Grab a cup of coffee and let’s take a trip down memory lane together.
Do you remember where you sat to do homework when you were a kid?
For me, it was usually at this table.
This was the first set that my parents bought as a married couple. We now have this very table in our own dining room.
Every time I sit there, it kind of takes me back to those nights of AP calculus homework. The nights of studying for biology and listening to my mom as she made up goofy songs to help me remember all of those crazy words for my test. I thought were annoying at the time. But they helped me pass my test.
I want to make those memories with my kiddos. To be there when they have those “oh I get it!” moments.
To watch them grow. To experience those struggles followed by the victories.
So when we moved and Molly said that she would love a desk for her room, this mama was ON. IT. 👊🏼
And for the record, I am now the one making up goofy songs. I’m quite certain she’ll thank me one day.
Now let’s walk through how we made this desk dream of hers come true.
FIND A DESK
The first step to a DIY desk project is to find a desk!
Anyone that knows me knows that I love a good deal! You don’t have to break the bank on your desk. Just find something that is the size that you need and has the drawer space that you’d like.
We found this one at a thrift store for $30!
Already have a desk that you like? Just skip the painting part and read ahead for the next steps on customizing the inside of the drawers.
PREP AND PAINT
After finding a desk, you’re ready to prep and paint. Clean that bad boy up. I would recommend priming but with the paint I’m about to share with you, it isn’t required. My favorite primer for wood is Zinnser BIN primer. You can paint it on with a brush/roller or get the spray kind. If you’re just using it for this project, the spray should be enough to cover your desk.
What paint should you use?
I do love chalk paint, but for this project, I chose a latex/waterbased paint. In my experience it is more durable for pieces that will get lots of use.
So I used Sherwin-Williams proclassic paint. I love this paint when I paint furniture or cabinets that will get lots of daily use.
The pro classic latex (waterbased) has many great properties that you’ll love, especially if you’re just getting into painting furniture. It is self leveling (like oil based paint is) but won’t yellow over time. Basically, self leveling means that it won’t show brush strokes once it is dry. I give that 2 thumbs up! 👍🏼👍🏼
As far as sheen goes, you can get satin or gloss. For this project, I used satin. The color I used is Sherwin Williams Alabaster.
Now that you have your primer and paint, start painting! I sprayed my primer and then used both a brush and roller for the paint. Don’t panic if the first coat of paint doesn’t look good! It took me three coats until I felt it was covered. Remember to check your paint can for how soon you can paint each consecutive coat. Most if the time, I wait about 4 hours.
SHOP FOR YOUR SCRAPBOOK PAPER
Now here is where the fun part began for Molly. I mean who doesn’t love a good trip to Hobby Lobby?
We went shopping for scrapbook paper that we used to line the inside of the desk drawers. Since there are 7 drawers, Molly picked out 7 different pieces of paper that she liked.
Measure your drawers before you go to the store to make sure that you get the right size and enough paper. I skipped this step and had to make an extra trip to Hobby Lobby (I actually didn’t mind that ha).
The pieces that Molly picked were all very random and I completely let go of control so that her little personality could come out!
I was very proud of myself. And her. 😆
This is my favorite piece that she picked out because every single time she opens this drawer, she will be reminded of how awesome our God is. Great choice, Molly!
APPLY THE PAPER TO THE DRAWERS
While you’re at the store, grab a few sponge brushes and two different types of Mod Podge. You will want to grab the spray kind and the kind in the tub. Is that what you call it? 🤔 Just look at these pictures and get these two!
Once you get home with your goodies, go ahead and trim your paper to fit the inside of your desk drawers.
Then you will want to get the spray Mod Podge and lightly spray each piece of paper, front and back.
It will discolor the paper for a minute and you just might panic when that happens.😬
Don’t panic. It will dry quickly and it’ll be just fine.
Doing this spray step preps the paper and makes it stiff so that when you begin to glue the paper into the drawers, it won’t wrinkle up as much.
I repeat…as much.
I did get a little wrinkling still, but I’m ok with that. If you’ve ever worked with Mod Podge, you know what I’m talking about. Those air bubbles make me a little stressed out🤪. Anyone else have tips for that?
Now it is time to glue the paper to the drawers. I use the Mod Podge as glue and applied it directly to the wood on the drawer. Then just apply the paper to te drawer base and brush a coat of the Mod Podge over the paper. This seals it. It will go on white then dry clear.
You may still have a few bubbles that come up. Just do your best to smooth them out. It prob won’t be bubble/wrinkle free though.
Check out all of Molly’s choices!
CHANGE THE KNOBS OUT
You’re almost done! The last step is optional, but you can always change the hardware out to add more character.
We originally tried to polish the brass hardware. I liked it but Molly wanted something with more color, so we added these that we found at Hobby Lobby.
I hope this inspires you to do something fun with your kiddo so that you create lifelong memories together!
And maybe you can sprinkle a little homework and silly songs in along the way. 🙂