Over the summer we were handed down a desk from my sister-in-law and niece. It was sturdy and metal and, despite being used as a catch all with stains and hot pink paint, we were excited to use it. It became a family project for Damon, Pumpkin, and I – our Homeschool Desk Makeover!
Disclaimer: Some of the following links may contain affiliate codes. This means if you purchase something via these links, I receiver a small commission at no additional cost to you. This money helps me keep Tea and Pumpkins going. Thank you.
The following picture shows what the desk looked like when it was brand new. My niece rocked it out, using it for all of her craft and art projects for a time. When she outgrew it, the desk when in the corner to bear its craft stains with quiet dignity. When my SIL learned we were thinking of getting a small desk and chalkboard for Pumpkin, she offered this one.
As soon as we saw that the top of the desk raises to become a sort of easel, we thought it would make an excellent two-in-one piece. The top of the desk would make a great chalkboard with some craftiness. Pumpkin helped pick out the paint. We explained his favorite orange wouldn’t look near as nice as some blue or green. He might not have understood but, thankfully, chose hunter green.
The first thing we did was take the desk and chair apart so we could paint the hot pink bars. Out in the yard, we laid the bars out over some used cardboard boxes to protect the grass and plantain.
We used Rust-Oleum hunter green spray paint. The can says its good on metal and great for outdoor use. While the desk wasn’t going to be outside, our Pumpkin is as wild as a hurricane at times so we wanted to be prepared.
It only took one layer of paint on each side…or would have if my own painting skills were any good and didn’t leave spots. Thankfully Damon did most of this part.
Makeovers Are Never Simple
The first chalkboard paint we chose was in a spray can. Horrible mistake. You see, the top of the desk is press-board and stained. The paint soaked in some parts and other parts it sat on, creating a terrible ripple effect. We sanded it down and started over. This time I added a layer of white latex paint we had samples of from the move. Gently sanded this, then added two layers of chalkboard spray paint. It looked ok so we brought it inside. It only lasted 1 use and cleaning – the paint came off on the rag.
Back to the drawing board…literally.
My Mother-in-law works at Lowes and said they used Krylon chalkboard paint in their office. Its used to mark the morning and afternoon schedules hen cleaned with wipes constantly. Not only does it hold up to all that use, they only do a touch up paint layer every 6 months or more. I was thrilled by its durability and we immediately got some.
Poor Pumpkin didn’t understand all the hubub about his desk as we took it back apart. We sanded down the spray paint and latex paint. Some of both paints were still on it but we weren’t overly concerned about it so long as it was smooth. We put two coats of the Krylon chalkboard paint on it, letting the paint cure for a day each time. This created a smooth, almost leather-like coating over the top of the desk.
After putting it back together, we let Pumpkin have at it. It held up to a three year old very well as well as my following cleaning. We’re big fans.
Desk in Use
First we let Pumpkin color on the desk using regular Crayola sidewalk chalk. YIKES! It made a dusty mess all over the place. We learned that smaller chalkboard chalk is often made dust-free so that it doesn’t create a cloud around the whole work space. We switched over to their drawing chalks. These are sadly easier for Pumpkin to break so he only gets one at a time for now.
After making art, we simply clean it off with a rag and water. In between, we use a chalkboard eraser.
Our Homeschool Desk Makeover Complete!
The desk might be pretty big for a three year old but he will grow into it. Its in our sun room where his toys are kept. The area is so green and sunny – a great place to learn. We get compliments on the space any time I share pictures of it on social media. I’m pretty fond of it as well.