In preparation for my niece’s High School Graduation Party, this vintage school desk was the perfect compliment to use for the party decor. My friend Tina is moving (boo!) and offered up a few old school desks from her homeschool room, free for the taking. I reluctantly declined because I have no more square footage for furniture. But then, weeks later, I realized a school desk would be perfect compliment to the
party decorations. What’s a girl to do?
Well, I took the furniture, of course!!
When I messaged Tina, and she had two desks left. Phew! I just loved this one. Underneath the updated formica top and blue paint job, you could see that in her former glory, she was beauty!
I got busy with my orbital sander and removed the blue paint from the wood seat and top. I started with a heavy grit (60-120) and finally polished to a 220 grit for a finish that was smooth like butter. I gave the metal desk frame a rough sanding to prep it for paint. I didn’t bother filling in the cracks in the old wood because I thought it added to the character of the desk. I even left some of the old paint on the wood to add a little depth and show it’s age.
Don’t you just love furniture that tells a story? All those imperfections make me wonder how many kids did their work from that seat. I almost wish that the desk had a name carved into the top, for posterity, you know?
For the paint, I went to Lowes searching for a green tone reminiscent of Jadeite or depression-era green milk glass. When I pulled out the color “Jaded Lime” from the Valspar section, I knew I had a match made in heaven! I just love this soft green; it goes perfect with the party color scheme too.
My DIY projects have been moving at a snail’s pace since somebody showed up around here. He’s just too adorable for words and I can’t resist a smiling baby.
After painting, I stained the desk and chair with Minwax’s “Special Walnut.” Since the wood had been replaced on the desk top, the seat and desk were two different tones; so I also gave another coat of Minwax’s “Red Mahogany” on the seat to try to bring the two together. They still have a slight variance, but I think it adds to the charm.
Next, I asked my Facebook and Instagram followers whether I should distress the piece and it was almost a split decision!
The new paint looked so crisp and pretty, but some of the details were washed out. I asked my husband and he said “Distress it! It will bring out the detail of the frame and highlight the lines on the legs.“
Then I had a heart attack because I get really excited when my husband talks “DIY” to me! Hehehe.
So there she is. All pretty and renewed. My husband says we should keep it now and put it to use. I just don’t know where it is going to fit!
I do know she is going to be a showstopper at the graduation party!
Linking up and partying here: