I can’t help myself. I walk into a room or a store and I see everything as a work in progress and see all the potential it has. There aren’t too many things that I can’t think up a way to revamp or make better. And don’t get me started on the fluttering of the heart and the butterflies in the tummy when I spy an amazing vintage piece!
That happened a couple years ago when I spied this desk on an app selling used items in my area. At the time I was looking for a desk for my oldest daughter. The price was right on this one – $30!
This actually doesn’t look all that bad in the photo BUT when my husband went to pick this up, the people selling it asked if he was sure it was what he was looking for and if his wife really knew what it looked like in reality. Doesn’t that speak volumes?
The poor desk was covered in countless layers of paint, the final navy blue coat being like plastic. I’m not sure what paint they used but it was some of the toughest paint to remove that I’ve ever come across. I eventually resorted to using my heat gun and basically melting the paint and scraping it.
Once I had all the dark blue, horrible paint off, I just sanded until everything was completely smooth to the touch. I didn’t see the point in going all the way down to the original layer everywhere when I only planned to paint it again.
I went ahead and primed the entire piece inside and out to make sure the paint covered well. There’s no telling what could be on pieces like this that could bleed through the paint.
The entire piece then got 2 coats of white paint in a satin finish. I also painted the inside of all the drawers with 2 coats.
Then I lightly distressed the edges and various places that would receive the most wear, using fine sandpaper.
Now I could have easily left it like this and it would have been perfectly lovely once I put new hardware on it. But keep in mind that I was making this for my pre-teen daughter so I felt it should have a little bit more interest. Plain white was feeling a bit mature for her especially paired with her antique wooden bed frame etc.
Since we had just painted an accent wall (pink) in her bedroom again (she had been begging me to paint it pink again ever since our house sale fell through a year ago) I could picture some large florals on it. If I could paint I would have simply painted something on it but I can’t.
Like not even a stick figure.
So I had to try something else.
Peel and stick wallpaper decals. I got these particular ones at Hobby Lobby.
I placed them where I liked the look of them, with the drawers in placed and pressed them down tightly. Once I had it just how I wanted it, I used a razor knife to cut the decals where the drawers would need to open. This allows the florals to be seamless when the drawers are closed.
Some shabby chic butterfly hardware adds a whimsical touch to the florals and it suits this room and my daughter’s personality perfectly!
I’m still on the lookout for the perfect little chair to compliment this beauty but meanwhile it tickles me to ponder what the previous owners would think if only they could see this darling little desk now!
Until next time….