I've acquired an old wooden desk that is just varnished wood. I would like to paint it but with the rubberised feel I have seen applied to some metals. I'm not sure if this paint exists for wood, but maybe it's possible to mix it manually? I've seen rubberised paint advertised for industrial uses like railings etc
I would prime the desk and then coat it with Redgard. Sand after your prime. Put the Redgard down in thin coats with a foam roller and it will turn out very smooth. After 2 days it stiffens and will become very durable (and waterproof).
You can use truck bed liner, have it applied by a shop that can adjust the texture for you. There are two kinds of applications, hot and cold. From what I understand, cold can allow for smoother coats, as it takes longer to set.
I'm sure you could do it yourself, but I've seen so many botched jobs. If you do pursue that route, take a look at Raptor liner.
You could also try Plasti-Dip!
They sell spray-on-rubber-in-a-can now:
Check that it adheres to wood first, but if it's primed properly, it should.