Desk Makeover!

19 September 2013
This year, I got a sturdy desk.  My old one was probably from the early 60's and barely opened.  This one was not new, but it worked well.   Since, I had already planned on buying my own desk to match my classroom, I asked my custodian if I could paint this one black instead.  He said I could!

First, I searched on Pinterest for "How to Paint Laminate Furniture" and I found this pin: 

I followed the pin to the source (LiveLoveDIY) and followed her directions and bought the paint she recommended. 

I ordered Zinsser Primer, Rust-Oleum Semi-Gloss Black Paint (get two pints), Minwax Protective Finish, latex gloves, and a furniture paint roller.

Here are some visuals of the steps.  The spilled primer actually worked out fine, I just had to wear latex gloves.
The desk only required one coat of primer.  I even primed the metal legs and draw handles because: 1. I was too impatient to cover those with painters' tape and 2. I did not have painters' tape.

The black paint required a few coats with the roller to cover it well.  I tried to go in one direction and then the other so it would not look streaky.

I ended up taking off the latex gloves because my hands were sweating.  Then, I ended up with paint all over my hands.   I am not a very neat crafter.

I ran out of black paint since I had only purchased 1 pint.   It needed just a bit more.  Since, I was pressed for time, I quickly went over the top with black spray paint.  I DO NOT recommend doing that, I think it may even be illegal to use spray paint indoors; not sure...but I don't want anyone getting hurt or sueing me.  I thought about skipping mentioning the spray paint, but I don't lie and I wanted you all to know how I really did the desk.  Please note, I had all the fans on and windows open and I closed my door.  I was able to safely take the draws outside to finish them up with the spray paint.  

After all the paint dried, I applied a clear finish to the top of the desk to seal it.

Since this desk lacked draws on the left side, I added a little rolling cart.  I modge-podged the cart with polka dot paper.  (On top of the cart, in the polka dot envelope, is my "Go Kit" for emergencies.)  To read how I made these drawers, go to this post.

I also wanted my new desk to be clutter free, so I made these organizers.  Click the picture below for the post on how I made them. 
Many of my facebook fans suggested I paint my desk to jazz it up and I thank all of you for your suggestions.  One fan suggested that I add frames to the front with magnets and put students work in it.  Instead of adding their work, I put some little signs in that I made.  First, I made the frames by spray painting wood frames from Michael's.  For more on how to paint the frames, click here.  
Then I printed the signs at a reduced size, trimmed them, laminated them, and hot glued them to the frames.   I hot glued magnets to the back of the frames, so that they would stick to my desk. 
To snag the signs for FREE, follow my blog and click any of the images below.  I have to thank my friend, Deanna, for introducing me to the saying "You're not the boss of the applesauce."  I say it all the time!!!  The little person print is me and I really don't think you want me on your desk, so I did not include it.  I had ordered a personalized Melonheadz graphic a while back.  I love it!!!  Also, my watermark won't be on the images when you download them.  I just added it for Pinterest purposes.
To print these at a smaller scale to fit your frames, read this post

For more awesome classroom decor signs, check out Hope King's Desire to Inspire packets.  I used one of her signs to replace my diet Pepsi sign.  I quit soda for good :)

In addition to a desk redo, I recovered this chair with the help of my classroom aide.  I actually did not end up keeping it at my desk.  I brought in a leather desk chair from home that no longer matched my office decor.   This desk is actually great for my classroom aide because she can easily move it around to be next to whoever needs help.  

I hope you enjoyed this post.  I love the way my desk came out and I hope you do, too.  I feel like I keep it neater now because I worked so hard on it and I want it to stay looking nice! 


  1. LOVE it soooo much!!!!! You crack me up with your painters tape comments! HAHA

  2. Love the new look! The organizers and picture frames are amazing and adorable!

  3. WOW!!!!! What a makeover! That is so stylish and cute and most of all....NEAT and TIDY! I would be embarrassed to show you my desk!
    How adorable! BIG plans to get organized by END OF SEPTEMBER! Have your adorable mini drawer labels printed and laminated and ready to go! ;0)

    Question???? How do you get the "smiley face" or other icon to block your kiddos faces?
    Thanks so much,
    Happy Friday hugs to you!

    1. I added clip art over a picture and then took a screen shot.

  4. The desk makeover looks fabulous. I love the new look.

  5. That desk looks FABULOUS!!!! I had no idea that laminate could be painted.

    Granny Goes to School

  6. Maybe a little picture of you on my desk would be inspirational! :)

  7. Wow I love it all! Does your desk stay tidy? I need to know how to do that!!! I have 2 desks! One is a dumping ground and the other I work at in the classroom with my computer and whiteboard. It gets so cluttered too! I just dont know what else to do. I end up with so many piles of stuff!!! Any ideas?
    Again, love the desk and your ideas!

  8. Love your desk makeover! Looks great.

    By the way, what does "you're not the boss of the applesauce" mean? It's not an expression I've heard in KY.

  9. Love your desk makeover! Looks great.

    By the way, what does "you're not the boss of the applesauce" mean? It's not an expression I've heard in KY.

  10. Wow your transformation on this desk is just fantastic. I am so impressed. Very lovely!

    Grace Crawford OnlyCubes Light Cubes

  11. How long did this desk project take? How long did it take for the paint to dry? Were you able to finish everything in one day?

  12. How did the paint on the laminate hold up? I'm thinking about doing this, but I'm worried it will scratch....

  13. How did the paint hold up on the laminate? I'm worried that it will scratch, but I was prepared to buy a brand new desk. Do you think I should go new or try this out? Thanks!


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