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Transform an Old School Desk

Don't toss out old furniture, use it as an opportunity to transform it.



I was recently told to fill a space with some old desks that were in storage. I took one look and knew I could use them. Instead of being worried, I got excited. My first question? "Can I paint them?"

Do you ever get discouraged when someone asks you to do something on little to no budget? Instead, look at it as a way to showcase your creativity.

First step, degunkify.


Before you tell me degunkify isn't a word, first, google it. If it wasn't a word before it certainly is now. The desks were classically abused by who knows how many children and from sometime in the 90's or earlier.

I first needed to scrape the gum off from underneath the desk bringing me back to middle school punishments. I also scrapped off many years of tape build up, which was perhaps the hardest part.

Second step, Sand.

It is one of the most important steps, and one of the most exhausting. But, trust me, it needs to happen. I used a piece of sand paper but if you have access to an orbital sander I would recommend using it. You will want to sand both the top of the desk and the metal part.

Third step, Spray Paint.

It's important that you spray paint before you stain the top. To make it easier I would cover the wood before spray painting. I didn't have anything to cover the wood top at the time so it was a struggle not to get the paint on the wood. I used 2 cans of Rustoleum spray paint per desk.

Fourth step, Stain.


This is probably the most satisfying part. I went with Minwax wood stain in Dark Walnut. I personally like a dark stain but get creative, they have many different colors available. The trick with a stain is wipe on, wipe off. Make sure to wipe in one direction to mimic a wood grain. If you don't want to have to add another step then get a wood stain that includes a sealant.

Let dry per directions on the can and vualá, done and enjoy.

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