If you follow our Facebook page you heard a month ago about a wonderful consignment sale find – a vintage school desk! It brought floods of school memories for me, and it was a perfect size for my preschooler. But it was peeling and drab. It needed a makeover. Many of you wonderful friends and readers sent me tips for how I could renovate it. The following is how I finally decided to do it!
Step 1: I used some mild soap and water to clean the desk of debris.
Step 2: I used a very heavy duty paint stripper. I used one pair of paint tripping gloves at first and could feel some burning on my hands! After that I double gloved myself and took care not to get any on my exposed skin. Using goggles is also really important as getting paint stripper in your eyes can cause blindness.
(I originally planned to use the original metal of the desk, but the stripper revealed MANY coats of paint on it and and some rust. So instead I decided to prime & paint it.)
Step 3: I covered the wooden seat and desktop with newspaper and painters tape. I gave the bare metal a once over with sandpaper to make sure it was smooth. Then I covered everything that I didn’t want to get primer or paint on. I used Rustoleum primer. Then I used the same brands oil based spray paint in pink!
Step 4: I sanded and then stained the school desk seat, and then varnished it. The top of the desk was not a nice wood, but a cheaper formica. So I thought about using blackboard paint as some of you suggested, but visions of chalk dusk in our playroom filled my head. So instead I opted for white erase board paint! Word of advice- it must be mixed very well as it comes in two parts. Ask the paint dept in the Home depot or Lowes that you buy it in- to mix it for you in the paint machine! Let it cure for 3 days…and wallah! Erase board!
This is the desk as it sits now in our playroom… I just love it! And I know my daughter will enjoy having a place to sit and read or do schoolwork in that is just hers! At the last minute I decided to add an initial monogram to the back of the chair with leftover acrylic paint I had. It’s finished!
Do you remember sitting at desks like this too?