Vintage Children's Desk Makeover

9 Materials
8 Hours

Adorable vintage children's desk madeover from boring and outdated to pretty in pink.

We found this gem scrolling through marketplace looking for a desk for my son's room. We thought this might work, but when we went to pick up realized it was a little bitty piece and my son probably would have a hard time using that chair some decided to buy it anyway and give it a fresh look perfect for a little girl's room. We started by disassembling the desk and chair, knowing it needed to be thoroughly cleaned and sanded since the finish was failing from years of use. After removing all the hardware we used a scotch brite pad with Krud Kutter to clean. After letting it dry completely we sanded it down using our favorite sander, the Surfprep. I've mentioned this sander so many times because it really makes the job so much easier, especially on curves.

We love a fresh clean start! You can see the difference here how much better it is looking already.

I knew I wanted to keep the three chair spindles in the middle natural wood color rather than paint, to give the piece a modern and fresh look.

This video file cannot be played.(Error Code: 102630)

Here is the Surfprep working its magic on the roll top slats. The curved pad keeps the profile safe and doesn't damage or strip the wood of its shape. After everything was sanded, BIN primer was applied to the parts that were going to be painted. We sprayed two coats of Country Chic Paint in a color called Peachy Keen, lightly sanding in between each coat and removing dust with a tack cloth

To seal, we sprayed two coats of their Tough Coat. After it was dry, we decided to do some decoupage and molding for the drawers.

We used mod podge for the floral paper, laying down one coat, placing the paper, letting it dry then placing another two coats over it to seal. We then used some rope molding cut with the miter saw to frame the drawers. Lastly, we used really cool bendable moldings from Woodubend to cover the joints where the moldings meet.

With Woodubend you use an air gun or hairdryer to heat up the molding, then wood glue to attach.

Here is a close up of the completed drawers.

Here it is freshly madeover. We are sure this will make a little girl very happy.

Thanks for following along.

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

14 Cool Ways To Upholster Chairs That You Can DIY
14 DIY Hacks to Stay Clean While Camping
Get Ready For The Baseball Season With These Great Projects
15 Clever Repurposing Ideas That Will Add Some Creativity to Your Home
30 Fabulous Wreath Ideas That Will Make Your Neighbors Smile
30 Gorgeous Ways To Keep Your Home Organized
Fun Father's Day Gift Ideas You Can Make Yourself

To see more: //

Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Lucy Marie Bernier
    Lucy Marie Bernier
    on Jul 29, 2020

    Didn’t you say it was for your son ? Or did you change ur mind and now it’s a family piece ? A Nautical for a boy would have been nice. But I’m not judging it still a very nice quality for whatever gender.....👍👍👍👍

    • Patsy47
      on Jul 29, 2020

      puleeze read the whole article...!..after seeing it they said it was too small but was an ideal project piece.....

  • Rain Workman
    Rain Workman
    on Jul 30, 2020

    This is absolutely gorgeous desk! I love it !

  • Barb
    on Aug 24, 2020

    I have this same desk that was mine when I was young. I'm afraid to paint or change it. Won't that take away from it's value?? I'm 71 yrs old, was given this desk when I was adopted at 2 1/2.

    • Shannon Stordock Hecht
      Shannon Stordock Hecht
      on Oct 29, 2020

      I have one that is even older. My mother, who was born in 1926, was given the desk when she was about 5. My grandfather was a sign painter and often did trades for work. I guess he traded a job for the desk and chair. The chair was lost many years ago, but I still have the desk. One drawer is missing because I kept my rock collection in it when I was little, I'm 74, and I have no idea what happened to it! It look just like this one, but the wood is much darker and the desk is very, very heavy even for its' size. I couldn't part with it, nor could I paint it!

Join the conversation

2 of 24 comments
Your comment...