DIY Desk Makeover

So I’ve had this desk for four years–I got it off Craiglist when I moved down to Texas and decided for some reason that I needed a desk. I really didn’t need a desk. I don’t do anything at a desk. When I use my laptop, it’s usually from a chair or the bed, not the desk with the uncomfortable and ugly chair, another $10 Craigslist find. The desk is one of those cheap, ugly, Walmart desks just like the kind I had in my college apartment that I sold after a year. For a long time, the desk sat unused, then it became my sister’s “office” desk at her house, but now that I’m in my own house, it was finally time to do something about it.

Am I going to use this desk as an office desk? No. I’m going to use it as a sewing desk. I finally got my own sewing machine and it needed somewhere to go that wasn’t ugly. So I decided to finally make over this desk!

NGL, I totally forgot to take a “before” picture, so here we are.

First things first–as it says in the tagline of this blog–I am lazy. I take shortcuts. I don’t always do things “the right way.” There are so many blogs out there telling you what not to do when painting furniture. In fact, I just read one not five minutes ago telling you not to use latex paint on furniture. Whatever! I used what I had and that was latex paint. However, I did attempt to do things “the right way” this time as you shall see.

Step 1:

Sand. I hate sanding. I really do. But for some reason, it seems to be an important step in all painting. So I sanded the desk. The desk itself is not actually laminate–it seemed to be covered by a thin, black paper which was peeling off since this desk is not exactly brand new. I sanded down the top, shelves, and the legs then wiped with a damp towel to remove dust.image

Step 2:

Prime. I normally don’t prime things either! I know, I’m a terrible DIY-er. But I just happened to have some primer leftover from all the house painting I did, so I slapped on two coats of that. Hey, I’m already ahead of where I usually am!


Step 3:

Spray paint. I decided to spray paint the legs because 1) they were metal, and 2) it seemed easier. I’m the first to admit I am not a great spray painter. My parents can attest to a failed project back in high school to spray paint a table. Let’s just say we eventually got rid of the table. That’s what came from watching too much Trading Spaces (the original DIY TV show). But anyway, I spray painted the legs white. It’s not perfect because I am not perfect.

Step 4:

Paint. Yes, I used latex paint, gasp! Sorry to that blog that said not to do that, but I did. I mixed some blue and green paint I had to make a sort of very light teal-ish color. I brushed (yes, brushed, stroke marks!) two coats of the teal color on the desk. I even sanded between coats (who am I?).


Step 5:

Poly. Okay, so this was optional and I’ve never poly’d anything before so it was a bit of a gamble. Before I started this whole makeover thing, I was trying to figure out how to make this desk durable. I didn’t want to go through all this and then have the paint just scratch off, you know? It’s a desk that will take, and has taken, some abuse. So I read up (yes, on more of those infamous DIY blogs) what to do. I came to the conclusion that polyurethane was probably my best bet. Durable, shiny, not simple, but whatevs.


So I went to Lowes and got myself a can of Minwax polyurethane (water-based, not oil-based as apparently the water-base will not yellow. We’ll see). It said to use a new, synthetic brush. I did three coats of the poly, sanding between each one. Again, not perfect since poly apparently needs to be done in an environment absolutely free of dust/hair/whatever. But you know, it’s a project that makes it look better than it did. I can live with a few imperfections in the finish.


So after three coats of the poly, the desk is done. It has a smooth surface, it’s not black anymore, and for me, that’s good enough.

We don’t all have to be perfect DIY blogs, and I’m definitely not that. Now maybe I can actually hem some curtains.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s