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Hello fellow members, I am a newbie to woodworking. I have an old computer desk I’d like to restore, and would appreciate any help on the correct way of doing so. It’s a black desk - I’m not sure if I have to sand it first then repaint? Or can I just repaint the surface in black? Please see the attached image and let me know what your recommendations are. Thank you.
 

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welcome to the forum, Randy.

you don't "restore" MDF or Particle Board - you sand, prime and paint
and call it a day.
the raw wood will soak up the paint like a sponge if you don't seal/prime first.

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Hey John, thank you for your response. Would I need to sand the entire surface before priming and repainting? Or just the areas that have peeled away?
 

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honestly, I have never re-painted a MDF or Fiberboard project.
what paint are you going to use ?? rattle can, brush/roller or HVLP spray ?
each brand of paint carries its own set of preparation procedures.
just follow the directions on the product you use.

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I don't touch MDF or Fiberboard projects, but if I did in this case sand with 220 grit to allow for adhesive and then paint it.
 

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It looks like so much is pocked, you might as well sand and prime the whole thing. I'd guess that even after priming, those pock marks will show through. I think I'd prime, fill, prime again and then paint.
 

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Sand the top down to bare particle board and then apply a plastic laminate surface. It will be very durable and make a much better desk surface. By the time you sand, prime, and re-paint, you will have spent more time and not much less money and the end result will not be as good. Any extra you spend on materials will be well spent.
 
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