Quick & Easy School Desk Makeover
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Home Right
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Materials Needed: 
  • Semi-gloss Paint
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Sandpaper & Electric Sander
  • Finish Max Paint Sprayer
  • Large Spray Shelter
  • Simple green cleaner
  • chalk type paint (used as a primer)

Project Steps


With the school year already in full swing and homework a part of everyday life now, we found this vintage school desk on craigslist for $10 and thought this would be a quick and easy makeover. It might just be the motivation the kids need to get their homework done when they get home from school instead of right before bed each night. We decided to make the top of the desk a chalk board, so they could work out math problems or practice writing before they place it on the actual homework. 

Step 1

First step was to clean the dust and layers of dirt off with simple green. Then we sanded the desk with 80 grit, then 100 grit and finally with 120 grit all over the surface; luckily we had a mouse sander to help us with this step. We used a chalk paint primer so this wouldn't have been necessary, however there were all kinds of words and names engraved in the desk top and seat top that we didn't want to paint over. Sanding the surface until those disappeared and the rough surface was gone was the goal of this step. After sanding, we cleaned it again with simple green to get all the sawdust off the desk. 

Step 2

Next we painted the desk with chalk paint as a primer. We used a flat sheen paint (Valspar matched to DecoArt Serene color) mixed with BB Frosch chalk paint powder.  We sprayed two coats of this DIY chalk paint on all surfaces of the desk with the Finish Max Paint Sprayer, waiting about 30 minutes between coats. Once we were done with the DIY chalk paint we cleaned the Finish Max out using the Rapid Clean kit. Then we sprayed the school desk with two coats of semi-gloss paint in the same serene matched color using the Finish Max.  

Step 3

The last step we used the black paint that we had to paint the surface of the desk top black. We sprayed two coats onto the top surface only. Once that was completely dry we painted over it with the DecoArt chalkboard clear coat. We sprayed one coat up and down and one coat in the opposite direction per the instructions on the back of the bottle. We loved that we could use paint we already had to make this a chalkboard surface without having to buy the expensive chalkboard paint. This desk was a quick and easy project and will serve as a great place for the kids to complete their homework and also play school for a little pretend play on those rainy or snowy days. 

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