How to UPCYCLE your VINTAGE writing table

How to upcycle your Vintage writing table? Well, with some tools and lots of imagination!

When I sold my writing table after graduating in Art History and finding a full time, office based job, I already had a clue, that this wasn’t going to last forever. Living without a proper writing table at home felt RIGHT BUT WEIRD at the same time. After five years now writing on the couch and the dining table, it’s been time to look for a proper SECRETARY – even more so with the birth of my blog baby last April. What a wonderful occasion to visit Vienna’s antique stores! At the Glasfabrik it was easy to delve into VINTAGE DREAMS. And – as I have often experienced it – I was ready to pay good money for a beautiful vintage table, but didn’t find any, that met all of my CRITERIA. My writing table was supposed to be big, black or dark brown and have loads of storage space. All the wooden princesses there were magnificent but were not really meeting my needs.

Make COCO proud – at MODEST costs

Instead I found a really cheap sleeping beauty at the Sale section: A beautiful, probably 40s or 50s desk with many drawers and some beautiful carvings for modest 150€. Its condition was not really glamorous, but rather ready for a GLAM MAKEOVER. I decided to stick to a Chanel style, color and design: Loads of black, a beige table cover plus golden details would make Coco proud!


  • Abrasive paper
  • Gold & black spray paint
  • Prime color for wood
  • Wood paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • 1 m of solid fabric for the desk’s cover (mine was fake leather)


Well, the not so glamorous part was the starting point: I needed to PREPARE the wood for the paint by sanding it with a lot of abrasive paper. That took quite some time, because there’s a lot of surfaces when it comes to vintage furniture.

The next (frustrating) STEP

The next step was another rather frustrating one: Before I could apply the final color, I had to cover the whole thing with the prime color for wood. In my case it was particularly annoying, since the prime color was white, whereas my final color was black. Anyhow it was worth the TIME AND PATIENCE, because the final piece looks much better and the paint is much more durable.

Anyhow, I didn’t cover all parts: I spray painted the carved parts directly with the final color, since too many layers would have filled the fine lines of the carving’s motive.

Applying that final LAYER

Now I finally began with the beautiful part: With the GOLDEN color I spray painted the metalwork, which was super easy!

And after that, it was the turn of the BLACK paint finally! I began with all edges and small parts and continued to cover the bigger surfaces. Unfortunately I needed about four layers to get an evenly black (no matter if it was the white prime color or the wooded brown – both needed layers and layers and layers …).


I guess, there used to be a green felt cover for the middle upper part. At the Glasfabrik a new fitting wooden but naked plate was inserted instead – a perfect serve for Do It Yourself nerds like me! I bought one meter of beige fake leather at Vienna’s Textilmüller and fixed it to the plate with simple office pins.

COCO would be PROUD

And that’s it! 200 €, five evenings and one cleaning session later my Vintage style writing table was finished and is now ready for my many upcoming projects.

And I can assure you, it’s not only my blog I’m gonna be writing for on that table. Stay tuned for my NEW ADVENTURES as a proud working mom – to be REVEALED very soon!

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(2) Comments

  1. Madame F says:

    Thank you for your compliments!

  2. Such an amazing post. Thanks for this great post, I find it very interesting and very well thought out and put together. I look forward to reading your work in the future 🙂

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