Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Student Desk Makeovers

I'm developing an obsession with old school items; desks, maps, globes, old student chairs, chalkboard anything!  I found these student desks in great working order at a surplus auction site.  They were $2 a piece!  (I have since seen a few at thrift stores too.) I wanted to cover the tops with something awesome, so after lots of searching....
Here's the quick and easy process:
1. Clean with a good degreaser.
 2. Paint the edges (optional:)  Or let the 4 year old paint the edges (also optional: ), in her nice clothes because somehow it seems easier to buy new clothes that take 1 minute for her to change.  (We were lucky with this one-no clothing casualties.)
2b.  Please forgive my photography skills, she's obviously the fastest painter ever.  So it was nearly impossible to get a good shot with her in action : )

3. Mod podge the top and place chosen paper carefully.  Use a credit card or something similar to press out any bubbles.  This was the trickiest part.  Let that dry and then flip it upside down to cut away the overhang.
4.  Sand all the edges to get the perfect fit!

5. Finish with 2-3 coats of Mod podge.  This part was scary on the first one because it bubbled all over while the Mod podge was wet.  This is the biggest thing I have Mod podged so I didn't know or forgot it did that.  But don't worry!  It lays flat and smooth once it's dry.  Just as a precaution though I was totally using a rolling pin to smooth it out when it was dry to the touch.  I don't know if that was necessary : )

See?!  Nice and smooth! 
I really want to buy a whole pile of desks just to try all kinds of re-do's.  Paint, stencils, chalkboard paint, photos, kids art, wrapping paper (so many cute ones out there.)   I'd also like to use them as nightstands, sofa tables, grouped together for a big art station.  Too much?  Probably!
For now my 3 oldest each have their own homework station, and we are loving them! 


  1. Love this - and totally about to do it on my desk. Did you find in the end that the modpodge surface is pretty durable over time and use? Also, any tips on the bubbles etc... I'm sure you got to be really good at it after 2 desks!


    1. Hi Shimona!
      My five year old had her desk in the kitchen and liked to eat on it a lot. After some spills, there are a couple places the paper has started to come up. I'm going to put another coat or two of mod podge on it, and have moved it out of the kitchen! :) The other two still look awesome! For the bubbles, I used a small rolling pin and tried to roll out the bubbles as much as I could. I don't know if it really helped or not, they seemed to just disappear once it was completely dry. I've thought about trying a spray adhesive and sealing with a laquer for a more durable option, but I haven't tried that yet! I hope your desk turns out great! I'd love to see a picture of what you did:)

    2. Thanks for your reponse Melanie, I hope mine comes out as great as yours did!


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