What Color Should I Paint My Desk?

It is possible to paint desks that are made of different materials, but some colors are more ideal than others. These choices should serve function first and then coordinate with the overall style of the room and home. Desks are generally reserved for work and are usually made of wood. But others may be made of metal. So, we have carefully researched which colors are best for your desk and home.

The best color for your desk should make it more comfortable to work on and agree with the interior design of your room. It is generally easier to work when you are calm, so colors that are more soothing and less distracting are helpful. Consider these colors for your desk:

  • White
  • Mahogany
  • Blue or green
  • Black
  • Colorless finish

It is important to select the right desk color that will coordinate with the rest of the home. But it may be even more challenging to choose colors for a work desk. A good workspace improves output. Keep reading to learn how to work with wood desks and which colors might improve focus or creativity while supporting the interior design.

black wood desk with small wooden airplane figurine, computer mouse, keyboard, and monitor. What Color Should I Paint My Desk

What is the most popular color for painted furniture?

White is the most commonly used color when furniture is painted. That is because white is a pure neutral that reflects all colors. This allows white furniture to blend in with any nearby style or color. It also creates a high temperature that is frequently used to brighten the room.

This warm temperature can make a white work desk appear happier and larger. Brighter colors are often considered more cheerful, and larger spaces will often feel more comfortable. You can read the post "How Deep Should A Desk Be?" to learn about the ideal size of your desk.

Modern workplace with laptop at home in front of white brick wall. What Color Should I Paint My Desk

You should also consider that because white reflects all colors, a white work desk might be less likely to cause distraction. There are no details to notice and linger on. For example, darker colors and black are more likely to show minor damage that could become distracting.

Additionally, white can often be associated with a blank canvas for painting, sketching, or writing. So, a white work desk could potentially inspire creative fields. Because white invites all colors, it also invites all ideas.

What colors help you focus?

Home office with mahogany desk and leather chair

It is commonly accepted that red is one of the most popular colors to improve focus. Specialists such as ScienceDaily have reported studies conducted by universities that agree that red can increase work output. However, this was mainly attributed to work that involved detail-oriented exercises. In other words, a red work desk can improve focus during non-creative tasks.

Red is a primary color, which may be considered too bright or bold for a desk. A work desk that is painted pure red is unlikely to fit with most interior designs. It can potentially be used as the highlight of a modern style. Red desks may also fit in with arts and crafts designs.

Instead, you can use a mahogany wood desk. That is because mahogany can provide natural tones of red. Because it is wooden, the red will not feel out of place. Mahogany desks often have undertones of brown, which soften the impact of the color red. Also, these wood desks are often darker; because darker colors recede, the mahogany desk is more likely to blend in with the room.

Red-colored Woods, Similar to Mahogany

Mahogany can sometimes provide too much of the color red or seem too dark. You can also use other naturally red wood species. This includes cherry wood or red oak.

Either species is available in multiple shades that are lighter or darker. Both of them will retain some red tones. Also, because mahogany frequently has brown undertones, you can search for wooden desks with equally dark brown tones.

What is the most calming color for an office?

calming color for an office, green office concept

The color blue will create a peaceful environment. This is an essential attribute for increased work output. Calm colors like blue are often suggested to promote clear thinking and increase creativity.

Blue is a versatile color that can function with very bright shades without losing its naturally cool temperature. This makes blue an ideal color for your work desk. That is particularly true if you work in a creative field. The flexibility of the color blue is also useful for interior design.

Green is similarly effective because it invokes the imagery of nature. It is mainly associated with plant life and freshness. The color green has been reportedly easier to detect.

Because there is less stress on the eye to look at green shades, a green desk may be easier to work on. But green is not as flexible as blue. Although it can also be used with darker shades, it is a unique tone that stands out and may not agree with most interior designs.

What colors go well with a wood desk?

Ideal colors for a wooden desk will either help to reinforce or soften the wood appearance. The visual noise of the streaks and knots may sometimes seem too distracting. Other times, wood can be used to include and balance out bolder colors such as red.


black wood desk with computer set on top

A black desk is useful when it is necessary to erase the appearance of nature on a wooden desk. This is often applied for stylistic purposes, as in minimalist and modern interior designs.

Black is a neutral that has the same flexibility as white but a colder temperature. The cool temperature of a black desk can potentially calm down the room, compared to the excitement in brighter colors.

Colorless Finish

It is possible to purchase a transparent, colorless wood finish that will allow your wood desk to display its natural color. Wood is usually brown, which is a flexible, near neutral. Brown may be relaxing because it is warm and does not have true color. But unlike white or black, a brown desk would neither be too cold nor too bright.

A colorless finish would also provide the freedom to use wood species with unusual colors, like cherry red, without feeling too out of place in the room. Because a wood desk looks natural, so does the color.

Similarly, neutral gray becomes available this way. A gray desk would feel too mechanical and boring, which is likely to stifle work. But wood with gray tones can open up the room to new design possibilities without feeling dull.

How do you paint wood furniture a different color?

There are two important steps you should follow to prepare the wooden furniture when you plan on painting it yourself. This will make it easier to create a lasting coat of paint and protect your furniture. It is also crucial to apply the paint itself correctly and safely.

Step One - Smooth and Clean Surface

The existing paint and wood finish needs to be removed. First, you may need to use a scraper tool to remove peeling paint and other damage. You can remove the previous paint or finish by using commercial finish strippers. You can read the post "How To Remove Paint And Stain From Wood" for more details on the complete process.

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Then, you can use sandpaper to even out the surface of the furniture. Sandpaper is available in different levels of strength, determined by grit numbers. A low grit sandpaper is rougher, a high grit sandpaper is finer.

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Once the old paint and finish are removed, you can fill in any minor damage with wood filler. This will harden and support the wood's durability. Wood filler may need to be sanded down too.

Step Two - Prime and Paint

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Apply primer to the wood furniture by brushing in the direction of the grain. Primer is a bonding agent that will make it easier for the new paint to stick to the wood. It can also add durability to the paint. Wait for the primer to dry, and add additional coats until smooth.

Next, consider your workspace before painting. It should be well ventilated so that you do not inhale volatile organic compounds from certain kinds of paint. This also prevents lingering smells.

Now evenly distribute the paint. Consider that rollers and brushes may not result in an equal distribution of the paint. Additional coats of paint may be necessary to even them out. But paint rollers can save time for larger wood surfaces.


Painting a desk can be an important step in coordinating your interior design or even improving your work output. Certain colors will have different advantages, serving either function or style. You can now select the ideal desk color that will agree with your personal preferences and work. Afterward, you are also equipped to apply the selected paint yourself.

One comment

  1. Desk colors can make or break your mood and productivity, so it’s important to choose a hue that works for you. I always wanted a Desk that will boost my energy and creativity, so i tried a bright Desk color like yellow or orange.

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