light, consider these ideas to turn boring used desks into a fantastically personal piece of furniture.

For anyone who is looking to overhaul used desks, a can of paint is your new best friend. Whether you choose to brush, roll, or spray, a fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference. Consider using unique designs to create a stylish look or using clever paint finishes and faux treatments. For example, turn that monolithic wooden desk into a mock rock using finish techniques that mimic the look of granite or marble. Make a perfect preppy place with a desk that incorporates stripes and polka dots on the surfaces of the desk drawers. Create a worn, old fashioned look that fits into the hot trend of cottage chic by creating glazes and prematurely aging the finish with a piece of sand paper. You will be amazed at the transformation used desks can undergo with a simple coat of paint.

If your used desks are made of wood, consider stripping the finish and staining for a natural look. This option is popular with anyone who loves the warm, rich look of wood but whose budget limits them to sturdy pieces in less that beautiful shape. Also, if you are tired of the color of a certain desk, strip it and change it! Morph your pitiful pine desk into a chic cherry or that monotonous maple into a perky poplar. The options are up to you! Another fun finish with stain is to choose a colored stain, which allows you to change the color of your used desks while still showing off the wood grain.

Consider small touches for updating used desks, such as changing the hardware. You will be surprised what a swapping of cabinet knobs and drawer pulls can do for an outdated, out of luck desk. This transformation requires nothing more than a screwdriver, so you can avoid the mess of stripping, staining, or painting or pre-owned desk. Also, consider using decorative accents to create a unique look for your desk that is truly one of a kind. This is a fantastic way to turn boring used desks into veritable pieces of art.

For those crafty types, use your favorite craft technique to update used desks. These include crating mosaics, painting murals, stenciling, stamping, and even decoupage. A quick trip to your local craft store should get the creative juices flowing and find enough materials you need to tackle those used desks.