This desk came to me with a brown painted finish with a fair amount of paint loss and the usual dings around the base. I thoroughly sanded the desk, applied a coat of General Finishes Java Gel to the top, then used High Performance Top Coat for a durable finish.
I decided to putty the pull holes and update the Colonial/Early American hardware with ceramic floral knobs for a more modern feel. After priming I painted the desk with Sherwin Williams Solo paint in Utterly Beige.
I debated sanding and refinishing the chair I bought with the desk. The wood was in good shape and the back had some interesting grain and age to it. In the end, I thought Lamp Black would be a nice compliment to the desk without being too "matchy matchy." Like the desk, it too received a couple of coats of General Finish HPTC.