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Paint a Desktop

Add interest to a desktop by painting a stripes-and-leaves design.

Desktop closeup

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

Few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Pencil
  • Paintbrushes
  • Crafts knife or scissors
  • 4-in paint roller


  • Optix 4-ft x 2-ft clear acrylic sheet, #11220
  • Plaskolite plastic-cutting tool, #163055
  • 1-in painter's tape, #63186
  • Lexan silicone sealant, #239983

Valspar Signature satin finish paint:

  • Gecko, #CI 236
  • Lazy Days, #CI 247
  • Reflection Pool, #CI 19
  • Pueblo Dust, #CI 108
  • String of Pearls, #CI 198

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online

Project Resources


Step 1

Download our desktop diagram and stencils. Print out two copies of the stencils (one as a backup), have them laminated at a print shop, and cut out the leaf patterns.

Step 2

Using a 4-in paint roller, paint your desktop white. (See the full list of colors used for this project in the Materials List above.) Let dry.

Step 3

Mask and paint a series of stripes using our diagram as a guide. Note: Our stripe widths are based on a 48-in-wide desk. Adjust to fit the size of your desktop.

Step 4

Use our stencils to paint leaves on your desktop where shown on the diagram. Let dry. Mask, then paint branches in between the sets of leaves. Near the bottom tips of each pair of leaves, add dabs of paint on the branches (roughly 3-1/4-in apart). Let dry.

Step 5

Painted desk

Cover your desktop with a clear acrylic sheet, and trim it to fit with a plastic-cutting tool. Apply a dab of silicone sealant to each corner of the sheet, then adhere it to your desktop.