Monday 5 September 2011

School Desk Turns Retro

A few weeks back, I stopped at a garage sale just out of town and found this...

An old school desk that had definitely seen better days and had plenty of rusty spots.

Apparently Levi used her for a while.
I thought $5 was a good price and happily handed over the money and brought her home.

The poor girl (not sure why she's a girl, but she is...just so you know) sat outside in the wind, rain and hail for longer than I care to admit, but I needed time to come up with something just right for her.
I thought about a nice dovey grey with black trim because I knew that would blend nicely with the color scheme we've chosen for our house. That is, until I remembered this cake...

Normally I wouldn't put cakes and school desks together in the same train of thought, but I really loved the turquoise and red color combination, not to mention the cute little cherries!
So...after lots of thought, a bit of dreaming, and some elbow grease and paint supplies...little Levi's desk has blossomed into this...

I love it so much, I wish I could sit in it!!
Blogging would be so fun in that!
Even paying bills would be fun in that!
Okay, maybe that's pushing it a little too far.

Here are some pics of the transformation...

What??! You don't paint on top of your fire pit?!
Apparently hubby wasn't too impressed with the leftover spray paint on the lawn (aka clover/dandelion patch) from my other projects, so he set up some 2x4's and asked if I could kindly spray paint there instead. (We're not planning on keeping the pit.)
So first I took all the wood pieces off, sanded everything down, then gave it all a good coat of spray primer.
At first I had planned to use leftover Ben Moore Turquoise Haze, but Krylon's Blue Ocean Breeze spray paint was just too handy and such a beautiful after the primer dried, I applied two coats of paint.
I'm really loving this yummy color!

Our little missy is starting to recognize her letters and numbers now, so I thought it would be fun to turn the desk top into a chalkboard with painted numbers and letters around the edges.
I used brush-on chalkboard paint for this, but learned the hard way that I should have used a sponge brush for the applications rather than a regular brush! Duh!
As a result, there's a little more "texture" to this chalkboard than I'd like.
I bought a couple sheet of number and letter stickers from the dollar store and laid them out in a pattern I liked on the desk top...

...then traced around everything with a pencil...

I used a paint pen to fill in the letters and numbers. I'd never used one before and now I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them. I love them when they work properly, but hate them when the paint decides to blob out where it isn't supposed to! Ooops! That's when touch up paint comes in really handy. 
I do, however, really like the shiny finish the paint pen gives.

I wanted to paint cherries on the desk, but I didn't really trust my own drawing skills so I snooped around the dollar store to see what I could find that might be traceable. Nothing, nada.
I tried the scrapbooking store next, but they didn't have much either. After describing what I wanted, the salesgirl came up with this cutout using the Cricut. Just perfect!
I traced around it and filled in the cherries, stems and leaves with acrylic craft paint.
Don't look too closely though...I am not an artist!!

Eeeee! I love it!
The kiddies were really chomping at the bit to try it out for size and break in that chalkboard!

Love those grubby little hand prints!

It's been years since I've refinished furniture, but I have to say this was pretty fun for easing back into it! Until the next project though...we're gonna spend lots of time learning those numbers and letters and drawing circles and hearts and anything else we can think of!

By the way, I'm dedicating this post to my sis-in-law, who's been a Kindergarten teacher for the past several years. This is just my humble opinion - but I think anyone who chooses to teach a class of hyper 5 yr. olds  deserves to be knighted by the Queen!


Linking up to:


Weekend Bloggy Reading

To see other great parties I'm linking up to, please click HERE!


  1. Oh my gosh that is PRECIOUS! I love it!!! So cute, you really did a great job!

  2. Love the desk. Just lovely!

    Thanks so much for sharing.


  3. That is the cutest thing! I love the color and the cherries.

  4. Wow - seriously - that's amazing. What a darling little table that turned into!!

  5. Ahhhh, I DIE! That is too stinkin' cute. I love those colors together. Four thumbs up! :o)

  6. I am in love with this desk! The chalkboard top is perfect and the colors are so lovely! I loved it so much I featured it today!

  7. I'm your newest follower, too!


  8. Ack! This is so darn cute I can't take it! Great job.

  9. Inspiring.
    I have had my eye on one of these on ebay for a similar redo.
    I love these in a kid's bedroom, especially where space is an issue.

    ~ Meredith From A Mother Seeking

    A Mother Seeking...

    This week, "When Life Hands You Lemons..."

  10. I saw this on your facebook page. CUTEST THING EVER!!!! Such fun little touches-they definitely need an adult size! Thanks so much for linking up to
    The Creative Spark. Have a wonderful week!

  11. Oh my how DARLING!! Would LOVE it if you would link this project up at my turquoise lovin' party going on right now!!

  12. wow! That turned out awesome!!

  13. seriously cute!!! thanks for sharing:)
    have a good day:)

  14. Wow - it turned out so cute. I love turquoise and cherry red together. So vintage! I would love for you to share this project on my Inspiration Board {link party}. I know my readers would really enjoy it.
    Hope to see you there.
    carolyn | homework

  15. Love it! And thinking about the cake and the are an artist!!

  16. Oh my goodness. Words can't express how much I adore this little desk. You did an excellent job giving it life AND making it perfect to use again. I am on the look out for a piece like this. Wish me luck. :) I would love to have you join my link party, Show & Share!

  17. Love this!! I want to do one some day!

  18. That is so lovely! I seriously love it!!!

  19. That is so awesome! I love your work! The cherries, the blue, the chalkboard, the's perfection!

    link up every weekend at scrappy saturdays @

  20. Oh my goodness that little desk is cute, cute, cute!! You did an amazing job on the transformation. It's one of my favorite desk makeovers by far!

  21. So darling. Those cherries put it in the over-the-top-cute category!

  22. How absolutely wonderful is this?! Every detail is just perfect. What a fantastic transformation. Thanks for sharing at this week's BFF Open House!

  23. Beyond lovely! Does it make me old that I remember sitting in one of these?

  24. Oh, this is adorable! You did a great job. I love that blue, it makes the cherries really pop.

  25. Evie, I love your sweet school desk. It looks like that chalkboard is going to get lots of use ;0)

    Have a super weekend! Happy to be your newest follower!

  26. I would go back to first grade for this's so happy!


  27. So cute! I love love love the cherries!

  28. You've been featured! Stop by and grab a button if you'd like! :)

  29. this is fantastic! i re-did an old school desk like this a little while ago. i like yours so much better! of course.
    i would love for you to link this up to flashback fridays! flashback fridays is a place for bloggers to share vintage, retro, old posts, anything that comes to mind with the word flashback!

    you can check it out here:

    the party will be open til thursday, so come join in!
    {love} lauryn @

  30. I do believe that is the cutest desk ever. I will be featuring it tonight. Thanks so much for sharing it at Wow.

  31. Wow, such a great job! I will be featuring you this week at my party!

  32. it's beautiful and creative! and the cherries are excellent! i've had similar doubts about myself when trying to hand paint onto furniture! :) great work!

  33. That is sooo cute and your idea of chalk to find me a child's desk. Cute as a bug!!!

  34. this is such an adorable transformation, bravo to your creative genius~

  35. I can't tell you how much I adore this desk - just darling

    Thanks for commenting on my blog - I have a giveaway going on until Thursday at 10 pm - come on over and enter if you'd like


  36. This is absolutely stinkin' awesome! You know I loved your cake, and a desk version of it is just brilliant. Well done, Evie!

  37. hey i featured this desk in a red & teal color collection.
    grab a featured button if you'd like!
    here's the link!

    {love} lauryn @

  38. This desk turned out great! I love the retro throw back. Thank you so much for linking up at Savvy HomeMade Monday and I hope you will come back and party again!

  39. Gorgeous - I love the cherries on the seat. I've featured it at today's Craftastic Party. Stop by & grab a Featured On button. Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do:)

  40. Isn't it thrilling to turn something ugly into CUTE? You did a fabulous the cherries and the chalk board top.


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